In Australia the university results are out.

I will give a quick tour of what we are up to for my new audience.  There is a secret society within the walls of blogdom.  That society is filled with brilliant people, and caring people.  As best as I can tell all of these people fall into both categories.  From time to time a blog entry by a society member gains a heartbeat and personality and BECOMES.  Late in November, a seed was planted.  It received much fertiliser and water.  And more fertiliser.  And it BECAME.


This seed that became, was in fact a suggestion to adjust your Christmas spending pattern to include one extra family member.  A member you have never met.  Will possibly never meet.  That member is a charity.  Members of the society have rallied support and offered donations to this cause.  Tomorrow I will be posting an up to date tally and list of contributors for the fundraiser, so if you were planning on giving but haven’t got around to it yet… tick tock… tick tock… If you have given directly and wish to be included in the acknowledgement please email me your receipt number.  slimpedal AT iinet DOT net DOT au


This offer will always exist, but right now it is the season of giving.



And now for something completely different.


As my time in the spotlight draws to a close I thought I would take the opportunity to puff out my chest and brag a little.  Well OK, a lot.


Many people faced with disappointment in their career, ditch their job, attach themselves to a comfortable piece of furniture in front of a big screen TV, and sulk.  I’m in the midst of my mid-life crisis and am very proud to announce that mine is a positive event. 


Back in 1985 I had a very bad experience at university.  It was completely my own doing.  The degree I enrolled in, a Bachelor of Engineering, had a recommended first semester consisting of seven, yes seven, fulltime subjects.  That equates to over 80 hours each week of lectures, tutorials and head-in-book time.  Needless to say, I gained a distinction that semester.  For one subject.  For the other six, I achieved a well deserved FAIL.


Let’s briefly visit the next 19 years.  15 years in one job.  4 jobs and a business in the next 3 years.  I have 2 things to say about the business.  #1. I was the majority shareholder of the Local Bike Shop.  #2. I doubt I will see my money or my (former) friend and business partner ever again.  The 4 jobs were carbon copies of the one I grew disheartened with after 15 years and I couldn’t settle into any of them satisfactorily.


At the beginning of this year my wife and I sold our home of 10 and a half years that had seen our family grow from 2 adults and a bulging belly in October 1994 to an amazing team of 6 (have I ever mentioned the dog before today?).  We moved 25 kilometres (15 miles) and now live a single kilometre (less than a mile) from the university we are both enrolled at.  We are what is politely referred to as “mature-aged students”.  My wife has a 9 subject head start on me and will graduate at the end of 2007 with a double degree – Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Arts.  She will be a classroom ready senior high school English and Civics teacher.  At the end of 2008 I will graduate with a Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Science.  I am negotiating at the moment to manipulate the subject structure.  Presently I am enrolled as a Physics major, Maths minor.  But with a bit of twisting, I can see a way to make it a double major.  Now I just have to convince the administration of the soundness of my proposal.


Here’s how I plan to go to the negotiating table for this thing.  I will have the recommended enrolment pattern in one hand and my results in the other.  The annotated enrolment pattern will show them what I am proposing to do.  My results are the leverage to tell them that I can do it.  Having completed 7 subjects in my first attempt at university with an appalling outcome, I have re-entered the system with a different perspective and a different motivation. 


My results (the source of today’s bragging topic) this time around are different, and will be the fulcrum for the leverage I need to convert to a double major.  During 2005 I have completed 8 subjects.  We don’t have grade point averages in Australia, we have words that identify each level of achievement.  There are dozens, many of which are rarely used, that relate to things being late, incomplete, pending, etc.  But from the dozens come 5 that are considered “final” results.  FAIL, PASS, CREDIT, DISTINCTION, HIGH DISTINCTION. 


Here’s what 2005 looked like for me:


Communication and Thought



Becoming a Teacher



Algebra and Geometry

High Distinction


Research Design and Data Analysis



Hydrology and Geomorphology



Calculus and Algebra

High Distinction


Biodiversity and the Environment




High Distinction


There was a little bit of disappointment attached to the lowly pass, but all in all I’m satisfied.  It beats the hell out of 1 distinction and 6 fails.  Fortunately they were 2 decades ago and are long since buried.




Remember to have a look at how to help save the world.


I’ll see you tomorrow and we’ll talk about how many goats and chooks we can buy.

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47 Responses to In Australia the university results are out.

  1. Tom Stormcrowe says:

    I know who I’m gonna be talking to with math questions next semester!

  2. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    Stormy – If you must. But be warned, I’m not qualified to teach until 2009.

