Session 2-2015 Passed

I’ve been checking for results daily since the end of the session, and while I will have my official results this Saturday, I now know that the last two units I took were both passed. Unfortunately, only a Pass in each of them, not a higher grade like I was hoping, but I’m now well on my way to finishing my Associates Degree in Session 3 and have started my Bachelors Degree with a Pass.

My Associate Degree GPA will be 4.83, another slip from the highs that it was previously. I attribute this primarily to the way units have been taught to me, moving forward the GC campus has lost on-campus classes and even good teachers (since I started in 2014), and I thrive when I’m engaged well in class, not when I’m learning via distance!

My Bachelors Degree GPA will be 4.

EDU10011: Two Credits

Late last week I received another grade for the unit EDU10011, receiving my second Credit and putting me in good stead for the last assessment due in a few weeks. By my rather bad math, I would only have to score 35%, well below a pass, and in fact a very bad fail.

Obviously, this is not something I am aiming for, but it gives me an idea of where I am positioned and what I need to do to keep my final mark high.

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.

Not long to go

The state of my units.

EcoCultural Studies – nothing marked as yet, but I only have one last mega assignment to do and then I’m sorted. Feeling good, so long as I can get through the ~2000 words.

Pop: Encounters with the Arts and Humanities – total marks back are at 43/70… so I only need 7/30 on my last assignment, but shall be aiming for higher, naturally.

The Nature of Narrative: Self, Time, Place and the Environment – with only 27.5/60 I’m perhaps struggling with my narrative work the most. I need to score a Credit on my final assignment to cross the finish line.


Creativity isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I’ve never been good at writing short stories or putting to paper the thought processes that go on inside my head. I remember all the way back in primary school another student writing a great short story one class that was read out proudly at the end. I can’t recall whatever I came up with. So when I have creative assessments at university, I struggle a lot to make sense of them. Luckily, some of them give me a way out, a way forward.

This blog entry is about a subject I’m taking called Pop: Encounters with the Arts and Humanities. It’s a core unit and a strange one at that. I hope my creativity in this entry will shine through the images I want to share, from a unit I took last year on photography. At the end of the unit I was asked to showcase my best images from the session, but not to elaborate. Here I’m going to take it a step further.


I took 69 photos that day. I was stood at the end of the runway at Coolangatta, taking photos of planes as they landed. I’m not terribly good at plane-spotting, but it’s a hobby I’m having a go at. A lonely seagull came to see what I was doing, probably thinking I had food, and allowed me to rattle off some photos. I did better with the seagull than the planes, and that’s how it made the cut.


Anyone that knows me knows that I like to travel. If I could, I’d just travel all the time, because for me it’s as much about the journey than it is solely about the destination for most people. I just love flying, and of course why wouldn’t you when you have shiny cards that get you into lounges. On this morning I was flying with friends who share my passion to Sydney for the night. I had just finished a champagne breakfast so was feeling a bit giddy, and couldn’t resist playing with the fisheye lens.

Task 11.3
“War Memorial”

That night, in Sydney, I was given the chance of photographing the Australian War Memorial in Hyde Park at night. With virtually no one around, I felt I pulled off some really nice photos, again using the fisheye lens.

"Night Sky"
“Night Sky”

A few weeks later, still playing with the fisheye lens, I tried to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way. It didn’t pan out for me, probably due to a number of factors but the amount of nearby light pollution I’m sure didn’t help. The photo didn’t turn out too bad though, even with part of the house visible in a corner.

Another Pass

Received another Pass in The Nature of Narrative. I had been hoping for better of course, but as this latest grade is a draft assessment, with the final assessment a re-work based on the feedback, so I am hopeful I can improve the work dramatically to complete the unit with a higher grade. 

Pop Credit

This morning I received my first marks back on my unit “Pop: Encounters with the Arts and Humanities”. A solid 21/30, giving me a Credit is a good start I think. Like the unit “The Nature of Narrative”, this unit is solely online, but unlike narrative, I’m not terrible at comprehending what to write.

Critical Pass

With an 11 out of 20, I’ve scraped through with a Pass in my Critical Response in unit “The Nature of Narrative”, which I’ll easily confess isn’t a strong suit of mine. The unit is made more difficult by its online nature, while I prefer in-class time.

My next assessment for this unit should be a little easier, as it’s a biographical portrait, far easier to write in my opinion. However, I don’t want to jinx my mark with thought that it’ll be easy.

I would much prefer such a class was taught with a tutor on campus, but the state of affairs at Southern Cross University right now is drastic cuts to funding in the Arts, while it seems every other course is having no such hard times. Supposedly, this is what happens when the new Chancellor has an Engineering background, from what I’ve heard.