In which our heroine feels OLD.

So.  I’m off to see the Disability Support Officer at the University of Southern Queensland on Monday… I have dug out my HSC [Higher School Certificate, the mark I’ll probably still need to show to get into uni…] (first time in a looooooooooooooong time that I have needed that particular piece of paper, I was surprised I could find it!) but then discovered that although I could find my birth certificate which matches the name on my HSC,  for some reason the change of name certificate to prove who I’ve been since 1990 has been LOST.  Probably in all the mucking about with the flood last year.

I was really CROSS because I’ve been making a big effort to keep all the filing more organised, especially since I’ve been aware that I’ve been less [mentally] well… and so the expenses of trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps begin.  $39 for a replacement copy of my name change plus $8 for registered post. (I have to get certified copies of current ID before I can send the forms off for that though…)

Then there’s the $60 fee to apply to QTAC (they handle all Queensland Tertiary Admissions).  I’m not sure yet which certificates I need from various medical professionals to say I’m disabled (grrrr… I hate having to claim that, but I know I need the help…) and I’m not sure exactly *when* they have to come into the application process – hopefully that should be clearer after Monday’s appointment.

IF I get in to uni there’s the “Student Services and Amenities Fee” which might be as much as $263.  Then there’s textbooks (hopefully second-hand, and of course the ever helpful comparison site BOOKO will be my friend) and the usual paper, ink, transport etc… luckily the bus goes from just up the block straight out to uni, so that may prove cheaper than paying for parking out there. Something else to investigate.

And and of course I have to go to the Government Agency Which Controls Our Lives and ask them how this might impact on our pens10ns… I’m hoping that by trying to do SOMETHING USEFUL with my life they might leave me alone.  (please?)  (They may even give me a small supplement, which might just about cover my bus fare.)

It’s a long time since I last tried to go to uni.  Things have changed ENORMOUSLY.  Apart from me being 20 odd years older, I mean.  There was barely ANY SUCH THING as Teh Interwebs back then – hard for you youngsters to believe, I know!  I mean, do people even use pens and notebooks in lectures now? There was no such thing as just cutting and pasting huge slabs of someone else’s work – my goodness, if we wanted to plagiarise we had to type it all ourselves! (On my 386! BEFORE WINDOWS!!!) And the rattle of dot matrix printers could be heard late into the night at the end of each week as assignments were due… and the uni academic’s newsletter actually had a quaint little guessing game each fortnight where the aim was to recognise part of a novel – imagine how quickly you could identify that now – a couple of quick quotation marks into the search engine of your choice and Robert’s the sibling of your parent.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to try ONE subject this semester,  and I’m going to go on campus rather than online – mainly because I need the social outlet.  Otherwise the only times I see people I know is my little group of scrapbooking friends, or medical appointments.   If I can sit through 9 am-2 pm of group therapy once a week (ok, with morning tea and lunch breaks, sure, and having a bed day the next day) then I’m hoping I can manage one lecture and one tutorial a week, with perhaps a library study run in between?

(Apparently you can switch between online and on-campus modes if you need to, though.  Hmmm.  That could be useful.) And if I get in, this is the subject I pretty much HAVE to do (since it’s the compulsory one for most B. Arts students: Introduction to Communication Studies).

I’m not actually aiming to get a Bachelor of Arts, by the way.  If I manage that, cool.  (I only have 9 years to do it.)  At this stage, the idea is to get me doing something so I am less depressed and panicky.  But I am (nominally) enrolling in the Writing and Society (Creative Writing) program, and if you’re really interested you can look at the recommended enrolment pattern for the 12 unit interdisciplinary major here.

Phew!  I’m tired just finding all that out.  I’m a bit worried that this might all be too hard… but I have to try.  I need to do something.  Attempting some study seems like a fairly harmless something to do.  My memory is pretty dodgy these days, and I’m not as bright as I used to be but hey – P’s get degrees, I don’t need to knock myself out getting High Distinctions and attempting a full time study load… just seeing how things go.

 

2 Replies to “In which our heroine feels OLD.”

  1. Good on you for having a go Caitlyn, I hope you can successfully negotiate all the red tape! Studying sounds like a Good Idea, wishing you all good luck with it.

    1. Thanks, Marcie. As I was driving today and listening to a Radio National program on the importance of oral history, I heard one of my professors from way back – just as I was thinking of why I was inspired to study history in the first place (Dr Peter Read at the ANU, who is a champion of giving those who have had no voice in history a chance to tell their side. Important stuff to me, too.)

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