It’s been almost three whole weeks between blog posts, so I thought I’d do a little update and tell you where we’ve been!
It’s the thick of second semester marking at the moment, so while I’ve got lots of Christmas recipes and decorating and outfit photos to come, not until I’ve graded that final assignment.
Along with marking, I’m also finishing off a great semester of taking a course about being a more effective university tutor which I’ve loved. It’s been a lot of work and has added to my already hectic schedule, but it’s been really rewarding. One of my assignments for the unit – a teaching initiative to help my students pursue publication – helped me be chosen as a finalist in a showcase of sessional academics.
The presentation was in a quick, terrifying format where I had just ten slides, 24 seconds each, which auto advanced. On the day before the event, I had a rehearsal in the room and couldn’t get my tongue to move quick enough to say everything I wanted. I was 100% sure I was going to be the only one in the group of 11 amazing academics to fudge my presentation.
But after a few good practices at home, restructuring my notes so they just had the wording I got tongue-tied about, I got up and did the presentation without a hitch.
I was just proud of myself for putting together the application, abstract, and presentation and would have been happy with that. But at the end of the session, I received an overall highly commended and then, the most amazing part, I was announced as the People’s Choice Award winner.
That prize was audience voted, so it means that people liked my presentation enough to vote for me! What makes it even more special is that I only knew one person in the audience, so I didn’t win because I had a huge team of supporters there.
Off the back of the win, I have a few things in the pipeline which involves more study next year, lots of great opportunities with the uni, and possibly some writing workshops for non-students on the Fraser Coast in January (keep your eyes peeled here if you live in Hervey Bay!).
Meanwhile, Archie and I signed up for our second training class at Paws & Relax, this one about teaching your dog to focus in situations that might be difficult for them. Archie did great – after one session we had almost completely mastered the loose lead walk (though he’s not great when he knows there are treats in my hand because he wants to cross in front of him). We’ve also started to get the hang of hand targets which is super exciting because it’s the basis of so many cool tricks (and also something to use if you don’t have a command for a particular situation). I have high hopes that Archie will be the next Louby the Westie. But he has to stop sleeping so much first…
And that’s it for us! One more week and I’ll be back with some real content. But in the meantime, you can follow both Archie and me on our Instagramswhere I *try* to post every day (and I’ve been trying to use stories on my account more too).