  3. Laura says:

    I was reading your post from Sunday about too much Christmas. I have so many different feelings about all of that. On one hand, I know I would feel left out if there was a huge celebration for something that I didn’t believe in or celebrate. Imagine all month long feeling like you are left out of the fun. On the other hand, if that were me I would either find my own way to have fun, or I would just have to put up with it until January. I don’t think the lights and presents and decorations are what makes people upset. It is always ‘church and state’. I will not get into either! Yes, I do celebrate Christmas, and I love everything that Santa and baby Jesus mean at this time of year. I don’t mind having to say ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christams’ if it means keeping someone from getting offended. So be it.

  4. Stephen says:

    Congratulations Mike! Gold Star for you!I’m sending you an email regarding the World Vision thing, ok?Steve

  5. Kelly says:

    I might have passed "Becoming a Teacher" but I’m sure I would fail all the others…math is not my thing. Communication and Thought sounds like fun…I don’t even understand Hydrology and Morph-whatever. The study of water maybe?For the record…avoid yellow snow because it means someone has peed on it. Apparently, some men think it’s fun to write their names in the snow in a umm…very distinctive way. =)Kelly

  6. tayfuryagci says:

    congrats mike, those look like real (real) good grades. I just wish to improve my median next semester. 60/100 is bad.

  7. Suzanne says:

    I’ve a new idea for your contest.Cut your calorie count by 500 calories a dayRide your bike 500 more miles than you would have before May.The reduction of calories and combo of more excersize should result in the loss of a few pounds.

  8. Fat Cyclist says:

    maybe you can get them to upgrade the "Communication and Thought" grade if you show them what a massive effort you’ve made, blog-wise.

  9. Unknown says:

    think that is a marvelous report, Mike! HUGE CONGRATS to you and all the best wishes for your future plans as well.Please give your wife my best and congratulations on her hard work as well.Hugs,MuMo

  10. Unknown says:

    Mike, y’know I’ve always felt a bit of a weird connection with you there. I was an EE flunkout, in 1985, similar story, just not ready for it prolly. I drifted a bit, loved the Army, but kind of got serious about my life around 10 years ago. I got out of the military, started hammering in school, knocked out three years of college in two years and two summers with just two courses (out of roughly 35-38 courses I took) with grades under "A" – both A minuses. I sailed on that breeze into law school and as a kind of "young" lawyer now – but sort of a retread human being which is handy for dealing with non-lawyers- I’m on my way to a pretty successful career, maybe even a bit of distinction if I play my cards right. I have to make the right moves in the next 5 – 6 years or so, as do you, but the difference is I can see the route from here to there, something that was impossible for me (or my peers) 20 years ago. The advantage you have is you are up against 23 year olds. You probably can’t get along on as little sleep as they do, but you know every shortcut already, and are probably smart enough to turn down that last (23d) pint the night before the quiz. Man, I can totally relate to your story. Getting a second chance in life, a "do-over" gives you a remarkable outlook, doesn’t it? Like anything is possible. Maybe even like getting on your bike and losing that other belly you mentioned joined your family. What’s that? You were referring to your then-pregnant wife? Oops, sorry. Hey, maybe that’s your spring challenge…

  11. RAM says:

    HEY MIKE!Once again, I can relate to your story. "Mid-life Crisis" is my middle name right now…but as you, mine is a positive one. I decided to pack up and move around the world to be with my true love. I am exposing my crisis for all the world to see. Decided to start my own business in Morocco with my life-partner. But, Whew! When I tell you it ain’t been easy, it’s an understatement….but having a blast doing it! Come by my space and check it out! WE’RE OFF ON THE ROAD TO MOROCCO! With a few stops along the way there!As for the Christmas thing….well, all I can say is, if folks can’t get into the spirit of whatever holiday they are surrounded by…be it Christmas, Chanukka, Ramadan, or whatever, how very narrow. BE open and enjoy it! Life is full of great surprises, but if we choose to limit ourselves….whose to blame for that?BLOG ON DUDE! YOUR SPACE IS AMAZING!Ron

  12. singleparentblogger says:

    Congratulations to you and your wife!! Reach around and pat yourselves on the back (or maybe it would be easier to pat each other on the back!). Going back to school as "mature students" (love that phrase) is one the best things you can do for yourself. I know because I did it, too. I went back to college at 37 with two kids, a husband and a full time job. Well, it took 2 years, but I did it. In 2002, I graduated with a bachelor of science in business. I am now in graduate school for an MS in written communications (talk about career change). I will have my master’s before my 45th birthday with a certificate allowing me to teach Freshman Composition. I haven’t decided yet whether to continue on for a PhD or maybe law school and a JD next. Best of luck to both of you. Having a love of learning will make you both great teachers. Your students will be very lucky to have you. Take care,Kathleen

  13. Big Guy on a Bicycle says:

    You had two different Algebra classes? Duuude.I remember Hydrology. I got an ‘A’ in it, but that’s the hardest I ever worked for an ‘A’ in my life. Of course, I didn’t bother trying for the ‘A’ in my Enviro classes. That stuff is hard for me to get into my head. Take the ‘Pass’ and go, my friend.Congrats on the grades, Big Mike.

