Yet again, I've been very slack on the blogging front. I've got ideas but I find myself procrastinating. I promise I'll get around to blogging about them. I've been working on some crafty projects lately, so as soon as I find batteries for my camera, I'll take some photos so I can show off my crafty prowess to you all. I probably should endeavour to find my camera as well.
In the meantime, I feel the need to have a bit of a brag about some things.
First of all, I am very pleased to say that I passed both of my uni subjects for last term. In fact, I even got a credit for one of them. Not bad, considering that I got behind with my study in the first week, struggled to catch up, then kind of gave it up as a lost cause in the last few weeks of term. I had been particularly worried about one of my subjects. It was called Physics for Health Sciences and there was all sorts of wrong with the way the course was run as far as I was concerned.
The textbook was pretty crappy in that a lot of the explanations were very vague and there were no worked examples of how to apply the formulae to actual examples. Then there was the sheer amount of work involved - three assignments, weekly multiple choice quizzes, weekly tutorial quizzes and the residential school. Not that the residential school bothered me, but the fact that half the material that was required for it in way of the laboratory manual wasn't even put up on the course website until four days before the res school started. When most of us were already in location attending res school for another subject. It would have been nice if they could have pulled their finger out and organised to have the lab manual printed, bound and sent out to us at the beginning of term like every other lecturer manages to do for their classes. All in all, I felt like there was too much expected of us and that we would have been just as well served to do two assignments and either the tutorial worksheets or the multiple choice quizzes. Don't worry, I said all of this and more in my course evaluation feedback.
With my issues of feeling like I hadn't understood the subject very well and not having looked over the last 3 weeks worth of the course in any great detail, I was worried about how I would do in the exam. It turned out that all of the exam questions were a straight cut and paste from questions from the assignments throughout the term. What was even better is that one of the questions that was worth a quarter of my overall mark was exactly the same, word for word as one of the questions on my last assignment that had only been due in four days earlier. It was meant to be a three hour exam and I finished in just over two hours. I walked out of the exam humming "I'm Walking on Sunshine".
Second term started today and I've already covered all of the work for first week for one of my subjects. I'm doing three subjects this term and have decided to approach how I study a bit differently from normal. Normally, I try to take notes from the textbook, but I end up paraphrasing the whole damn thing. I know it doesn't work for me, so I'm going to focus a lot more on actually watching the lectures online and completing any tutorials/worksheets that the lecturers post on the course websites. One of my textbooks has checkpoint questions throughout each chapter and a "understanding the concepts" section of questions at the end of each chapter. This is what I have already worked through. I know feel like I have lymphocytes, basophils, erythrocytes, etc bleeding out my ears. Ha, funny. I just made reference to bleeding out my ears while talking about different types of blood cells. I'm such a nerd.
After a fair bit of digression, I come to my second point. I've been working on losing some weight. I realise that I really need to pay someone to crack the whip and make me move in order to motivate myself, so I've been attending an outdoor group fitness class. As part of that, we started a nine week winter blitz challenge. Each week we have had a different food challenge as well as an exercise challenge. I haven't done any of the extra exercise challenges purely because I find it hard to get out of the house to do them with two young children in tow.
However, I've found that doing the various food challenges has really got me thinking about the things I was consuming before. I realised when we had to cut out fizzy/sugary drinks in the first week of the challenge that I was actually consuming quite a lot of soft drink. After I spent a week not drinking it at all, I realised that I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would and I have barely touched the stuff since. In general, I'm craving sugar a lot less than I have in the past.
I've been getting a few comments lately from people saying that I'm looking thinner, so I grabbed out a tape measure the other day and wrapped it around my waist. I thought that I'd lost about three or four centimetres until I dug out my measurement sheet from when I first started the challenge. It turns out that I'd actually lost about 10cm from my waist. I was so stoked that I'd lost 10cm in six weeks. There's still another three weeks of the challenge to go, so I'm hoping that I will lose another 5cm from my waist in that time. I didn't think to measure around my hips until a couple of days later and it turns out that I've lost about 10cm from there too.
I'm really pleased to be seeing the results of my work. Before starting out at this whole exercise thing, I really wasn't liking what I was seeing in the mirror as I stepped out of the shower. More importantly, I want my boys to see me making healthy lifestyle choices and to see me enjoying exercise and making it a regular part of my life. Hopefully it will motivate them to exercise for fun when they get older. In the meantime, it will give me the stamina to keep up with them. I'm sure I'm going to need it with two young boys.
Anyway, there you have it. Apparently waking up at 5:30am to go and flog yourself for an hour at a time three days a week before your kids wake up and your husband has to go to work has some merit to it.