Sunday, May 22, 2011

Monogamy? What?

I booked to go to one of the sessions for the Ideas Festival.  It was held at the State Library, and I suspect didn't get the publicity it was aiming for, but it was interesting.  I didn't learn until I got there, about how varied it was.  I'd been sent a message about one of the sessions called "Big Love: Will Monogamy continue to prosper?"  Considering where i am in my life I thought it could be a bit of fun, and I guessed there'd be some alternate views.  It was in The Edge - something that I did not know existed but it is a part of the State Library, but specifically targeting the young 'nerd' I guess - with awesome equipment for sound and film, and all, I believe free to use.  (I shall be exploring it.)

The two guests, were 'newly-married Israeli-Australian author Lee Kofman and self-described lesbian, ex-Mormon comedian Sue-Ann Post".  I confess to not having heard of either of them.

Lee is clearly infatuated by sex, and likes having different partners, three-somes etc, and read some of her writing which was clearly very erotic.  Sue-Ann describes herself as a 6 foot lesbian - she is a big girl and not very feminine in any way. She described her lifestyle which started with a full on lesbian relationship when she was 18 years of age, with a married woman, whose husband was ok with the deal.  They had some good points, though they didn't convince me to look at trying any of their ideas.  Certainly there is a high rate of divorce in Australia (and the world) and a high rate of cheating, and a dissatisfction of marriage as we know it.  Sue-ann laughed at the idea of same sex marriage.  Why do they need to get married??  There was quite an animated discussion. 

I have no doubt that we as a community could have a more open discussion about marriage - and what people expect of it.  There was a session with one of my favourite stars of the kitchen Maggie Beer, but it was a luncheon and costly, and I had needed to prebook too. 

I wandered around the library and had a look at the Flood of Ideas Exhibition too which was interesting. There was a lot of effort put into the program which looked extrememly interesting, but I am sad to say I knew little about it.  One thing though, all the sessions were recorded and you can watch them at the website here. Ideas Festival Website.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Study continues..

Time flies when you are having fun or studying.  Here it is nearly at the end of May.  I've just a few things to do to complete my work for this semester, and with any luck, a break of a week before the next semester's material arrives and Semester 2 for 2011 will be well under way.

This last semester I have been doing two subjects - one is Script Adaptation - learning to write a movie/film script from a book.  My final assignment was a short piece I created out of a book called "Matron wants to see you nurse", which I bought back several years ago, that someone had written about Mt Gambier Hospital in South Australia.  There was even a photo of me in it, dancing in a sort of nursing outfit, and doing the can-can if I recall!

I managed to find some dialogue from the book and create a short piece.  The other subject was Writerly Self. I won't explain that here, but it is a rather academic type subject which is not my forte.  I don't delve into why or how things happen, so it was a bit challenging for me.

This coming semester I am doing a subject called "Reading and Writing" which reminds me of a subject by the same name that I 'taught' at Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages last year.  We had a bizarre text book with short pieces that students had to read, and then answer a few questions about.

My other subject is Scriptwriting.  I had rather shuddered at anything to do with script writing, but alas some of it is in the core subject list for Swinburne, so I had no choice.  I am certainly warming to doing more in that field.

Today I am going to a Festival of Ideas presentation at the State Library.  That could be interesting.  Then I will wander into the city, before getting home early in the afternoon.  Oh, I have a book to collect at the Brisbane City Library too.

I will take my Kindle - I am well into another book by Xinran about China.  She writes so clearly and honestly about life in China.  I may well finish the book today - plenty of bus and sitting time I think. 

This afternoon I shall finish my last assignments.  A glass of wine would be good to celebrate when done.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Time flies

I didn't realise that I had not posed for a while here.  The good news, and it was days later than announced, the uni results were posted.  Imagine my thrill to have my results confirmed - two distinctions and one credit.  It was enough for me just to pass, so I feel particularly blessed. 