  14. Lynn says:

    Looking over this space and everything you’ve written in your time on Spaces, it is easy to see why you made Best Of…just difficult to understand why not sooner. I will be back often.I very much enjoyed the experience, you have gained another regular, as if you needed one!*Blessings*

  15. Tom Stormcrowe says:

    By the way, Mike, check out My semester results thus far! By the way, I nforgot to say congrats on yopur excellent semester!

  16. Margaret says:

    You should toot your own horn at every (ok, maybe not every) chance you get.It takes a lot to start something new, especially when you have so many dependants. I think its worth almost any amount of sacrifice to be able to do something you love with your life. Worth it, but not easy. Thats why so many just zone out in front of the tv.

  17. serf says:

    Started college 1974, kicked out twice, worked in "real" world, went back and finally finished spring 1986. Total actual school time – 8 years.Want to guess the degree? Civil EngineeringAt least I was making money during my mid-life crisis.’rett

  18. Mad Suburban Dad says:

    Nice report card in some tough subjects. Also, great blog you have here. I will have to visit more.

  19. Connie says:

    My sister is going to college, she is 47. I think it is her 3rd year. She is making all A’s. I think when you get older you like learing things and aproach it with a different mind set. Good for you that your are trying it again.

  20. Unknown says:

    Hi again… sorry you need more than 30… bummer. I had to lose 60 once upon a time.. did it. then promptly gained 20 back. I was ok with that, until the steriod thing. I used to be 110 lbs. and I am 5’1" tall. I was once up to 165 and at my height… ugghhhh! I was back to being small now I am in a size 10 and 140lbs at only 5’2" not good…. just when you think it is under control. drat. Do you mind if I link you? let me know. I need to change a few things. If you are interested… there is also a couple of updates since your visit, see what goes on in the "saga of my life". I have another thing going on in the middle of the crud as well. PS You may like the Amazing light show I have on my site. {new}

  21. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    freckledSasha – I imagine it would be similar to what a basketballer feels during football season.Pilgrim – my first gold star since grade 5.arkansasgirl2006 – every subject was fun. Some were fun to attend, others were fun to receive the grades for.tayfuryagci – the pass made me sad. The rest I showed my mum. She made me my favourite a cake.Suzanne – you sound far too practical and sensible. Surely if I watch enough television the radiation will melt away the excess.Fatty – I think that subject was about mature, sensible thought and communicating in a way that is clear, concise and perfectly singular in meaning. I believe rantings and blurtings would achieve a fail result.MuMo – your love is always welcome here.Al – I function on about 5 hours sleep most days, with a blow-out about every 10 days where I’ll steal 10 hours in one sitting (or is that laying). I still pull the all nighters for assignments. I find the continuity of thought is extremely valuable. Career climbing will be easy. I’ve seen a lot and I will come into the game fresh but with 20 years more experience than kids who went straight from school to college to career.RoadToMorocco1 – I don’t much care what the holiday is about. I just love the extra days off work.singleparentblogger – teaching is giving. It’s information charity. That sits very well with me.Big Guy – why is everyone scared of algebra. It’s just like a jigsaw puzzle. Albeit a 3D jigsaw puzzle with 5000 pieces and numbers instead of pictures. Any subject I don;t have to repeat is classed a success.Lynn – welcome and thanks. See you soon.Stormy – nice workMEA – In some states you can get arrested for tooting your own horn. I don’t even know where the TV is.creationww – my maths lecturer told be I will be an engineer anyway. Follow the trail:Theoretical MathsApplied Maths = Theoretical PhysicsApplied Physics = Theoretical EngineeringMad Suburban Dad – it upsets people when I tell them I just showed up for the lectures, read the books that were suggested and spent about 3 hours per 1000 words for each assignment. Maybe it will get harder next year.GreenEyesGolden – age gives you more appreciation of the sacrifices being made to take this path. Kids don’t know.bloggerlaurabella – everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is incredibly well disguised. Damn.

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