Tag Archives: monsanto

I’m back!!!

12 Nov

You might have noticed that I haven’t written a blog post in months.  It’s not that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t have the time.  My university classes took all of my spare time this semester.  I do one external class and one internal class.  Since I can only dedicate two days per week to uni, I am usually one week behind in my external class, since it takes a few days for them to post the lecture after it happens, and by then it’s past my uni days.  This semester, however, my external class had an online quiz at the end of each week, so I had to keep up, which meant using my usual blogging time to watch lectures.

UrbMatinpost

Yesterday, I took my final exam for the year, and now I’m free until the end of February!!  It was a hard semester, but I really enjoyed my classes (resource sustainability and soil science) and hopefully I will get decent marks.  Not only was I watching lectures in my spare, usually non-uni time, but I also had to make a 6 minute documentary that was worth 35% of my resource sustainability grade.  In case you’re interested, here it is:

P.S. I plan to start blogging regularly again now WOOO!!!

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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson

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Why I started university

19 Jul

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I started university this year.  I may be 30 years old, but never in my life have I attended uni.  I always knew I’d be a stay at home mom, so what was the point? I’d get in a whole lot of debt just to work for a couple years and then be at home?  Instead, I did a one year photography course at TAFE.  Ok, so that was mostly to be able to stay in this country, but not the point.

I didn’t think about what would happen when my eventual kids started school.  I guess I assumed I’d still be at home, cooking and cleaning and maintaining everything (FYI, this is not Aaron’s expectation of me or anything, just what I always assumed for myself, and how I always thought I’d live my life). But I didn’t really think about it.  I didn’t think about how mundane life as a stay at home mom really is.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being with the kids and I love nurturing them and caring for them, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s often mundane.  I’m lucky that I have things to do everyday; the gym, bible study, playgroup, and the kids go to daycare/preschool twice per week too.  When they are both at school though, I will be so bored here by myself all day, with no conversation and no interaction with other people.  Plus there is only so much cooking and cleaning a person can do in a day.

Maybe if I were an introvert, I would thrive on being at home all day on my own 5 days a week.  But I’m not an introvert.  Staying at home all the time drives me nuts.  I do enjoy being on my own for kid free days twice per week, but I would not want that 5 days a week.

Needless to say, I needed a plan.  I don’t want to end up in a mindless job just because it gets me out of the house when the kids are at school.  I get bored too easily.  I could do photography again, but that was never something I wanted as a career anyway.  I like it as a hobby, doing it professionally takes the fun out of it.  Plus after breaking my wrist, even 5 minutes of photo taking with my big, heavy DSLR sends my wrist to the pain zone.

I also wanted to start using my brain now before it turns into mush from under use.  Talking to a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old all day is not exactly high intensity cognitive stimulation.  The solution: University.  My chosen course, part time, will take me 6 years to complete.  I get to use my brain whilst still a stay at home mom, and soon after the kids start school, I will be finished with my degree and can get a brain stimulating, part time (preferably during school hours) job, which will also help us pay off the mortgage faster.

I’ve always been interested in science, especially biology.  I remember when I was in 9th grade my class somehow received a grant to use equipment from the Fred Hutch Cancer Research centre.  As a 9th grader, I spliced a gene from one organism into another, turning a colony of white bacteria blue.  Don’t ask me how we did it, I can’t remember, but we did.  I thought nothing of it at the time, I mean it was only bacteria, but these days, how far will they go with genetic engineering?

I decided against a degree in biology for that very reason.  I had a look at jobs online and found that most biology jobs entailed some degree of GE, which I’m not quite sure how I feel about.  I know I don’t like it in food, but I’m not sure about for medical purposes, and where there is technology such as that, there is always room to go too far.

Instead, I applied for uni with Forensic Science as my first choice.  With that degree, I could use science to catch bad guys.  Awesome.  All of the other 8 courses in my preferences list were also science based.  What can I say, I like science.

Just before the early offers came out, I received an email. If I changed my first preference to Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, I’d not only get an early offer, but also a scholarship.  I had one day to decide.

I hadn’t really thought a lot about Sustainable Agriculture and Food security prior to the email, it was just on my list because the title sounded interesting and it was a science course.  I started looking into it, liking it more and more with everything that I read.  There was even a program about sustainable agriculture on TV that night.  I stayed up late to watch the whole thing, fascinated.

I wouldn’t change my first preference solely to get a scholarship, but without that email, I wouldn’t have looked into the course.  I did change my preference, and I haven’t looked back.  This course is right up my alley, combining gardening (large and small scale) with science.  I love both.

The more I read about genetically modified food, the more I am against it.  Right now, the big agriculture companies, such as Monsanto (also the company responsible for agent orange), are at the forefront of “sustainable agriculture” solutions.  All of their solutions, though, involve genetic engineering (and for those of you who don’t really know about genetically engineered food, I’m not talking about selective breeding, I’m talking about putting the genes of bacteria, viruses, or even scorpions into plants to get desired traits, such as glyphosate tolerance and insect repellant). With my degree, I hope to help with food shortage solutions that have nothing to do with genetic engineering.  I hope to fight for the health of people world wide.

