Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category


It has been my mission since I started this blog to ensure the archives have every month of the year displayed. It’s part of my whole OCD/perfectionist persona which sadly is linked also to my procrastinating persona.

I just want it to look pretty and complete, dammit! All calendars have 12 months (let’s not go into a discussion about some niche calendars here), and by god, so will  my blog!!!

In order for this to be achieved, I have to have at least ONE blog post per month or I’m f**ked. (Notice how I randomly censor and then don’t censor myself on this blog? Not sure why I do that – obviously it is something that’s NOT connected to my OCD-ness).

Okay, now that this is out of the way, the reason I have been such a baaad blog-person (I just hate the word ‘blogger’ – a throwback to my days as an actual writer and journalist: we turn our noses up at bloggers when we cover events)… is because I have been busy with Uni.

Yeah, well I figured it’s as good an excuse as any. I did 4 weeks of teaching prac at a high school here, teaching media. Boy, what a challenge teaching something you haven’t really thought much about since graduating (for me, that was 2006!). True, I worked in publishing for over 2 years in total. But the kind of media I was required to teach was 90% centred around film. Theory and practice. Re-learning on the job: do two things at once while trying to keep your sanity!

Then after that concluded, I was swamped with assignments and now, exams. Yeah, it is exam week. I had an exam on Friday (which was held NOT on the scheduled exam week, UNFAIR! I cry, but oh well it’s done and I think I did pretty well anyways), I had an exam this morning, and I have an exam tomorrow morning. ARGHH! Hence, the title: dying a slow death.

I should be studying. I really should.  That’s what I also told myself last night, and I did it. I ignored the call of my blog. But I can’t ignore it any longer (June is almost over). I thought a quick post to explain myself (as I seem to do a lot on my blogs – hey, it’s the alternative to therapy!) was in order. Besides, I only need 1 mark to pass this unit. A shabby, shabby excuse. I mean, of course I would like a distinction or a high distinction. But I’ve done pretty well on my assignment, so really, if I don’t do BRILLIANTLY on the exam, I will still make it.

So. Tomorrow an exam. Then, my last exam, which is on Thursday morning. That’s the one I really worry about. I need to do quite a bit better for that exam because the assignment was really tough. After that I plan to sleep, sleep, sleep. Go out with my Uni pals and drink our brains away (maybe). And just rejoice.

Oh, and a UPDATE: I got my Student Visa (finally!). So I’ve applied for jobs and am awaiting a callback for an interview.

Wish me luck (on all counts)!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Visa Situation


I am very fortunate to have so many friends who care about me and what’s been happening over the last few months.

For those of you not in the know, well… I have been waiting for my student visa to be approved for over 3 months now.

Atrocious?? You betcha!

To make a long story short, there were some issues with my medicals whereby I had to go to my GP and get a blood test done. The urine test I did at the Health Services Australia (HSA) place that you go to when you want to apply for a visa, was not satisfactory, so they gave me a letter to give to my GP explaining that I needed further tests.

Let me explain.

I was in such a rush to get this student visa sorted that I had made my appointment with HSA on the first available day and time they had available (they were pretty much fully booked except this ONE day, a few days away frm when I made the phonecall).

The problem is… that day happened to be the day before I got my period.

Now we all know what periods do to urine tests right?

So, yeah.

Anyways, what ensued was your typical Government Bureaucratic BS / Red Tape wild goose chase, all summarised in an email I sent my ‘case officer’ after I had been sent on a merry-go-round of sorts. Please keep in mind I had been sending a few very mild-mannered and downright pleasant emails to her asking, among other IMPORTANT things, how her Easter/ANZAC day break was. Naturally I got automated, robotic responses in reply, instead of an actual human saying “Thanks, I had a lovely holiday, now I am back and working hard to get you your student visa pronto!”