Before the results were posted I was well underway with another two subjects, and am working my way through it.  We had a fabulous tutor for one subject but after three weeks it was announced that he was offered a full time position with the university, so I have the same tutor for both subjects.  We were all devastated as the original lecturer was so inspiring.  And to add insult to injury, the tutor has not responded to our posts for two weeks now. 

I have kept up with all the assignments, and today should be working on two more plus my major assignments.  Hopefully I will manage to get them all done.

I have now downloaded all my lectures, which are on a CD (one of which was not sent to me - had to ask for it to be sent a couple of weeks into the course, onto my MP3 player, so I can easily listen to them without being in front of the computer.

It is strange doing all the course online.  Some benefits of course, but I'd love to chat with the tutor and other students.

I've read quite a few books in the last couple of weeks - some are suggested readings, some are my own choice - including one Christmas gift, the Di Fingleton story. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Uni Results

I had read on the uni website that exam results would be posted on December 11th.  I'm sure of that - although all reference to that date have mysteriously disappeared from that website.  Just prior to the "due date" some marks appeared on the website, and I wrote them down, but they too disappeared before December 11th.  A few days later, no doubt after a query from a student (or students) there was a message for two subjects that the results would not be available until December 21st, or 22nd.  So I still wait in quiet anticipation to get the official results.

Still, onwards with my assignments for my two new subjects, and I have already submitted assignments for this coming week.

So I am ahead, and as it is Christmas and New Year and I might just get all excited about the festive season and neglect my studies I am trying to get ahead.  

On Tuesday we had the Society of Women Writers Qld, Christmas Party at the library in the city - and the announcement of the winners of the Article and Short Story competition.  I won third prize in the Article competition.  Whooo.  A certificate and a cheque for $50!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Writing Groups

I am a member of a number of Writing Groups.  One is the Queensland Writers Centre - which has premises at the Queensland State Library in the cultural precinct of Brisbane near the Brisbane River opposite the city centre.  Each year they hold a Christmas Party - and this was the first in their new premises.  Last year they were in an old building at Metro Arts.

I met some friends there - and we had a wonderful evening  - Wine Women and Writing......  On Monday another group launched their Anthology - A Twist in the Tale

You can buy a copy at the RiverBend Bookshop at Bulimba where the launch was held.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wonderful on-line community.

This semester my two subjects are Writing History and Journalism, and I've met (online of course) the students I will be working with this semester.  It is amazing the age range (some are almost finished their Masters at 25 years of age, and at least one other is mid 60's like me.  They come from all around the world - one student posted from a coffee shop in New York this morning, and others are in Europe and all parts of Australia.

In Writing History we are exploring our own family histories and in less than 500 words there are amazing stories that scream out for a book.  Some of the students and families escaped from Europe during World War II, others have histories dating well back before that of settlement in Australia, and some have had tragic beginnings to their lives.  I've laughed and cried reading the stories.

At the same time I have been reading a book by David Hill "The Forgotten Children.  Fairbridge Farm School and Its Betrayal of Australia's Child Migrants."  It is a gripping tale of the children who were shipped to Australia, some orphans or from one parent families, to Australia to a so-called better life in the lucky country.  The gall of the Fairbridge Society to buy them new clothes, and shoes and send them by sea to Australia, and take the wonderful new clothes and shoes from them on arrival, and have them live life as servants essentially to the Farm as they grew up.  How they were not re-united, as earlier promised, with their families, and how they were treated in a most acrimonious fashion in Australia.

I am halfway through the book and can't put it down.  I'm angry, embarrassed, and so sad for the children who grew up in this abomination of a place in New South Wales.

I know times have changed and we tend to be more critical of things that occurred in the past comparing them with the knowledge and information we now have, but the treatment of these children by a church associated organisation is galling.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Three down - nine to go!!!

It appears I have passed all three of my subjects for last semester.  Not all marks are in - but I'm sure I can't fail!!!  Yippeeee!  Only nine to go and I have started on two more.