Any Which Way But Organised

Jason Jason / Distance studyLeave a Comment

Welcome to all those who’ve that have made it to week three of Semester One. By now you’re either flying smoothly through your workloads or you are fair panicking as to how you can keep your sanity and not fail.

Slowly but surely I am starting to leave behind the constant state of breathlessness and enter the world where study and family live in harmonious confusion. The family have come to be at peace with the realization that no one knows what’s happening and who’s responsible. I thought now would be a good time to self-appraise my potential as a ‘stay at home parent but still work on the farm while studying five papers this semester student’

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a 40yrs young man who decided to have the intelligent man’s mid-life crisis. Buying a convertible, piercing both my ears or running off with the 18yo babysitter is so cliché, I decided to have a mid-career meltdown , become the stay at home dad and study a Bachelor of AgriCommerce majoring in Rural Valuation. And while nothing says thrill seeker quite like ‘Rural Valuation’, farming is what I know and rural valuers are a dying breed so I liked my employment prospects.

Patience isn’t a virtue I carry, so rather than wait until 1 June when my farming contract expires, I started in summer school with two papers and am doing five this semester. I know what you’re all thinking…. Yes I am mad!  Yes my family are unlucky!  And no, I’m not fortunate enough to wear my undies outside my pants. So here’s how it’s going so far.

At the start of my study, this was my desk. Reasonably ordered with my daughter doing her study as well. (Note she at least had a computer)

Jase and daughter at his desk

Now this is how well I’ve maintained the order

My desk

So I think we can safely say I have something to work on.

You will note there is a divider for ring binders by the window, on top of at least two folders. Let’s just say at the time of purchase, it seemed like something I would use. The wall planner has every important date a student needs, T20 world cup schedule, Olympics schedule (Aug 5-20), Super Rugby schedule, School holidays and lastly, all my assessment dates for the year. Like, the divider, I set it up and have promptly ignored it. Again, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Oddly enough, I like everything clean so the desk is actually wiped down daily. Weird huh?

Every day I start with great intentions, then the kids wake up. We go through breakfast where on any given day, I instigate a food fight before making lunches then making sure their teeth are thoroughly washed. I spend 39 hours trying to brush Lily’s hair, another 43 hours trying to secure a hair tie so that something resembling a pony tail is formed. How do women do all this without actually looking? Even more spectacular is that you can plait your own hair. I think changing the clutch on the tractor is easier than plaiting hair. After all this, I fly the kids to the bus stop, do some washing, clean food off the kitchen ceiling and then I’m back studying.

Getting back into study isn’t easy. Usually, I’ve lost the desire to start up where I left off and I try a different subject. This is where I think the need to be disciplined as a distant student kicks in. You don’t have the formality of attending lectures on campus to force you into a structured routine. Even worse, I’m a procrastinator. I seem to like the thrill of knowing how late I can start something in order to get it completed before the deadline. So I am hardly a poster child for how to study from home.

Yet in spite of all this, I’m doing ok.

An A- for Accounting and a B for Stats for Business. I should have got an A+ for Accounting and I am kicking myself for not doing all the questions at the end of each chapter. Stats, well that was like trying to do origami with wet shredded paper. I just couldn’t commit it to memory. For some reason, I just get Economics so I’m determined to not fall into the same trap as with Accounting and be lazy because it’s easy.

I guess that’s the key to all this, making sure I know what my weaknesses are and just being better at not letting them beat me.

When you have a family and a mortgage, failing isn’t an option.

When I graduate, I want employment options that only go to people who have worked as hard as they possibly could and succeeded.

Writing this has made me realise what a shambles my desk is so with that, I’m going to sign off so I can file paper, stack folders in the fancy stand and read my wall planner.

It’s time to get organised and god forbid, become a list writer.



Ever get that feeling you know someone before you actually met them? Well that's me. You know me already, I'm that guy who reminds you of Richie McCaw, without the height, good looks, rugby ability, humility and John Key doesn’t dream of me in his sleep I have the two children, 1 has Autism and he’s totally awesome, the other is 5 and she has me wrapped around her little finger and it is because of them and my wife that I find myself as a full time distance student working towards a Bachelor of Agri Commerce. This semester I’ll be juggling five papers, being a stay at home dad, helping my wife run a dairy farm all amid bringing peace to the world, feeding the starving and single handily stopping climate change. Hopefully I can keep you updated as to my progress without curling up in the corner in the foetal position crying myself to sleep. Good luck to everyone who like me, sees education as the tool to construct a better life for both myself and my family. Feel free to say ‘Hi’, in doing so you might help me keep my sanity.

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