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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Feeding the habit

- By Jo

I forgot to feed my family. Yes, that’s right and it wasn’t for one night either, more like half a trimester. I also forgot about the dirty laundry. Yet somehow I had clean clothes. The cat litter was clean and the dishes done. It was then that it occurred to me that I had officially been consumed by university life.

Textbooks, computer, paper, pen (vintage fountain pen thank you), something to eat and drink (double espresso stat), and of course the all-important Internet connection for Facebook and Twitter, I mean DSO, and that’s all I believed was needed at the start.

But there was one last resource I had forgotten. To be frank, I’m not sure how as it is seriously hard to miss a fifteen year old with a personality twice her size and a husband over six feet tall, but I did and I still do.

When I’m hunched over my books and I fail to notice them because I’m on a deadline and my only activity is to wear a track in the carpet from my desk to the kitchen to refill my mug, I forget. In fact, I forget to feed them, among other forms of neglect. I only realised this recently when I cooked dinner and they both looked at me like I’d done something newsworthy. Obviously exams had just finished and I fell back into an old routine. They had a new routine. They cooked and cleaned. They made food for me occasionally. Somehow I hadn’t noticed I was living off caffeine, chocolate and toast. But they did.

The moment of epiphany came at a graduation ceremony when the vice chancellor asked the graduates to stand and look for their family and friends and to give them applause for all their support. Family and friends, classmates and internet buddies have all helped me get this far - whether it be bouncing an idea about on Twitter with strangers, or with fellow students on Facebook, or having my daughter play the accused so I can practice cross examination skills or my husband fielding telephone calls when I’m studying, it’s a resource that needs recognition (and probably feeding, must put that in the diary – feed family!) It’s a resource I remember from secondary school – my dad cooking meals every night through VCE (all vegetarian, despite his carnivorous tastes). Come to think of it, this is probably why I forget to cook when I’m studying – default setting. Now sounds like a good time for me to make a resolution, I know New Year’s is past, but I’m never one to conform to the pack, so I’ll make mine now – I shall remember to value the support of my family and friends for the huge contribution they’re making to my academic success, and yes I’ll try and feed you think take out counts?


  1. Hey Jo! Gosh! Feeling stressed must be an under statement for you. Thankfully, you've got such a lovely and supportive family. They always make the 'nightmare' of university life bearable. I hope you won't be relying on take outs too much though. How about cooking freezer friendly meals when you get a little extra time on your hands? Nothing will ever beat the taste of home cooked meals =)

  2. I have discovered a new guilt free addiction which may help Jo - Sunday afternoon + audio book + kitchen = pre-cooked frozen meals to last 2 weeks. That way I get to enjoy the guilty pleasure of reading while doing something constructive. Also gives me lots more time during the week to study AND eat healthy ... maybe you could put on a good Grisham novel and do some cross-examination research too!

  3. I fed myself real veggies tonight(and with two assignments due)!!
    KareN - no problems with relying on take out - student budget won't stretch that far!
    Chelsea - I love this idea! I used to listen to lectures when I took in ironing for some extra cash - multi-tasking is a great skill!

  4. Loved this post-I can definitely relate! My kids have learned to leave me alone to an extent when I have an essay due or exam study, and go see another adult-my mum or their dad- for food. I do find precooking meals helpful, and I will often listen to lectures downloaded from DSO when I'm cooking. Multitasking and all that :D