Mid-week ramble

I have always liked Thursdays. The week seems shorter when Thursdays arrives. It has been quite a week- and I still have one more day to go before the weekend rolls by. The media is a friend to me lately, creating more awareness for my research Although the response is slow, it is trickering in. So far, I have been interviewed by 2 radio stations and 1 newspaper journalist with another newspaper journalist appointment tomorrow. Apparently, my research is good enough to be feature on a current affairs show in Australia but thankfully, my participant/s opted not to be on it so I rejected the offer.

While the media is a good friend, it is also a pain. I honestly do not believe it is worth my time and effort to prepare for a tv-interview. The anxiety of not mis leading the public, phrasing my sentences properly, sounding like I do know what I’m talking about takes too much time. With radio and newspaper interviews, it’s pretty standard. They stick to the issue and press release. TV on the other hand, with their editing, the segment might mean differently bythe time the filming ends!

At the end of the day, probably less than a handful will participate and the media probably gets most of the credit instead of the research anyway. I’m happy to stick to radio interviews and newspaper articles for now. I did not enter psychology to be on TV.

Friday! Coffee evening after a hard day of work with Natalia. God bless her. She is my sanity in this placement. Sweet gal with a good perspective of life and work. Humble and hardworking. Pity she is in OT though. She should be doing psych! ;p

Sometimes, I feel out of place there. Everyone is very friendly and I’m fitting in well, but the UWA culture still stands out. Everything still looks too posh for me. ALTHOUGh of course, if they are so posh, why can’t they purchase more computers? 2 computers to share of 3 clinical psychologists registers + 2 trainees + 1 OT student can be quite a challenge at times! Nah, I’m being mean. They are a very nice group of people. Very smart as well. I learnt lots of group dyanmics stuff. It’s really really interesting leading a group-especially one that contains lots of people with personality disorders. I lead a stress management group last week and read relaxation script. 2 people fell asleep, with one snoring away. ;p oops.

Have a look at the cookies I baked last Sunday: Double Chocolate Chips Cookies.

I’m on the lookout for good cookie recipes. In particular, those crumbly ones that they sell at cafes! How do they make them? If someone knows, please please please tell me!

The longest 5+ mins of my life

Do you like the girly colour scheme? I was playing around with some colours until we came up with this one. The white flowers? Well, that’s the daphne flower. I have been told it has a nice smell although I havent seen the real deal yet. It does create lots of embarressment in church since everytime I introduce myself, it’s “oh! daphne! like the daphne flower… so sweet….” grrr.. Apparently it grows in cold places, probably might explain why I function better in cold than hot.

Anyway, the longest 5+ mins of my life. Being interviewed by a radio station on my research isnt exactly very glam. I wait by the phone, recieve the call and just answer any questions that they throw at me. Including the ones how they want me to tell them if I’m finding out another cure for rosacea. There isnt any cure! It’s life time management. I’m pleased to know that I speak slower than the interviewer. I was as nervous as anything when she asked me the 1st question-that I can’t even remember what it is now. I splattered and I dont think I answered some of the questions well. However, it was my FIRST attempt and it’s OK to make mistakes on first attempt right (unless u r a surgeon and if u r, i hope I’m not the first person u r operating on, unless u r the best intern)?. Well, that’s what I tell myself (chanting “It’s ok not to know everything they ask…”)

So one interview to go…another one next week. A talkback radio. Great- talkback, more chances for mistakes. Will keep u updated on how I embarress myself further.

It’s all part and parcel of doing postgraduate. The biggest thing you gain out of it? A thicker skin.

Sunday Night Dinner

Since I have been cooking doubles and freezing meals for weekday dinners, I havent had the chance to get into the groove of cooking much. On other days, I try to cook whatever that can be done in 30 minutes (or less). In fact, my record was 20 minutes (and no, it’s not instant noodles).

Anyway, I decided to do something more today.

Cream of Mushroom Soup- Bought fresh field mushrooms for $2.99 a kilo! What a steal.

