500 down

… only 3500 words to go. I don’t think I’m going to make it to 4000 words before Wednesday lunchtime. I’ve got two pages written of background. It’s not great. Right now I don’t care. I will write some stuff which is mostly relevant, and hand it in, and move on.

I will get through it the way I got through long shifts at the supermarket when I was 16: a small chunk at a time. You never stopped to think, oh God, I still have seven hours to go. You only thought, 45 more minutes till my next break.

That’s what I’m going to do here. I have two pages written. Next I will move onto the section dealing with the synaptic plasticity underlying the initial stages of drug addiction. I’ll write a paragraph, then get up and poke the fire, or go to the loo, or wipe the bench and put away some of the things on the table. Then I’ll come back and write another paragraph.

Forget the end product. Take the next step.



I expect it’s about time I wrote something again.

I’ve been at classes for three weeks now. Health psychology is loads of fun, development of brain and behaviour is stuff I know pretty well so far, drugs are interesting, and nervous system plasticity is not what I expected and is terrifying. I didn’t do seventh form biology, let alone first- and second- year psychology, so actually all that stuff about plasma membranes being made up of (correct me if I get this wrong – PLEASE!) a bi-layer of lipids with a phosphate head, and mitochondria doing the ATP thing (whatever that is) to supply energy, and smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum making the vesicles that transport the neurotransmitters, was completely new. Completely. Thankfully Mum had some school textbooks which had better pictures than the university textbook my lecturer recommended. The school textbooks also didn’t contain sentences like: “Because of this continuity, the nuclear envelope is presumed to have evolved to ensheathe the chromosomes by an invagination of the plasmalemma.” (Kandel, Schwartz & Jessell, 2000, p. 70.)

I’m still getting exercise at least three times a week and am finally starting to feel some benefit from it. I think I may have some leg muscles now. And I quite easily and happily kicked a ball around after school with Mr 7 and his friends. The next real milestone for me will be if I’m able to take him running to train for the cross-country, which I think happens in spring, September-ish or something. Uncle P2, who completed the Wanaka Challenge in less than 14 hours, is keen to help with training.

The other thing that’s been drawing my attention lately is the election of the new Pope, Francis. I’m very excited about all I’ve heard about this man, especially since I was moved to fast during the selection process, and I believe that God is going to do a significant work of Church unity through this new leader. So far, it already seems my prayers for a man of integrity with a Christ-centred focus have been answered.

In Health Psychology class today we were asked, in the context of discussing a reading of a piece of research using photoelicitation, what we would take a photo of to capture our life today. Most people mentioned readings, their desks, their computers… I thought hard and came up with: in my recently redecorated bedroom, the double bed (signifying my husband’s space) with the piano in the background with a piece of choir music and a piece of church music sitting on it, me sitting on the bed with my laptop, surrounded by the three kids, one of whom is reading (Mr 10), and the other two fighting. I could also have decided I’d be wearing my gym gear, since that’s become quite important to me, and would have a Bible nearby. I have a complicated life.

I’m going to an international soccer match next Friday, the day before my daughter’s 5th Birthday Party. I’m going out on a date tomorrow night, to a show that my dad is playing music at, after spending most of the day (hopefully) at Brain Day lectures at Uni. I quite like my life, but it is very full. Thank God I haven’t had a migraine since the middle of last year and the dizzies only pay me fleeting minor visits when I’m full of pizza or PMT.


Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., & Jessell, T. M. (eds.). (2000). Principles of neural science. New York: McGraw-Hill, Health Professionals Division.