Friday, April 8, 2016


I am now a full-time student, studying a Bachelor of Arts (internet communications) through Open Universities Australia. Most of my course is conducted online through Curtin University in WA. Only last Sunday did I find out that my Austudy had been approved – eight weeks after I applied. Surprised the hell out of me. I had had conflicting reports from Centrelink about whether I would be approved. One document said yes, another no, one call centre person said yes, another no. One Centrelink CSO at the local office said yes. One Centrelink manager on Facebook said yes. It was just as well I persisted with my application.  I could only afford to study full-time if receiving Austudy.

The course so far - six weeks in, and two assignments done, one for each subject – has been a real challenge. Especially the second year subject Intro to Website Design. I knew nothing about photoshop, which I had to quickly learn to make mock-ups of the website I have to build for the subject. Huge first assignment for it of a Blueprint of the website.

What made the challenge greater was I have been sick. First my ulcerative colitis became active, and the drugs I take for it make me very tired. And then I had a kidney stone that hospitalised me for three days. It is still in there. My kidney was infected, so they could not reach the stone and zap it with a laser. So they put a stent in it, to force the tube open. I need to go back on the 19th on this month so the doctor can go back in and have another go.

So, with all the studying and messing around with Centrelink and illness, I have done very little writing in the past two months. Just a bit of editing/redrafting nearly every day. I have nearly caught up with my course – hopefully by Monday. But Assignment two is due for web design in just over two weeks. All I have to learn to complete its draft of my website is html. And then I have to write an essay for the other subject in the two weeks after that. Last week I spent around 52 hours on the course. I think this week will be about the same. So I don’t think I will be doing much writing for a few weeks. I have stopped critiquing too. But maybe in a month or so I will be able to get into some routine that allows writing for an hour or two a day.