Spicy crumbed fish with sweet potato pepitas salad

Warm Mocha Pudding Cake

Total time taken: 1 hr 15 minutes. The cake was put in the oven just when the soup + fish were done.

Cooking and baking allowed me to concentrate without being too distracted. It doesn’t matter if I have emails to answer, tutorials to prepare, manual to write, readings to read and other things that will constantly flood one’s mind. Just that hour, I’m able to think about the food in front of me and how it can be made better. It’s strange, but only during cooking/baking, that I’m able to push other things out of my mind. It can only be done when the stress scaled reached 7 or 8 upon 10. Anything higher than that and I refuse to move or cook. Mr. Ar testified to a night a few weeks ago when I came home and sat down and cried on the couch- refusing to speak, cook or eat. I think it scared him a little. I recovered after awhile but that cry was needed. As long as I dont reach that stage, I can still function- at least that is what I like to believe. Crying is like baking/cooking, both gets it out of your system. It’s therapeutic. Perhaps they are God’s gifts to keep me sane.

Carrot and Walnut Cake

I have been trying to bake something every weekend- just to take my mind off work while I beat the eggs up and mix the flour in. It’s a good strategy, especially if you could imagine beating all the stress (and crappy people+ work) out of your system. Creates a nice and fluffy cake too.

Anyway, this is what I have done today. Mixing it up took me less than 15 minutes although grating the carrots is a pain.

Does it look yummy? comeon… I need some positive reinforcement.

On another topic, rang home as usual today. Grandma said mum is studying and LAUGHED when told that I’m helping mum with her homework. There is a role reversal between mum and I in the past few weeks, with me trying to explain terms such as “hypothesis”, “qualitative vs quantitative”, “statistical analysis”, “DV and IVs”..etc. It hit me that mum is such a anxiety prone person. She repeatedly asked me for strategies on doing readings which I find it extremely hard to explain. I mean, most of the time, I just read, take notes and read again if I dont understand or ask someone- No magic here. And if I really dont understand? I give up! She, on the other hand, found it tedious to get into the grove of things.

The perfectionist side of mum is creeping out again. After I taught her how to “double space” by going to “format” and “paragraph” she went back to her document and manually singled spaced everything again just to make sure that she gets the logistics side of it “completely right”. Thank goodness it’s a 500 word summary and not 2500 word essay.

I admire her strength for getting back into school although she repeatedly told me that it’s a waste of time and that’s not her interest at all. I reminded her that it appeared tough but going through it will be worthwhile (strangely enough, this was what she told me when I hit tough times in uni). It was a good feeling when mum finally realised the process of doing research and reminded me to take it easy since “doing research isnt easy.” ;p

I relished the fact that now I’m able to tell her “Study hard- and make sure you do your homework.” Ah, the joys of role reversal.

The weekend.

Ah. Wonderful glorious weekend where I do not have to think about the placement or my research for a few hours.

Couple of strange happenings.
1) Emailed PR lady of Murdoch for information on press release. Weirdly enough, her ex-partner due to move out this weekend (grasp! now!?) has rosacea and that might be one of the reasons why they decided to break up. Thank goodness they ended on “good” terms- although I wonder how can ever a breakup be on “good terms”. I’m sure not-so-good things happened for a couple to spilt isnt it? Now, suddenly, this PR lady is on chummy terms with me and started telling me some stuff of their r/s including a picture of them…… *weird vibes*

2) Just as I’m seriously considering a change of direction in my research project, a lady called to say she and her sisters will be very happy to participate. Yay, 2 more ppl!

3) I have ppl emailing me from Melbourne, Victoria and USA who are interested in this research. Where are the rosacea sufferers in PERTH!?!?!?!?!!!?!?!?

4) I guess by this time, readers will know that I’m not totally impressed with the OTs in the hospital. I just realised that unfortunately, they are the ones who praised me the most. That shows how little they know of CBT ;p

I’m so glad this week is gone.