Making An Effort

My dad flew back to North America recently. It was P’s birthday a few days later. After 6-7 weeks of parental hovering, I was overdue for some fun. I mean, finally, a point where I wasn’t given the third degree on what I was doing, who I was going with, how long I was going to be, queries on why I wasn’t studying….


I have tried to assert myself beforehand, saying that if I failed this second one, it was on me. After all, I’m paying for it. But my dad has this inexorable persistence. So that left me with one choice when Dad left: spend craploads of time at P’s. I think I overdosed a bit.

  • We went for Korean for birthday lunch.
  • Dinner with my workmates, then had waffles for dessert.
  • For P’s birthday dinner, everyone came over for some champagne and cheese. I know it’s usually wine, but it’s not my birthday. Besides, I got told off for nearly cutting the nose off the cheese. Oops. “Dragged up” was how P put it, teasingly. And then we went for some delicious French food. But I was so full by the main, I couldn’t finish the ratatouille. And this is odd for me. I usually eat everything bar garnish. Hello, I’ve said it before, what’s the point of running if you can’t eat what you want?
  • Sleeping over nearly the entire weekend.

Now with exams looming, I’m getting organised. It’s nose to the grindstone, it’s crunchtime, it’s go-time, it’s non-stop, it’s DEFCON-1.

The invitations to go for drinks, for dim sum, to hit the running track with a uni mate.. they’re still coming.

I’m realising there’s a certain wisdom to my dad’s strict discipline:

The cost involved is always greater than what you think it is.

Lunch is more than the 2 hours to order. It’s travel time, it’s parking, it’s attention elsewhere. Star Trek Into Darkness this Thursday with P and P’s best mate is going to be more than a 2.5 hour movie. I’m going to be thrilled, my senses heightened… how am I supposed to come down from that and get my game-face on for study? Could I study after? No. That’s why I’m going to see it later at night, then sleep.

I’ve calculated the number of hours I need just to finish my notes (never mind studying them!) and doing my readings. All of a sudden, there’s that much more impetus NOT to go to lunch with my frenemy. I’ll write about that another time.

My dad was right. Dammit, how does this always happen? I can do this, I can say no. They will be there for me after my exams. Delaying gratification! I’m doing better with time management though. I’ve scheduled study for each day for the next 7 weeks till exams are over. I’ve studied from 8 to 6 today, with breaks for lunch and dinner. That schedule still has room for me to have drinks in the city at 9 with uni mates. Don’t make that face, I’m staying for 1 hour and then to bed! Promise.


Well I’d say something’s screwed.

A bauble on a Christmas tree.

Image via Wikipedia

I was hanging out on Sunday arvo and one of my work mates rang up to ask if I could cover his shift from 3pm-9pm. I got paid to tie ribbons, construct a Christmas tree of drink bottles (gifts with purchase), and put a crapload of lotto tickets through for some addicts. I’m serious. ..about those RIBBONS!

One Italian lady spent over 100$ on lotto tickets, just to get the free Saturday ticket that costs $4.70 on its own. And she comes in multiple times every week. She’s not the biggest spender either; her self-proclaimed bestie is a South African man who spent $300 on lotto and scratchies. Now, I’ve heard the ads on the radio, “If someone you know has a gambling problem, they should get help. Please call us at blah blah blah…” Somehow, I don’t think anyone’s said anything to them. My coworker even correctly predicted that the Italian lady would be back within a few hours to check her scratchie tickets after she’d played them. She can’t tell her husband because he gets angry, understandably. So I wonder, what does she tell him? “Oh, I forgot the milk. Again! It happens every week. I’ll have to go out and get it. Be right back, honey.”


Another lovely lady came in as well that afternoon. She informed my boss that she will be a grandmother in 9 months time. It was strange, she pursed her lips over her rotting, greyed, gap teeth, but in something that was more a smile than a grimace. Even though there was only one other customer in the shop, I felt wholly uncomfortable standing there at the till, with her not 1 meter away airing her dirty laundry. I’m supposed to stand there.

My boss said,

“I don’t care if his head is screwed on straight, I’d still want to kill him for getting his 16 year old girlfriend pregnant.”

My coworker and I agreed. I mean, she wants to keep it – how is she ever going to have a normal life? All her friends and school mates will know (she will be heretofore known as That-Girl-Who-Got-Pregnant-and-Kept-It) and she’s not going to work until much later, if at all.I think he will change rapidly from being really keen on fatherhood to not keen at all, when he sees his other mates (who don’t have children) going out and working and traveling and living their lives. And where does that leave her? Another single mother who didn’t finish school and is on the dole. Perfect.


In more upbeat news, I feel really productive. I vacuumed. I mopped and used eucalyptus oil to disinfect the floor. It smells good and clean, and it’s natural. I cleaned the stove. I picked up and paid for ACER practice tests. I registered and paid for the actual GAMSAT. I sent off a form to redeem points for flights to Sydney for the GAMSAT course. I’m on my way to pick up the second practice book from the GAMSAT course. It’s all becoming real very quickly.  Today, GEMSAS offers were meant to come out, but it’s looking highly unlikely that they’ll be able to meet that deadline. Oh well, in a year, I can worry about that. There’s enough to do today.