tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

So about that learnin thing..

My little wooly patient is still alive! Last night Polly and I went up there and got all the ewe hoggets in, cleaned up their bums and decorated them with a pretty blue stripe that renders them repulsive to flies for six weeks. I may also have decorated my trouser leg. This stuff is Evil, in that it's designed to kill any insects it comes into contact with, stick on through rainstorms, and give off a miasma that stops flies even landing on the sheep. I only use it when it's warranted, because it's Nasty Chemical Stuff of Extreme Stickiness. And it's on my trouser leg. I hope it comes off in the wash.

Anyway, the sick sheep is looking much better. The wound itself, while still ugly, has dried up and isn't weeping at all. The hole, I think, will always be there, but because it's a large hole, anything that comes up will drain out. The affected skin is dried and scabbing over, there were no live maggots and the swelling around it has reduced quite a lot. Most importantly, her demeanour has changed. Her ears have gone from that telltale 'half-mast' position to being fully pricked again, and when we moved them to their new paddock, she started NOM NOM NOMing ravenously, so it was more like NOMNOMNOMNOMSWALLOWNOMNOMSWALLOWNOM (you get the picture).

I think she'll be ok. Her sex life (if she gets one) might be a bit weird, but she'll live. The ability of sheep to heal, from things that would lay a person out for a month, never ceases to amaze me.

This mostly involved Polly running down the paddock with a big stick, waving her hat and throwing pine cones at the group of 6 horses that decided they should have the contents of the bucket.

(these sheep are moved by waving a bucket of nuts at them, they come running a la Black Sheep, then follow me to the new paddock -which in this case was across the road, so we couldn't risk letting the horses out)

Naturally, the sound of nuts in a bucket brings every four legged critter within hearing distance, including a large and somewhat bolshy Clydesdale cross gelding. He was the first to arrive, and to start with he stood there sucking his cheeks in and trying to look like a starving waif - no mean feat for a 16hh, fat draught horse. But when the other horses turned up, he turned decidedly territorial, and started guarding the bucket. This guy's feet are the same size as my head, and having him flick them up (even at another horse) around me is daunting. I had been holding off from chasing them away because I don't feel right about chasing other people's horses around - I'd hate to come into a paddock and find someone chasing my horse around.

Luckily, along came a woman on another horse who immediately assumed that we were a couple of raw beginners, and advised us to grab a large stick and throw things at them to make them leave us alone. Which we promptly did, having now been given permission. They were pretty determined, but anyone who knows Polly knows that she's more determined than a mere 6 tonnes of horseflesh, and they were soon haring off down the paddock with her in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, I called the sheep and we wandered off to the new paddock. A very peaceful grazing scene ensued, NOM NOM NOM yadda yadda.

So, sheep therapy now includes satisfaction at having saved a life, the zen of watching happy munching, and an outlet for aggression. Someone suggested I should write a self-help book. "How a faceful of maggots can improve your life." Hmm.. maybe I ought to get someone else to think up a title..

Oh yeah. That university thing. I've now added lecture theatres to my list of Places Where You Can't Escape From Halitosis. It was cool to discover that while I was surrounded by people less than half my age, most of them are smart people, and their perspective is very different from mine - which is going to be very useful in learning I think.

The lecture covered a lot of housekeeping stuff, and there were only about 20 minutes of actual lecture time, but I am astounded by how much I picked up in that time, which I didn't realise till someone asked me about it and I started spouting back about the day.

I now have a course outline and a large pink book of course readings. It's dauntingly large. A question about readings. I'm told I have to read X and Y as prep for the next lecture. In X, it says read pp 6-7. So I look at pp 6-7, and discover that they only incorporate a small section of a whole chapter from a book that's actually in the readings, and p7 ends mid sentence. "WTF?" Thinks I. So I read a bit more. Then I checked the course outline to see if what I was reading connected in any way with what the next lecture's about, and couldn't really find a connection. I did find a bit where another couple of pages from the same chapter are reading for a lecture in the future.

Now I'm confused. Is it normal to ask people to only read a small, seemingly unrelated section of the notes before a lecture? I'm mostly trying to figure out where to stop reading. Hmm..

The requirements are 2 x 2000-2500 word essays and an exam. I'm not afraid of exams because I have recall automatically if I have understanding, and I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by people with whom I can talk about what I'm learning, which helps with the understanding. But looking at the essay topics, I'm going "Bloody hell could they think of anything drier or more abstract-sounding?" I did manage to pick a couple of topics that hold some interest for me, only to discover that the lecture that covers my topic of choice is the day before the essay's due. To which I go *meep*

But yeah, there's also a tutorial about how to write essays, and they've given me a list of the criteria for getting a good mark. So it's all pretty straightforward really, just written up like a job description so it all sounds more complex and BigScary than it really is, I think.

I'll be fine.

Also, *kisses* to xhile for patiently letting me bend his ear about this stuff, and intelligently discussing it with me. And for the toenail analogy. I need as much of that as I can get.

Also yay for folks appearing out of the darkness, handing me tubes of Turbo Powered Tinea Cream and running away again. That particular nastiness is showing marked improvement already. Thank you.

There will be no War and Peace today, I've already written enough to send everyone to sleep entertain folks for one day. And I still have to get my head around the naming conventions on this database, which are anything but conventional. All the stuff is in there, but you have to know what it's called before you can find it. And, while the database itself operates on logic, whoever made up the names for things clearly does not. Wish me luck.
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