8 SAM 5

On Thursday I took delivery of a new car, a Suzuki Swift that replaced my old Toyota Corolla. More recently, since achieving 300k KM it had spent entirely too much time at the mechanics, and a recent break down was the final straw. Unfortunately, some of the recent fixes didn’t even cover the cost it could be sold for, and that was one of the reasons it was time to give up on keeping it running.

The new car shares the same shape (hatchback – good for parking), and colour… but brings with it many improvements from the past 18 years, including cruise control, bluetooth phone control as standard, airbags and my particular favourite, almost double the fuel economy that should give me a range 200KM further with a smaller fuel tank.

Dee-Anne took some photos this afternoon to show it off, and you might also note I have one other surprise, a custom plate I’ve been paying off on lay-by for the past few months.

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Session 1 2015 Passed

My university news is that I have successfully passed session 1 of 2015, with two passes and one credit. This does lower my overall GPA to just under 5 (out of 7) though, which is a little annoying. Then again, a high GPA is only beneficial for moving universities or going for honours, neither of which I plan to do.

Coming up in session 2 I am doing a design class, a cultural studies class (with a total of 4000 words due over the session) and a core class. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, at least for the Associate Degree.

Session 2 starts next week.

The Nature of Narrative: Passed

I can now safely say that one of the units I took this past session, “The Nature of Narrative: Self, Time, Place and the Environment” is more or less officially ticked off the list. I needed to score around a Credit level on the final assignment (or about 23 marks out of 40) and just yesterday received a grade of C- (27 out of 40).

Sam, it’s been a pleasure to witness the development of your work and grasp of the unit material. Your creative writing shows competence and (growing) confidence in your ability to create a narrative – it also shows a clear understanding of the complex links between your creative work and the unit themes. – Iris Curteis

The other two units are yet to release final grades to me, with at least one – “Pop: Encounters with the Arts and Humanities” – suggesting it has been marked online, but I wont get the mark till the day before all grades are released. I’m not terribly worried about this unit though, as I feel I did well enough and only needed 25% anyway. The hope here is that I scored higher and can improve my GPA.

Finally, the tutor in “EcoCultural Studies” emailed me today to say he had misplaced one of my submissions so could I send another one along. I got on that right away and do hope to also do well in that unit, but anticipate I’ll also be waiting right up until June 17th (the day all marks are released).

In other university news, I was offered a place in the Bachelor of Arts degree to continue my studies beyond the Associates degree I’m due to finish in the 3rd session. This has left me with the conundrum of what to study though, as the humanities subjects I’d like to study are mainly distance-based from Lismore and a 1.5 hour commute is just too far.

Catalina Display Launch Dinner

Just 6 months ago I was in LRE for the last QFM AGM with Dee-Anne. Due to a change of financial year reporting for the museum – so they don’t split in half their busiest time of the year (winter) – I was back to hear how they had been and more importantly, to stay on a little longer for the launch of a new display the following night.

Consolidated PBY Catalina "G-AGIE" looking out at the sunset
Consolidated PBY Catalina “G-AGIE” looking out at the sunset

They were still painting right up until the afternoon of the launch dinner, but they did an amazing job getting everything together. To complete the display for future visitors to the museum is not just the paint job, but some seats have been installed inside, with subs positioned along the skin of the aircraft to give the sound and feel of being inside a working Catalina. It’s really a very cool experience.

Aircraft Name "Antares Star"
Aircraft Name “Antares Star”
Aircraft Tail "4"
Aircraft Tail “4”
Aircraft registration "G-AGIE"
Aircraft registration “G-AGIE”

A slightly larger collection of photos was posted to Flickr.

Haematology Results Inconclusive

While my ANA has gone down (or is it up – the better direction in any case), my C3 count has now been recognised as low. But my doctor doesn’t seem to think it’s lupus. Next blood test is in 4 months time, while my neutrophils continue to remain low, but not too low (1.3).

Tomorrow I see my neurologist, so maybe he can shed some light on whether he thinks this is all caused by the Epilim I am using for my Epilepsy.