Email below (warning: long and possibly mind numbingly boring for those of you who aren’t going through what I am going through):

Dear Kylie,


I received in the mail a reminder from HSA / Medibank Health Solutions (dated 28/4/2011) that I was to undergo further assessment and supply the following information for my student visa (immigration purposes):

Urine Microscopy & Culture and serum creatinine


The thing is, when I was told in person at the HSA office in Perth CBD on the 24th of February that I needed to undergo these further tests, I immediately scheduled an appointment with my GP at Garden City Medical Centre in Ardross for a couple of days later, and did exactly as the staff nurse told me with regards to the referral. I handed this all to my doctor, Dr Gary Fernandez, and had the tests done. I was told both by the doctor as well as HSA / Medibank Health Solutions, that once the results were finalised, they will be sent directly to HSA / immigration. I was under the impression that I need not conduct any follow-up activities, and to await the approval of my student visa.

However, the arrival of the letter a few days ago was alarming. It stated that if the information is not received by their office (Medibank Health Solutions in Perth CBD) by the 19th of May, they will dispatch my papers without a recommendation! I had been under the impression, all this time, that the results had indeed been forwarded to the relevant authorities and were being evaluated.
The letter states otherwise. Despite my repeated efforts to contact the immigration department (I spoke to a few people over 4 or 5 phone calls made in the last 2.5 months, as well as several emails sent to you, my case officer), I was NOT told at all during this time, by anyone, prior to the reminder from Medibank, that the results had not been sent through.

Upon receiving the reminder, I first called HSA/Medibank and spoke to Thomas, who confirmed with me that the results had in fact NOT been received. He gave me the fax number as well as email address that the results should be sent to, and advised me to ask my doctor to have them sent over as soon as possible. I then called Garden City Medical Centre to speak to Dr Gary Fernandez who was not available, and will not be available until Friday (please note I have been trying to contact him on and off the whole time, calling about once a week and leaving messages for him to call me back, but to no avail). I explained the situation to the receptionist, who then instructed me to contact Kimberly at Clinipath. 

When I spoke to Kimberly and explained the situation to her, she informed me that she did not have any results with her and was unable to help me. She advised me to call my doctor and speak to him: I then explained that he was unreachable, and also told her what I had been instructed to do. She then gave me the main number of Clinipath, to call them and ask them as they handled the results. I called and spoke to Kate, who finally told me that she could not send the results without HSA/Medibank first requesting them. This was apparently a new procedure they had put in place.

So, I had to go back to the beginning and call HSA, this time speaking to Priscilla and explaining the whole thing to her. She took down all the names, numbers and information from me, assuring me that she would pass it all on to Thomas to sort out.

Let me just say how disappointed I am in the system for making things unnecessarily complicated. Also, why did nobody inform me of the system/procedure? I was told that all I had to do was drop by my GP with the referral from HSA, and the rest will all be taken care of. Not so. There is a severe lack in cohesion between the different departments/groups involved in the process.

The fact that I have been in contact with you over the last 2.5 months without any information or reminders (until the one I received in the mail from HSA) regarding this matter is also alarming to me as to just how things are being managed. I would appreciate if, once the results are finally sent in, you could help in somehow expediting the process, which has been severely delayed through no fault of my own. 

I will be contacting HSA again to see if they have requested the results, and I hope that once you’ve received them, you can contact me as soon as possible with the news.

Thank you & best regards,
Inayah Ariffin

The reply I got?
“Thank you for your feedback.”

And some other quoted text that they’d sent me before several times (the automated responses) about how the medical results will need to be evaluated and to basically sit down and be patient. And why don’t you spend this time twiddling your thumbs?
Hmm…

Read Full Post »

Loo, Loo, Skip to my Loo…


There’s something that’s puzzled me for a fair few months.

It’s to do with toilet paper (yes, how interesting).

For some time now, every time I mention it to people, they give me a puzzled look: “What? What is that item you are talking about?”

It’s not that they don’t know what toilet paper is.

It’s because for some reason I’ve taken to calling it “Loo Roll” instead of “Toilet Paper” or “Toilet Roll”.

