it's about life, my life, quilts, midwifery, and whatever else occurs to me.

24 October 2008

Another day in paradise

Day after day, sunshine and blue can I stand it??

More pretty flowers


Walking through campus

It's spring and it's a gorgeous walk through the center of campus back to the road that leads home.

Yes, you CAN buy booze on campus!

This bottle shop is actually located in Staff House, the staff-and-alums-only restaurant opposite Wordie's. Imagine a US college campus selling alcohol in bottles for take-away...I don't think so...

Phil's unofficial office

Here are Phil, another Phil (R) and John (L) having a 'meeting' -- and by that I mean having coffee -- at Wordie's, one of the campus cafes. It's really called Wordsmith's, but this being Australia, one is compelled to shorten it in that amusing way they do here...

Candy at the newsstand

Here's a shot of the candy counter at the campus newsstand. You can also get USB drives, cold drinks, Go cards for public transport, and you can drop off your dry cleaning!

Coot in the muck

This little guy didn't seem to mind all the yucky stuff on the surface of this lake. He just swam right through it.

Lake on campus

I couldn't resist taking this jacaranda-ful photo.

College across the lake

UQ has over 37,000 undergraduates, most of whom live at home while they're going to university. Some Australian students and many international students live in the colleges, which are essentially clusters of dorms. They are situated one after the other along one of the peripheral campus roads, across from this pretty big lake.

Lakes bus stop and Green Bridge

The bridge in the background is open to bikes, pedestrians and buses. Period. It replaced a ferry.

Looks like a baseball field, doesn't it?

I walked over to the lakes/playing fields area of campus and found this field, with a backstop and two dugouts. Nobody playing on it though. Do they have dugouts on cricket pitches?

Another look at the sandstone

This is just a gratuitous sandstone shot. Because I like it.


I tried to catch the flags when they were unfurled by the breeze but that didn't work. The Aussie flag has the Union Jack in the upper left corner, symbolising the ongoing tie with the Mother Country, and the Southern Cross constellation across a navy blue background. The stars have 7 points. I don't know what the significance of the 7 points is.

The Great Court

UQ is known as one of the 'sandstone universities' in Oz. The name refers to building material and also to age and prestige. It was founded in 1909 (young but old for here), and it's highly ranked among Oz unis and even in the world. The Great Court buildings use the English cloister look and native sandstone, which has a lovely cream/tan/pink colour combination. A nice place to sit and read or talk with friends.

UQ: the student union

Here's a series of photos of the St Lucia (main) campus of the University of Queensland, where Phil and I both work. He is actually based on this campus. I'm based at Ipswich, which is about 35 km southwest of Brisbane. I'll have photos from there later. Anyway this shot is the student union. It's a series of shops and food outlets in a cluster in the middle of the campus. You can get school supplies, candy, coffee, a haircut, bike supplies, greeting cards, smoothies, and more here. Roughly over lunchtime and into the afternoon, people set up outdoor displays of clothing, sunglasses ("sunnies"), books, and fruit in the space adjacent to the student union shops.


This is Eden, who was born on 1 Oct to Mel and Dave, our landlords. We went over to their house for morning tea last Sunday. Eden was very happy for me to hold her while she slept, and slept.

07 October 2008

First day of school

Today I spent all day at school. I sat in with Susannah, the course coordinator, on her class day with the 2nd year B.Mid. students. They're doing a problem-based learning program, and currently they are focusing on vulnerable newborns. The problem patient was a woman who didn't know she was pregnant who ruptured membranes with twins at approximately 29 weeks. So the issues of twin birth, breech birth, and neonatal resuscitation came up, among other things. The PBL model is fascinating. In this model, the students themselves do most of the teaching to their peers.

After lunch there was a practice hour for their upcoming practical exam, known by the acronym OSCA. Objective Structured Clinical Assessment. They are all terrified that they'll have to do something they don't know about, despite Susannah's reassurance that it's all normal midwifery that they do all the time. I took a station at the practice and helped them through their mechanisms of birth.

I felt like I was back at Downstate! Today was 'pirate day' and they all came in with striped or white shirts, head scarves, hoop earrings, lots of clinky jewelry, and someone even had a stuffed parrot. They bring food to share and are clearly well bonded.

The students, in this group anyway, have great energy, and they know so much already. Only one is a nurse now and she is an enrolled nurse (equivalent to LPN). They are all at least in their mid-20s and a couple are a fair bit older with kids. It's really demonstrating the beauty of the midwifery baccalaureate, completed in 3 years.

I'm still learning about how it all works, which is handy as I'll be expected to have my own section of students starting in February.

Next week's class is their last; they all spend the 3rd year strictly in clinical placements. They'll do presentations on the topics pertinent to the end of the problem scenario, and they're planning lunch out together at a pizza place. I'll bring my camera and post some photos from that class.