Moving, Assignments and Z-Transforms

Its been a while since I’ve written one of my traditional rambling and mostly pointless (but hopefully entertaining) blog posts so given I was kinda in the mood to ramble and be pointless I thought I may as well do it publicly.

Its been a while mostly because when I started work at Bosch everything was so dull and work like that I had no inspiration for my usual rants, raves and oddities so after starting and abandoning a couple of posts I sort of gave up. Today however I am highly caffeinated and I have had all sorts of exciting things happening in my life and I’ve been working on a very difficult assignment worth hardly any marks which always makes for good ranting fodder so I find myself already closing the second paragraph of a post.

Now, as I’ve completely failed to say anything meaningful (or anything at all for that matter) about my life for the past errm well year actually I’ll give a quick recap. Over the past year and a half I started IBL at Bosch, hated it, broke up with my boyfriend, got a new boyfriend, finished IBL at Bosch, started back at uni all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed having kicked my caffeine habit, got snowed under with work and got caffeinated up again and now you find me at the end of semester completing my final assignments and about to move house.

Now that Ive got that out of the way I can get on with my topics mentioned above.

I’m moving which is all very exciting because it means I get to buy a wardrobe from ikea AND I get to figure out where to put furniture. Most importantly of course it also means that I’m moving in with Michael (boyfriend) in an official kinda way as opposed to the me camping out at his house way which has been happening for the past several months now. Unfortunately I’m also moving right in the middle of the last week of semester so I’m going to have to work doubly hard now to make sure I don’t get screwed over by assignments due in week 12. This is of course why I’m highly caffeinated.

The particular assignment which has required assistance in the form of stimulants tonight to complete is a Robotic Control assignment which is far more complicated and far less fun than it sounds. Its also only worth 12% which is rather offensive given I’ve done somewhere around 10hrs work on it so far most of which was totally useless because it was wrong and ended up in the trash can. Its now mostly complete save several bits where I think I’ve done something dodgy to algebra and need to confer with other students who are slightly less creative with algebra than I am to make sure I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been having particular difficulty with z-transforms mostly because you have to do pages and pages of algebra to sort of mush one expression into the right kinda form to read off a table and then you find that its not on the table which generally means you fucked up and you have a tantrum (at least I do) and give up and rant for a bit.

Anyway that’s more than enough rambling for one night so I will shut up now 🙂

Self-Injury

Today is World Mental Health or Blue Day. October is also Beyond Blue’s Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month.

Depression and anxiety awareness is very important to me. I have been suffering depression for much of my life and I was first diagnosed with depression by my family doctor when I was 5. A particular aspect of depression that I believe really needs some time in the spotlight is self-injury or self-harm.

Self-Injury is a badly misunderstood and stigmatised condition. There are many incorrect and potentially harmful beliefs about self-injury that pervade the media, society and even the doctors and nurses who treat those who suffer from it. Self-harm is not an attention seeking activity that whiny ’emo’ teenagers indulge in. Self-injury is seen across all ages, genders and socio-economic backgrounds.

There are a number of articles which cover the various reasons why people self-harm so instead of rehashing all the clinical data  I will give you my personal story.

My self-harm started when I was a child. I couldn’t say when it started but it was common throughout my childhood to soothe my extremes of emotion by hitting or biting myself. The point where it became a problem was when I was 13, the first time took a razor blade and made a long, shallow cut down my arm. From that point on cutting became an irresistible urge. I lear

ned that when I got into a downward spiral, my brain wouldn’t shut up and I was panicking, the one thing that could bring silence and calm back to my world was to cut myself.

Learning to stop self-harming was difficult. One day when I was 17 I cut way too deep and scared the crap out myself. It caused me to confide in my family and friends and with their support and three thick scars on my thigh to remind me never to do it again I managed to stop.

The stereotypes and misunderstanding surrounding those who self-injure is harmful. It prevents people from getting help. People who are already ashamed and scared who have to face telling their loved ones and medical professional who may then react with scorn or disgust.

So I offer myself as a counter to the stereotype. Is this who you see when you think of someone who cuts themselves?

If you take one thing from this post I hope it is compassion for those around you who are hurting and awareness that self-injury exists, is a real medical condition and needs treatment like any other aspect of depression.

101 Goals – Update 2

This month I’ve been a little slack on the whole goals business but still, I’ve made progress.

I’ve completed:

52. Go to Melbourne Museum

and

73. Complete a 4km run
(In a not so spectactular time of 30.08, but still I can only improve)

that and

66. Do my makeup every morning for a month
(which might not seem like a spectacular achievement but it did require disclipline and earlier waking)

I’ve crawled forward on a couple of the once a month style goals (I won’t bore you with the details) and I’m currently working on:

61. Go one month without eating junk food

in an attempt to detox from Web Directions.

I’ve also read another non-fiction book: 6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast,  by Lewis Wolpert, which is brilliant and I highly recommend, particularly to those who are into behavioural science sort of stuff.

I’ve also seen WALL-E, Psycho, Schindler’s List and the Godfather since last month bringing my count up to 15 unless I’ve completely lost count.

I’ve also booked my appointment to give blood so that should be happening before my next update… lucky me!

