Studying part-time, working full-time

Last night, after another four hour class (straight after a full day at the office), I was once again reminded of how serious a commitment studying part-time while working full-time really is. So today I have set aside a little time to blog about how my life has changed.

1. Time is more valuable than ever before. I plan my entire week to the nearest hour. When something goes wrong and I’m late for a date with my books, I get really edgy. I don’t want to mess up this relationship.

Photo from cookiemonster2009 on Flickr

2. I have a limited social life. Actually, that is putting it mildly. I have no social life. I have to decline invitations to parties and launches and events because I’m drafting my assignment and researching some monster concepts. I haven’t seen my friends in weeks.
3. My ass has started to take on the form of my chair, and my elbows have desk indentations.
Image from DarkStar701 on Flickr

4. I only have time for one hobby and I have chosen to continue horse riding. It really is the only thing that keeps me sane. It also provides me with an opportunity to talk to people who are not in academia or the media industry. It also gets me outside a bit, so I can maintain a slight tan and not look like a total nerd.
5. I dream in words and theories. No more dinosaurs or back to school nightmares – I dream in Strategic Communication.
6. Instead of conventional massages, I now have brain massages. These are incredibly satisfying, even if they leave me a little tender afterwards.
Image from biologycorner on Flickr

7. People take me more seriously. It’s one thing to say you’re studying again, but it’s another when you say it’s a Masters degree. It makes people sit up and pay attention.
8. Whenever I am on campus, I am slapped by the realisation that I am not that young anymore. Most of the students at UJ have barely cleared 20. I’m closer to 30.
9. Meals have changed. They need to be quick and easy and highly nutritious. To save time, I need to mess as little as possible. And if there is a supply of leftovers, I become very excited.
10. There has been a serious shift in the way I view the professional world. I am constantly relating real life situations back to my studies and I try and find a practical application for every theory. And the worst part is there are gaps in both.

I have another 20 months or so to go, but my gut feel is that it will be worth it.

Studying part-time, working full-time

Christmas Cards and Wikileaks

It’s been a long year.

Time speeds up as you get older, but 2010 crawled by while moving along rapidly. A bit of basic math would say that it’s just stagnant, and hasn’t gone forward or backward. And I am over it. I’m tired and irritable and I just want to go on leave.

This is made worse by two things.

The first is the stack of Christmas cards I have had sent to my inbox. Each one is about 2mb in size. And every time I think it’s an important proposal coming in. But it’s not. It’s some lame Merry Christmas. And I hate Christmas.

I think these cards are really insensitive too. What about the people who do not celebrate Christmas? Like Jewish people and people who see it as an annoying commercial exercise that fills the malls and is a bad excuse to spend money? No one ever asked me if I want to be on the Christmas mailing list, or even what my religious affiliation is. And it’s nothing – I am completely indifferent (and it isn’t easy, because you can’t escape Christmas).

The second thing annoying me at the moment is Wikileaks. Because it’s everywhere and it’s boring now. The news broke a while ago and now every freaking online journalist is writing about it. Each one trying to out-do the other with a more controversial stance. I get a lot of newsletters every day and I try and spend a bit of time reading generic news, but it’s everywhere all the time.

Sure, Wikileaks is interesting and raises a lot of debates. But when something is overdone, much like 2010, I just become indifferent and want it to go away.

I’m just going to hang in there and try contain the steam coming out of my ears until Friday. Because then, except for the occasional blog post and obsessive blog stat checking, I am plunging myself into a media black hole and I don’t want to know about anything until I come out at the other end refreshed. At least, I’m hoping to be refreshed.

That would be great, thank you.


Christmas Cards and Wikileaks