Forgive me for using a phrase that nobody seems to understand. Somehow it crept into my vocabulary and I have favoured its usage over the more conventional ones stated above.

For some reason, I honestly thought it was an Aussie thing and that using it would better facilitate understanding between myself and those around me here in Australia. I used to just say “toilet paper” which is the standard in Malaysia, but adopted “loo roll” as part of my efforts to assimilate into different cultures and avoid any misunderstandings.

So imagine my dismay when I say things like “Jason, where’s your loo roll?” or “Amir, we need to buy more loo roll” and I am met with a blank stare followed by a “Wha-?”

According to Wikipedia, the term “loo roll” does indeed exist, however I didn’t read much more of the article (only the first paragraph, really) to find out if they mention at all where that particular one originates from. I really didn’t want to start reading a whole article about the origins of this paper product designed to decompose in septic tanks (there, I already read much more than necessary!).

So I guess the point of this somewhat pointless post is to wonder aloud to the cyber community: who here has heard this term before, and where the hell does it come from?

Read Full Post »


The flow of dough right now is currently one-way.

Going out:

– Rent

– Bills

– Groceries

– Fuel

– Parking

Coming in:

– ???

– #$@%#**!!

Those are my main expenses. I haven’t eaten out in ages. Well, I ate out on Monday night with Gaya – we had Japanese. Even then, dinner cost me $13.50 for fresh, raw salmon and tuna on rice. BIIIIG bowl, not too bad of a price. So it’s not like I’m going crazy and eating out at fancy-schmancy places every night, spending cash like there’s no tomorrow.

I eat most of my meals at home (well, Amir’s home anyway). We cook. Sometimes it’s something really awesome (his bolognese, my chicken/beef curry, his healthy baked trout with veggies, my baked chicken and potaotes…)

Sometimes, when money’s tight (or time – hey, we’re both busy people!), it’s… not so awesome (Indomie, scrambled eggs on toast for dinner, TOAST for dinner, a sanger for dinner… you get the picture).

Bottom line: I haven’t been spending money on frivolous, luxury items.

It’s the everyday things, bills, and so on, that have caused my bank balance to slowly head south for the winter. And guess what? There ain’t no money coming in, nuh-uh, oh no you di’in’t girlfriend.

Why?

I. Still. Can’t. Work.

No, not because of my achy breaky back (which still causes me to fantasize about firebombing that house in Bateman where that jerkoff lives).

Because of my bloody visa situation.

I’m still on a bridging visa which allows me to stay here and attend Uni, but

… no permission to work.

UGH!

Throw me a friggin’ bone here!

Sometimes, a girl just wants to have fun. Luckily I was able to go out shopping the other day with Gaya because Amir had given me, as a gift for Nawruz, a gift card at a leading department store here in Perth. So I bought myself a new handbag and some other odds and ends. It was fun to shop for pretty things again!

Plus, sometimes I just like eating well. I like spending a little extra money on premium fruit and vegetables. Or on that extra lean, extra delicious cut of meat. Or on that lovely fresh fillet of salmon or trout. And not have to worry that this one meal may be the death of my bank balance.

Meanwhile, I have rent, bills, petrol and weekly groceries to pay for. And trust me, I ain’t the fussy kind when it comes to food. I like good food, but I can basically make myself survive on poor-Uni-student fare like instant noodles, toast and nutella (or Nutino if you’re really on a budget), $1 canned tuna (which come in flavours so you can pretend you’re eating a lovely, hearty curry or even a full-blown Italian meal with sundried tomatoes and basil… oh, who am I kidding!).

But good nutrition has got to come from somewhere, sometime! Or my body’s f*cked! And I care about my health just as much as the next person (maybe more!). Every time I go grocery shopping, I am armed with a list of items that I saw were on special that week. I haven’t paid full price for an item in ages! Sometimes it is to my own detriment. Like buying the cheap meat (reduced by 30%!) and then opening the package only to be punched in the nose with a smell that I believe is reserved for an abandoned abattoir. Or something the cat dragged in.

