Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 24, 2011

Thursday, 22nd December 2011 – rambling again!!

One of the universities with whom I completed one of my qualifications all those years ago, the University of Melbourne, have just sent me their annual generic Christmas greetings, and a bit of self promotion. Probably well deserved – as the oldest university in Melbourne, it’s status and success continues to dominate much of the tertiary sector in Melbourne, and I’m always happy to support their promotions, even though my ‘support’ as such,  is absolutely minimal these days.  Anyway, that greeting included the following advice about the past year in the life the University and it’s Alumni groups of which I’m a member. I do recall commenting on the achievements referred to, in a blog some months ago.

“This year has been a remarkably successful one for the University of Melbourne, thanks largely to your continuing support and involvement.  Alumni are actively engaged with the University, through mentoring, volunteering, teaching, providing internships and employment as well as attending events and reunions.  This year witnessed the formation of the Alumni Council following a highly anticipated election. Having met for the first time in December, we look forward to the Council tackling a comprehensive agenda in 2012.    The alumni community and friends contributed generously to the Annual Appeal, pledging a record $1.46 million to further support students, teachers and research across the University of Melbourne. Funds raised will go towards a number of faculty and university priorities, particularly immediate and long-term assistance to students. We thank you for your gifts.  The University works hard to fulfil its ambition to be one of the world’s finest universities. The 2011 Excellence in Research for Australia Survey confirmed the strength of the University’s research, with 99 per cent of our projects rated at or above world standard. We focused heavily on industry partnerships and were honoured to open the historic IBM Global Research and Development Laboratory in October. Working closely to improve community links, we also sealed agreements to share leadership and management expertise with local groups in Carlton and the Goulburn Valley.  These achievements have culminated in Melbourne being recognised as the leading Australian university in the three most cited international rankings. Your contributions and advocacy help make these achievements possible, and assist the University in its pursuit of academic and research excellence, and its desire to remain a public-spirited institution”.

As a part of my current ‘retirement “Spring” cleanup, I guess I really should do something about ridding myself of those university notes, etc from the 60s and 70s – like so much other material, I have retained my study notes, etc, but to what purpose these days I’m not really sure.  Certainly, over the past few weeks, I have ‘got rid of’ a lot of paper and other material, that a year or so ago., I would never have considered disposing of. And as the weeks advance, that process will [and must] continue, just haven’t got to the university years as yet!!!  I haven’t made as much progress as I would have planned prior to Christmas, however things are slowly been sorted and/or discarded.  My ‘bower bird’ reputation remains with me though, in many respects, but quite obviously, when and if I downsize my living arrangements, that particular side of my ‘personality’ is going to change.

Meanwhile, this year, I am building up a reasonable collection of Christmas card greetings from friends and family – although might I say, I probably wouldn’t have received many that I did, had I not got in first, and sent those people a greeting!! Not that it really matters  – I do like the opportunity that Christmas gives one to once again, get in touch with old friends in particular, although I prefer that kind of communication to be on a more regular basis than just once a year. In some cases it is, while in others, well, I do like to simply let people know I’m still around  – and, it’s good to hear back, but if not, not to worry, I’ve done my bit!!  My late mother was a wonderful communicator in that respect, and I remember the Christmas after she died, receiving a few cards for her, generally after Christmas from friends who were surprised and/or worried that they had not heard from her that Christmas.  Sadly, I was the one who then had to pass on the belated news – we had always thought that we had contacted everyone who would have wanted to be advised of Mum’s passing that year, but there will always some of her former contacts, that we would not have been aware of. As time passed, they gradually became known.

After yesterday’s wasted trip to the major shopping complexes, and their chaotic parking situations, I actually finished most of my ‘Christmas’ shopping in Sunbury yesterday  – perhaps not the best deal always in terms of price, but I balanced that up against fuel, and traffic and parking headaches, by leaving my car in one part of town, and walking from one shopping area to another – probably the equivalent of a major shopping centre in any case, as far as distance and area covered was concerned! Since 1983, when we came to Sunbury, the retail shopping and other facilities have grown enormously, and for many aspects of shopping, there is becoming little need to travel to suburban Melbourne and the larger retail areas.  Obviously, the latter do offer much more choice and competitive prices, but for someone who is not a keen or regular shopper [apart from supermarket & grocery needs], this town suits me just fine.

A busy household tonight  – I was continuing with my reallocation of resources [referred to above], while Susan, home for the evening, was throwing herself into a ‘late Spring cleanup’ of her ‘computer’ room [or 3rd bedroom in the house] which she generally has the main use of.  Then I ended up with the rare occurrence of watching a movie on SBS TV into the early hours of the morning – rarely do that, but just happened to ‘come across’ this one as I was preparing for bed!!  Bit of a trap!!


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