Monday, February 14, 2011


This is my new home on Tuesdays for the rest of the year.

It is Building L at the TAFE Sydney Institute. The carving above the entrance says "Engineering".

I have enrolled in a Certificate II in Electronics!

Eight hours a week for one year. The "two" part of the title indicates how complex a course it is. This one has no prerequisites and few hours. It's not too involved!

Last week was our first day. Basic atomic structure and electrical properties in the morning and OH&S in the workshop in the afternoon. Pretty dry but a good easy introduction to get my brain in gear again. It's been nearly twenty years since I did any of that theory!

Gawd, I sound old. I feel it a bit. A couple of the kids in the class (and there's only six of us!) are fresh out of school. I'm nearly old enough to be their mother. They are certainly closer to my own kids' ages than mine! Eek. I think I'd better get off that train of thought. It can only lead to despair. Well, not despair, but something unhappy!

The hands on stuff in the workshop was good though, if a little scary. I would say that I have a "healthy respect" for electricity, especially after all the teacher's terrifying "anecdotes". It was great to finally get my hands on the equipment I've seen used every day in the mechanical workshop at my work!

So why electronics? I've been getting that question a lot.

Definitely fueled by work. Our electronics guy retired at the start of the year but before he left I started contemplating the possibility of taking on his role, or some of it. It turns out my work is looking for an "advanced" electronics person so I don't come close to fitting the bill (unfortunately) but the seed was planted.

My eldest brother always tinkered in electronics (how many boys do you know with oscilloscopes in their bedrooms) and eventually became an electrical engineer. I like to think (and hope) that some of that skill rubbed off onto me, and plus, it makes me think of him. I still miss him, after 12 years.

I was also inspired by another woman at Uni working in IT who did this course a few years ago. She told me about it with such relish that I never forgot it, and decided that if Jenny (that was also her name) could go do Electronics at TAFE then so could I. Perhaps I should email her to let her know how she inspired me. Perhaps I'll wait until I'm doing well enough to know that I won't flunk it!

Anyway, that's one of the many things that I've been up to of late. Getting my learnin' hat on. Gotta start somewhere!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Caught in the headlights

We are well into the new year already! Both 2011 and the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. It's my year this year. Jen the bunny. Turning a multiple of 12.

I feel a bit like a rabbit, lately. Caught in the headlights. Frozen in fear, trepidation, anxiety, worry, stress. You've heard me go on about it before. My life is still in limbo. My father's illness. Work (or impending lack of work) stress. Raising three boisterous children. Every day I think about blog posts to write, things I want to share or get off my chest. And the words, they appear in my mind and then flutter away before I can do anything with them. It makes me sad - I love to write and create - but I just haven't been in the write headspace for it.

Things are gonna change, though. I've found a new iPhone app called "blogpress". Allows me to write and save drafts locally and online. I could just use the regular blogger interface but this one seems a lot more user friendly, plus the font size is much kinder to my deteriorating eyesight (which is not really that bad, thank you very much). The main advantage is that I can now write anywhere, anytime because I carry my iPhone with me everywhere. So if a thought occurs to me while I'm in a lift or on the loo (is that too gross?) I can write it down straight away. A big bonus, in my books.

So expect more posts from me in the near future. There's been a lot going on and I want to write about it!