Tag Archives: Supervisor

Supervision, cup cakes, and newspaper bridges

Monkey turns three on Saturday so we’re having a picnic. Except that the forecast says rain. So probably what we’ll have is a trashed house instead. I wouldn’t call myself a baker, but for some reason, as the birthday approaches, it’s all been about the cake. He picked a number three with a caterpillar made from cup cakes on top. No problem. Yesterday we made two batches of cup cakes together (okay he licked a batter spoon while I made two batches of cup cakes) and last night I made three batches of cake batter to freeze and then thaw at the appropriate times so we have a cake to take to child care and enough raw material to make a 3 on Saturday morning.

There’s a box of newspaper in the back of my car because I’m teaching a ten week course about work skills for a group of deaf migrants and I’m going to ask them to build newspaper bridges as a way to learn about teamwork. Also I like that they’ll make something strong from words and pulp. And its fun. And it means for ten minutes I won’t be trying to convey complex concepts in my second language to people learning their third or fourth or fifth language.

Meanwhile, I had my fourth supervision today. I’ve been anxious about it for three weeks. I haven’t done/read/written enough. The scholarship application is in so does that mean that everything I say in this supervision will be magically relayed to the selection committee? Will my supervisor actually like what I’ve written? Sparrow came with me and a friend fed him blueberries on the grass. My supervisor didn’t say whether she liked my work or not. She didn’t say it was crap. She didn’t appear to think I should give up or go home.

I’ve got so much on at the moment that I feel almost constantly anxious. But out of everything, what I find myself focusing on is the bloody cake. I’ve overmixed the batter for the 3 – I’m certain of it. When I put it in the tin tomorrow night it won’t rise. When will I have the time to ice and decorate it? And what about the rain? And what if nobody comes? Whose party is this anyway?

Cake gods, rain gods, supervision and teaching gods, all ye higher beings be with me (no I am not a believer, but a random prayer occasionally never hurt anyone).

A photocopy code and a pigeon hole


Image by FancyShots via Flickr

Sparrow and I had our second visit to uni yesterday. It was another cold day, but clear. We were there so I could meet my supervisor, and to get a desk. The guy in the gatehouse, the controller of cars, gave me a hot tip on a broken ticket machine in car park three, so I saved five dollars. Sparrow was so tired his core muscles were failing and he kept lurching forwards to stare at the ground. I held him on my shoulder while I dragged the pram from the boot. He vomited. White on black. Got him into the pram, found a nappy wipe, scrubbed at the chuck, and headed towards Humanities. Despite the vomit, and Sparrow’s extreme tiredness (this baby will not sleep in the day, well not the way those babies in books do) the afternoon felt smooth, and good, and the cold scrubbed at my cheeks and I found my way without a map.

I met the admin person first, who was lovely. And who gave me a key to a room with a desk in it. More than one desk, but one of those desks is for me. And then she gave me a photocopy code, and a pigeon hole, and showed me to a couch so I could feed Sparrow. So I sat, and Sparrow sucked. He’s stopped biting for now, which is good, but he now likes to pinch the soft skin on the underside of my upper arm as he drinks. I had a moment where I wanted to push him off. I don’t. I moved his hand away from my already bruising skin and held it so he couldn’t keep pinching. His sucking got deeper and slower, his eyes rolled back, and he slept. I took my nipple from his mouth and his little chin moved up and down, as if it were still there. But he stayed asleep. And then he transferred to the pram without waking.

My supervisor arrived and we sat in her book and light filled office and talked. She met my eyes and there were pictures of her children on her notice board and she was serious but lovely and had remembered some things about my project and some of my jelly-legged-there’s-no-way-I-can-do-this-what-was-I-thinking feelings fell away. Sparrow slept through the whole meeting. He woke again at the car. I got him up and out of the pram and he grinned and stroked my face and we stood in the cold, under a gum tree, and listened to hundreds of rosellas singing while the sun went down. With a key in my pocket, and a pigeon hole, and a photocopy code.