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Post containing a serious question - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 22nd, 2012

09:53 am - Post containing a serious question

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The other day I was walking down the street and saw a couple of women walking together, who by their features were obviously a mother and her adult daughter. This time of year there's a fair bit of that as the first-years get settled in up at the university. Anyway, the sight of them together hit me really hard with missing my Mum.

I have a fantastic tribe of chosen family who fulfil me in various ways and add colour and texture to my life. I have 2 wonderful actual relatives who know me better than anybody and share memories of our Mum and Dad who aren't here any more. But when it comes down to it you only get one Mum. I miss Dad's intellect, his quirky curiosity about everything and the long rambling discussions we'd have about things we were both fascinated by. With Mum, I miss her - who she was and how we related to each other and hanging out and doing stuff. I sometimes wonder what she'd think about the way my life's changed since she died - we probably have more in common now than we did before she got sick. And I miss her.


I am thinking of emailing my tutor for my current course and asking if it would be more sensible for me to stay away from tutorials. I've only been to two, but I'm already running into a problem that I've identified before but that's exacerbated quite majorly in this course.

You see, the course is 200 level. It's aimed as an introduction to the issues. I don't know how to say this without sounding like a wanker but for me, while I'm still learning bits and bobs here and there, my introduction to the issues was several years ago. The course still holds a great deal of value for me because it's run by two of Vic's leading people on the topic. Thus, the way they are delivering the stuff means that I'm getting a good reinforcement for my existing grounding, and also I am getting a chance to impress them. This is important to me because these are the two people that are the top of my list of people to consider as supervisors for my future research work at PhD level. I want them to know who I am, and I want to learn more about them.

However the tutorials are designed to make people think about the course readings and to explore the issues and ensure that people grasp them. This Tuesday we went through two questions in group discussion:

1. What is the international framework for drug law? Answer - the UN Conventions and Schedules.
2. What is the national framework for drug law? Answer - the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 and Classes.

There was some discussion of how the Schedules are confusing and don't appear to be based in any kind of evidence or logic, and how the Classes follow this pattern. Also how not all countries party to the Conventions have addressed drug law in the same way.

Then there was a debate. Half the class had to debate "The drug laws are working" and half the class had to debate "They aren't". I was on the "They aren't" team. The "They are" team struggled to come up with arguments, and it was a bit of a shambles to be honest. There were only two people in my group who spoke - me and one other guy. Even with prompting, nobody else really had anything to say. And the other guy who spoke is the one I mentioned in another post as A Ranter. Unfortunately, he's also a little misguided and tends to go off on a tangent where he uses a lot of words really fast and it's difficult to glean what he's trying to say. He tends to speak as if he knows he's right when he isn't.

And if I'm thinking that sort of thing about my fellow tutorial people, I'm wondering just how much value I'll a) get from and b) bring to the class. To put it bluntly, I know a hell of a lot more about this stuff than most of my classmates and because I'm passionate about the topic I'm having trouble keeping quiet and letting other people explore the ideas themselves. I already know the answer and I am impatient with waiting for people to speak so we can get past the basics and into something meaty. I'm finding it hard to avoid dominating the discussions and thus I don't think anyone else is benefiting from my presence either, and I leave the classes going "Well I didn't learn anything and I feel like That Person."

So I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to mention this to my tutor. If I'm not getting anything from it and my presence is not helping, why am I there?


Meanwhile, there appears to be sewing going on in our house. I am having my first go at sewing chiffon and am learning the value of judicious use of pins to stop it from sliding irritatingly all over the bloody place. Also, this item is normal clothing, in that it's not a costume and I will probably be able to wear it to work. OMG.

myrrhmade has inspired me to try making pasta. Has anyone done this? Is it hard?

Comments:

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From:ferrouswheel
Date:March 21st, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
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As someone who generally avoided tutorials at any cost, I think bringing it up with the tutor might be a good idea. Particularly phrased in terms of the benefits to both yourself and the rest of the tutorial group.
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From:helianthas
Date:March 22nd, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
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I womder If there is something you can add to the course, as in helping with a lecture? or
maybe leading discussion / working on your facilitation skills to elicit thoughtful comments in other students rather than giving your own thoughts? Since post PhD you'd be doing that anyway, yah? I guess Let the tutor know all your background and expertise and maybe s/he can help figure out what's best for both you and the class beyond not going?

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From:tatjna
Date:March 21st, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
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1. You are supposed to attend them but they aren't compulsory.

3. I could play that role but as the only other voice, then it'd be me taking over, which is kind of what happened on Tuesday and I didn't like it.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 21st, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I could, but that only works if everyone else in the class is on the same page. Otherwise it ends up being a dialogue between me and the tutor and everyone else is like WTF and falling asleep.

And before you go "Well they need to get their shit together then" I am painfully aware that at 300 or 400 level that would be totally fine but a lot of these people have only been introduced to the idea that drug classification is arbitrary in the last 2 weeks.
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From:friggasmuse
Date:March 21st, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
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I'm so sorry you are missing your mom, thats tough stuff <3
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From:tatjna
Date:March 21st, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
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<3
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From:helianthas
Date:March 22nd, 2012 08:42 am (UTC)
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*hugs* re: mom. It's wonderful you had such a nice relationship.

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From:tyellas
Date:March 21st, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Re: the homemade pasta...I cook a lot from scratch, and even I haven't made pasta at home. But why not? For a first time, perhpas try something forgiving like spaetzle or pappardelle that doesn't require the overpriced-in-NZ pasta roller.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 21st, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
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I keep hearing about this pasta roller thing. What is it and why do I need one for pasta? Will a rolling pin do?
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From:tyellas
Date:March 21st, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
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A rolling pin and arm power will do, yes. The pasta roller thing is easier/faster/produces a more even result/starts at $119 in NZ.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 21st, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
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Yikes!

Arm power it is then. ;-)
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From:bekitty
Date:March 21st, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
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I've seen them going for around $50 at Briscoes. They had a sale. :P
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From:anna_en_route
Date:March 22nd, 2012 05:15 am (UTC)
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Maybe try trademe or garage sales?

Pasta making is a process that spreads flour to every corner of your kitchen...but the results are delicious.

Fresh pasta is wonderful.

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From:syn_abounds
Date:March 22nd, 2012 06:22 am (UTC)
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You need to get pasta really thin and that's pretty tricky to do without a pasta maker (though obviously possible). It's fiddly and a bastard for sticking to your counter tops. If you do manage to get it thin enough and cut it up for something like spaghetti or fettuccine, I recommend hanging it over a clothes hanger to help it dry out slightly and stop it from sticking to itself.


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From:khaybee
Date:March 22nd, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
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Pasta maker makes it much easier. You can borrow mine if you want to give it a try.
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From:tieke
Date:March 21st, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
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I have made pasta using our juicer (which doubles as a pasta extruder).

It's not difficult, and kind of fun. Using this method you can make the longest piece of spaghetti ever. Which seems like a great idea until you try to serve it.
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From:bewarethefish
Date:March 22nd, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
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Tried making pasta once. Great deal of time and effort for something that was no where near as good as the supermarket's cheapest. Really couldn't be bothered trying again.
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:March 22nd, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
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I would mention it to the tutor, having been that person before enough times... I hated it and would just skip class if I could get away with it. I never talked to anyone "in charge" about it though and now sort of wish I had.
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