Next month my primary goal shall be working towards that all-important average of 80% in my subjects this semester. I will have another 4km race and I hope to get my time under 26 minutes which would bring me into the top 50%

Cheerio for now.

Hopefully I’ll send out another blog post before I HAVE to because I’m up for a 101 Goals update 🙂

101 Goals – Update 1

So far this 101 goals lark is going great. I’ve already completed a couple of goals and I’m working towards several more.

Completed Goals:

51. Go indoor rock-climbing

I went indoor rock-climbing with my sister and Michael a couple of weekends ago. Loads of fun, despite having absolutely no upper-body strength 🙂

54. Go to the art gallery

The art gallery trip was my first completed goal. Got that one out of the way on a rainy Melbourne weekend.

Semi-Completed Goals:

4. Upload 250 photos to flickr (10/250)

8. Read 1984 and Animal Farm (1/2)

Finished Animal Farm on the plane to Sydney two weekends ago

9. Read 50 Nonfiction Books (1/50)

Finished Anais Ninn’s In Favour of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays

46. Try 50 new Recipes (3/50)

Pork with Tomato and Caper Sauce

Protein Bars

Mechoui (Morroccan Roasted Lamb)

56. See 25 Greatest Films as Voted by IMDB (11/25)

The Dark Knight

Pulp Fiction

One Flew Over the Cockoo’s Nest

Star Wars: Episode V

Casablanca

12 Angry Men

Star Wars

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings

Fight Club

Dr Strangelove

58. Write Monthly Updates of 101 Progress (1/33)

59. Maintain Monthly Closing Balance of $0 on credit card (1/33)

66. Do makeup every morning for a month (19/33)

67. Dress up at least once a month (1/33)

Next month I plan to sort through my clothing and jewellry. Do a brutal cleanout of clutter. Complete my makeup every day goal and move on to another sustain x for x period goal 🙂

I’ll also chuck in a few more movies and books for good measure.

6 Weeks Left at Bosch

I’m approaching the final stretch at Bosch which means a number of things.

Firstly and most importantly I need to take my finances seriously. Now I know I should have been taking my finances seriously before but somehow during the past 6 mths I’ve managed to not save a cent (Don’t tell my dad!!) Clearly all those minor discretionary purchases, you know: $1000 phone, $500 winter shopping spree, numerous nights out on the town, have added up and managed to eat up the solid $250 a week I should have been saving all this time. Bad Miriam!!!

To make up for all this financial naughtiness I’ve been doing some very sensible and responsible budgeting, and examining credit card statements and I’ve figured out how I’ll pay off my credit card in the next 6 weeks and all sorts of other well behaved activities. Then I get to suffer for my sins by working to earn the money I need to survive. Of course the best bit here is I wouldn’t have to work for a year if I’d been saving that money. Ah well, priceless lesson in the value of saving I guess. Anyway the upshot of all of this is I need a job (speaking of which if you happen to know anyone looking for a regular babysitter I am quite a lovely one, references and all)

Secondly I need to start revising my uni work. I’ve been away from uni for nearly a year now and I suspect I’ve forgotten most of the important stuff which will carry through to next semester. In fact, given I haven’t been exactly the most disciplined of students over the years there’s probably a whole bunch of maths things I never really learned in the first place. So over the next couple of weeks I will (attempt) to knuckle down and study all those things I either can’t recall (Fourier Series) or never really learned in the first place (Differential Equations) which I know will be assumed knowledge in subjects coming up this semester. Lucky me!

Finally it means that it’s nearly time for celebrating. Those of you who I’ve spoken to during my big break from blogging will know that to say I didn’t really enjoy my IBL placement is an understatement. Despite the stress of having to find a job in time the knowledge that in just 6 short weeks I’ll be outta here is a huge relief. However in the spirit of my new resolve to find the positives in every situation I have compiled a list of important life lessons I’ve gained while working at Bosch which I intend to form into a sort of series of blog posts for your entertainment.

The End of Semester

The end of semester is approaching and it’s been a busy one let me tell you! My first freak-out cry was in week two of semester and the workload hasn’t really lightened up since. Now there’s a week and a bit left before exams start and after that a short break and then… I actually have no idea what’s happening after that, and its kinda exciting.

IBL (Industry Based Learning) is a program which gives students an opportunity to get a year of full time work experience halfway through their course. Officially I’m doing my IBL year starting July; however, I’ve only applied for one job. So, either I get the job of my dreams next semester and off to work I go, or I get 8 weeks holiday and then I’m back at uni for another semester. The way I figure it if I don’t get the placement I want this year I can always do IBL starting January instead and cast a wider net then.

I’ve been totally uninspired with my writing recently. I guess its a combination of stress, tiredness and the constant feeling in the back of my mind that I have something more important to do. So I apologize for the drop in writing frequency and hopefully I’ll think of something witty, imaginative or insightful to say soon.

What I (used to) do

As a special treat to everyone, and because I’m feeling nostalgic about my singing days, here is a recording of me singing the aria ‘Ah Belinda, I am pressed’ from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Its a bit of a dodgy recording but its the best I have. Its taken off the DVD of a school production where I played Dido. I hope you like it 🙂

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