There are hundreds of students at my university alone doing forensic science, but sustainable agriculture? 11.  There are only 11 of us.  With this degree, I could actually make a difference.  I know I made the right decision, and I am so grateful for that random email.

A few weeks ago, I finished my very first semester of university.  In a couple weeks, uni starts up again.  I took two classes, Biodiversity, and Scientific Literacy, both of which are required for all science degrees, not just mine.  I thought I would struggle in biodiversity as the entire class is about evolution, how the diversity of organisms on earth came to be, according to evolution.  Why would I struggle with that? I don’t believe in evolution.  I am a creationist.  That is no reason to stop reading my blog or to hate me, you are entitled to your beliefs and opinions, and I to mine.  I don’t dislike people just because they have different beliefs to me, that is silly.

It was a hard class, not because of my creationist views, but because it was a hard class.  Lots of people failed.  In the mid-semester test, the average score was just above 50%.  I didn’t struggle though, I understood all evolutionary mechanisms thrown at me, and I got a high distinction (A).  I’m not telling you that to brag, I’m telling you that so you know I clearly understand evolution.

Did that understanding change my views? Did it convince me to believe in evolution? You’ll have to read my next post to find out.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!

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Officially a student

11 Jan

I’d always planned to be a stay at home mum. I didn’t see any point of doing 3-4 years of university just to have a couple of kids a few years later and then stay at home with them and not use the degree I paid thousands of dollars for.  Instead, I did a one year photography course at TAFE (a technical college), but that was mostly so I could stay in this country.

I always imagined playing with the kids all day, nurturing them, teaching them, providing them with healthy meals, etc. etc. I didn’t think a lot about what would happen when they go to school. I suppose I figured I’d make their lunches, get them to school or the bus stop, clean the house and do some cooking and stuff while they were away, and then help them with their homework, and play with them until bed time. It made a lovely picture in my head.

But Oh. My. Gosh. I never imagined the boredom.  The mundane-ness of all the housework, nappy changing, feeding, why questions, telling them the same stuff over and over and over again, and doing the same things day after day. The lack of adult conversation.  The feeling that I’m not accomplishing anything, even though I know that raising my kids is the most important job I could ever and will ever do.  It’s also the hardest, the most frustrating, and the most rewarding.

There is absolutely no way that I can stay at home and do housework and cooking all day after the kids go to school. No. Fracking. Way. Even now, I’m itching to do something.  Something that doesn’t involve kids, writing about kids, or being at home with kids or by myself (Aaron works all day).

In about 6 years, both kids will be at school, and I will be able to get a good job, the job of an educated person.  The job of someone with a degree. Not only that, but in about a month and a half, I will have something to work for, concentrate on, apply my mind to, and to call all my own. I am officially a student. I have enrolled in my classes, and I even have my student card with the tiny photo of me grinning like child on it (luckily the photo is tiny because after getting all dressed up for the photo, I somehow managed to take half of my eyelashes off with the eyelash curler, in one fell (foul?) swoop).  And next week, I can get my free iPad (oh yes, my university gives new students brand new iPads, how cool is that?).  I even have a scholarship. Everyone else in my course does too, but that is not the point.

Me with my shiny new student card. Also shiny is my face because it is so darn hot over here right now, plus I'm not wearing a lick of makeup.

Me with my shiny new student card. Also shiny is my face because it is so darn hot over here right now, plus I’m not wearing a lick of makeup. Also, that magazine in the background is a fitness magazine, not a dirty one. In case you were confused.

My whole plan changed with just one email. Basically, it said that if I changed my first preference to this other course, not only would I get an early offer (which is the university saying that I’m in should I choose to accept), but I’d also get a scholarship.  The cheap side of me jumped up and down in celebration.  A scholarship.  An early offer.

But still, I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think I would truly want to be in that course, or if I thought I’d always wonder “what if” with forensics.  I looked up the course in the university handbook online. I read about the field on Wikipedia.  Coincidentally (or not) there was a show on TV that very night that was all about it.  I was so interested, glued to my TV.  I stayed up way past my bedtime, engrossed in all the information I found, convinced that I’m not supposed to be in Forensics at all, but this other field instead.

My course is a brand new course.  I will be one of the first students to ever take it.  By the time I’m finished though, the impact I could have locally, statewide, nationally, and even internationally, could be enormous. With the world population booming the way it is, degrees like the one I’m going to get will be invaluable.

I will be slowly studying my way to a Bachelor of Natural Science – Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.  I am so excited. It’s right up my alley with the science-y bit, and the growing stuff and figuring out stuff bits.  Plus, someone has to come up with food solutions that don’t involve Monsanto (their website says “A sustainable agriculture company.” HAHAHA, they’re having a laugh! Feeding the population questionable GMO produce hardly qualifies as sustainable in my book! They also used to manufacture Agent Orange) and/or genetic engineering.

In other news, I just wrote my first negative review on my review blog. It’s hardcore, you should check it out:

http://www.amomsreviews.com/2013/01/11/wonder-winnie/

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!

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Copyright 2013 Sheri Thomson

The Best Mom Blogs

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