Tag Archives: plans

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.

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