Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lack of ZZZs and Peculiar Events

It's become more apparent that I'm being seriously sleep-deprived.  A lot of it has to do with under-grad bashes in my quad, in the wee hours, when I just want to get some "peace-full shut-eye".  After meetings with several heads of depts. and an over-night stay last Friday at a different dorm room, I've decided that although said dorm room is by far more satisfying in terms of endless screaming and shouting, it just ain't a fit - dagnabbit. 

My King's home has become my castle....and in pretty decent nick when I landed. The other suite looks like a bad hangover in the Projects, with no heat to boot.  The room is at the end of a hall, next to a public parameter wall and I couldn't help but imagine that I was going to wake-up to a perv standing in front of my ground-floor window. 

So I've purchased a set of pretty groovola ear-phones and soft buds for those really necessary times.  Although, I resent having to do this, as it is bad ear health for anyone, let alone a musician!  A real NO-NO!!

All said, I'm trying to keep my sense of humour.  As you can see, I'm wearing my new head-set to ascertain what's going on behind my own door.  I think I'm really on to something here..yes, "London Calling" is cranked to 11 in there!!!  Must be new PC speaks! 

Last week I experienced glorious inspiration with a collaborative sing-song during observation of Dr. Adam Ockelford working with his client, Romy.  Romy is a truly gifted 11 year old savant, who with much care and mentorship might be just like her fore-runner, Derek Paravicini one day. I was very moved by the whole experience.

Sweet Ride #1 had to say its last prayers, as the safe-enough-to-ride bill came in at $117 pounds. Thus, it was off to the second-hand market online, and I came up with Sweet Ride #2:

Now the really weird story: I locked it up on Friday night after my PREMIER ride.  Immediately upon doing so, the lighting standard directly above my bike went "out".  I trekked in to Whitelands College to report this to security but nobody was at the desk, so I left a note to ask them to please fix the light and confirm that they were taking action back to me via phone. They did not.  Next day when I went out to ride my sweet ride, I was shocked and mortified to see that the lock was broken and dangling from the bike,
which remained!!  I guess the burglar didn't like mountain bikes! 
Or was it the elusive Whitelands Security guard showing me a good turn by demonstrating how useless my lock was????

My hands are beginning to look a little better than after my original allergic reaction to the lab gel/shampoo after the brain-wave experiment. 
But all is still not 100%. 

Nothing a little Indian curry won't cure!  And don't forget the Hallowe'en lemon and slime Jaffa cakes, all washed down by a tall, dark and handsome Italian named, Peroni.  Ah - does life get any better?

So, I had my first official meeting with my dissertation tutor today - he is a lovely fellow whose first pointer was to ask me to calm down.  Guess my sleep deprivation and nerves were really getting the better of me.  Then he assured me that I was not to worry so much.  Nor am I to be dabbling in all these extra courses I've been under-taking.  Too much learning makes RL's brain a mushy sponge.  After all, I'm on the edge at breaking point, and I am still just a little over half-way thru term #1. 

So I must away now to read, read, read. 
And hopefully an early night to catch up on much-deserved sheepzzzzzzzzz. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Post Internationals/Freshers Week Orientation/Party Zone

So it's been a long, arduous journey of drink-ups and new discoveries; everything that comes with adjustments of moving outside the comfort zone and into a new surrounding and different culture.  Add to that, being in a minority group...Well, at the tender age of 47, you can imagine my head is still spinning a tad.

I was blessed to celebrate my Whoppin' 47th on September 25th.  It was nice; beautiful, calm.  My day began with a great pay-off for investment with my earlier networking at ISH (International Student House). Namely, I landed my first guest lecture spot at Bucks University for March 2013.  Woohoo!

Next I was treated to a lovely lunch in Sheen with my ultra-kool sister-in-law, Lisa.  After giving her a ketchup on uni-life, she treated me to cupcakes, touches of home: a plant, candle, etc. and to top it off a fantastic bottle of Moet et Chandon! Nothing says, "Happy Birthday" better, than a class-act bottle of champers!

Mid-week, I had an opportunity to net-work at a cocktail party at New Zealand House at Charring-Cross, which offers fantastic panoramic views; inside and outside, from it's fabulous penthouse suite. This was a collaborative effort between both the NZ, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in UK.   Lotsa' neat folks there, including a prolific author, an artist (us artsys had to suss each other out in a crowd of corporate-types) and  a crew of helicopter specialists, that really gave me a run for my money in the party animal dept.

This week also marked my first class.  Now in the UK, they do it just a bit different, and I'm all too ready as a pro, to roll with the punches.  So it goes, my course orientation was chased up with wine/snax, and followed by a hard whollop of research methodology.  ZZZZ...  Can we say, "good bedtime reading"?

As for what degree I am actually taking? Well, due to new changes in faculty structure, I'm apparently now enrolled in an MSc Applied Music Psych vs. an MA Applied Music Psych. Not sure I like the change - and especially what it means toward my dissertation research; quantitative vs. qualitative; and here's me with no stats or lab tools background whatsoever, to serve this science. 

Manoevering the UK Uni system makes tackling that stock-pile of tangled Christmas tree lights feel more like solving a juvenile jigsaw puzzle.

I have to keep remembering, "This is a test. This is only a test."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pre-Frosh/Freshers Flight 2012, Roehampton UNI, UK

OK...Sunday; End of week #1, Lovin that UNI life!

So in one week, I've now experienced nightly loud, crazy parties 'til crack o' dawn, getting lost on the tube system, falling down a flight of stairs at Hammersmith Station (my international youthful photo team in tow gasping, "OMG, Granny's fallen from the train!"), near misses with misplaced room/dorm access card, cheap but free wine/dinners, PC tech issues, CAS/immigration issues, student ambassador issues, and even a ZIT!!  Heaven forbid, it's just before UK Freshers (US/Cdn. FROSH) Week here!! 

It's been a slice o' Heaven to be surrounded by new ideas, brimming youthful vivacity and curiosity, and just sheer wayward playfulness.  Oh yes, and then there's the BOY chases GURL stuff!  Just crazy LUST!  Lotsa fun to watch!  heehee....oh, I remember when...

Have settled in somewhat, but am still striving to make a dorm room my "home sweet home"...all very difficult to do with one Woogie and a Rusty-bum amiss.

Stay well and grand; Over and out -

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hurdles and Rewards

Ok. Let's just begin by saying that applying for an overseas study program ain't as easy as one may think.  And even if you are of an English-speaking nation applying to an English-speaking nation school, there can be miscommunications with regard to language and culture.

One must be ready to clear these hurdles and as frustrating as it may seem, to remember to "breathe" through each new adversity with the inner knowledge that it will all work out in the proverbial wash.
Yesterday's blunders are today's successes!

Negative: A communication error with regard to "what" course I was supposed to be enrolled in,
Positive:  Easily fixed by head administrator
Negative:  Tuition fees looked absorbetent with fixed mistake.
Positive:  Vice-Chancellor scholarship awarded to off-set tuition! 
Negative:  Changes to CAS will affect my student visa...does this mean I have to reapply at another $500?  Does this mean I can't fly and will have to burn my ticket next weekend to wait on Homeland Security again?  Does this mean I'll be late for school? 

Stay tuned for this week's cliff-hanger to be solved and resolved.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Career News

Very excited to announce my acceptance into the MA Applied Music Psychology program at Roehampton University, London, UK.  The program will take me from Sept.2012 thru July 2013.  I enthusiastically look forward to this next chapter of my career and education!  Look out, London!  Here I come!  Stay tuned for posts re: my learning there.