I don’t know if it’s because I am disorganised and procrastinating (as usual) but I am also so overwhelmed with Uni work that I am not even sure how much I’d be able to work even IF I was able to (with the Permission to Work thingy that comes with a Student Visa). Still, people have been telling me about jobs that I could definitely get that pay like $20 an hour or more… geez! I’m dying for a job like that! So close, yet so far.

*Sigh*

Read Full Post »

University


I must say my lecturers at Uni are very interesting, engaging and NICE.

In fact, there is ONE in particular who never fails to make us laugh in his class with his deadpan humour. I really enjoy his class. One of my classmates can never keep a straight face and chuckles a LOT in his class because of his demeanour and dry sense of humour.

I can’t really explain it because it’s kind of a “you had to be there” type of experience, but his little comments here and there as he delivers a lecture, said in an offhanded way, really add ‘spice’ to the workshop.

One thing I DO remember is during the first ever lecture of the unit, which is TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language – my minor area of study), he mentioned some grammar textbooks we can refer to for our assignments as well as guides or tools to help us teach, the names of the authors were Swan and Parrot (Michael Swan and Martin Parrot, who each have published English grammar reference books). And his comment was, “Yes…they do tend to have bird names, these grammar experts. Anyway…”

Cue giggles in classroom.

Entertaining indeed. (And informative, of course!).

Read Full Post »

Challenge Yourself.


I’ve been at Uni, doing my Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) at ECU.

That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve been AWOL when it comes to this blog (sorry, Danu!!!).

This week has been especially challenging. It’s professional practice week, a 1-week orientation/observation prac to get acquainted with this whole teaching thingymajiggy.

Although I’m not a complete newbie to teaching (I did 8 weeks of teaching during my CELTA course last year), this is a whole different ballgame.

Teenagers are involved.

Remember what it was like to be 12, 13, 14, 15, 16??

It was stressful. A hormone-filled time of dizzying confusion. When you were trying to carve out your own niche, yet at the same time feeling compelled to conform to the status quo, to belong, to fit in with your peers. A phase in your life where you felt so afraid, so incapable, so helpless, so uncomfortable in your own skin (or was it just me?).

In any case, I find myself fighting the automatic reaction in my mind (“ugh, stinkin’ teenagers!”) whenever they do or say something insolent or obnoxious, and trying to remember what it was like for me at the time.

It has been an interesting, scary and exciting experience so far. I haven’t actually taught a full class but I have participated in lessons and conducted pop quizzes (which I’m sure they just LOVE). I am getting to know the kids a bit more, learning as many names as I can for when I return in May for 4 weeks (yikes! Caffeine, here I come!).

I didn’t realise just how exhausting it is to be a teacher. That is, a real teacher who takes her job seriously and actually cares what the students are up to and how they perform. I come home every day, at the latest by 4.30pm, and I am SPENT. I crash on the couch and watch an episode of “Charmed” (…I have no excuse for this), then fall asleep in bed for an hour. Then I get up and drag myself to the dining room table where I have been doing most of my work (can’t, just CAN’T work in my room, too distracting what with the bed yelling at me to come and sleep all the time).  And I get fuck all done, and it’s already bedtime.

God am I tired. I didn’t think teaching was gonna be easy, but boy did I not realise how much it takes out of you.

Phew!

Aaaannnddd of course I’ve had NO social life for the past week. Which basically means I have spent all of two hours in total over the last week with my boyfriend. Ugh. I miss him! I miss my friends! I miss my family!!!!

Boo hoo. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Inayah.

Read Full Post »

Hobi


Kadang-kala, apabila saya mempunyai masa untuk “observe and reflect”, saya tertanya-tanya pada diri sendiri…

… warganegara “down under” ni… asyik minuuuuuummmm ajer… takde kerja lain ke? Dok minum arak sepanjang malam… tak bosan ke???

Boy do I know how to entertain myself with my crappy BM lol

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »