Friday, September 29, 2006

Womens Self Defence

How many times, Oh! How many times have you said to yourself, if only I had listened to my mother! I know I say it to myself a few times everyday!
My family tries to live by one rule - Mom's! One thing I have learned is that if my mother told me, without any explanation whatsoever, to jump off a cliff, I should do so without as much as questioning her.
So in this vein I finally enrolled for the 'Women's self defence' classes at uni, which mind you, my mother has been telling me to do ever since I moved to Canberra.
My sister and I rocked up to the first lesson on a Monday evening at 7. It had been a long day and I really wasn't in the mood to listen to some butch woman telling me 100 ways to kick a guy in the ****, when I could be home eating food and watching Tele.
I was jolted out of this disinterest by one look at the instructor. Out with the butch woman and in with a preppy, young and, I must add, very very fit kung-fu- martial arts type. The first lesson passed much too fast. We learned the basics, which was that kicking a guy in the groin was not the first option in a life threatening situation and there were much better ways of rendering an assailant inert - sure fire ways too!
I left feeling refreshed, energised and almost believing that 'my body is a dangerous weapon - nobody better mess with me!'. This is what good teaching is all about, turning cynics into believers and turning sarcasm into admiration.
The instructor really believed in what she was teaching and she never failed to impress upon us the importance of doing something in a threatening situation - be it screaming at the top of your lungs or gouging the guys' eyes out! Anything at all because, contrary to common hearsay, reacting does not fuel the situation it can save one's life. We had the last class this week and I was not glad to go, as I had thought I would be. This only reinforced my belief that my mother is always right, even from across the Tasman!
Some thoughts on self-defence in Canberra:
1. Screaming is useless because no one will hear you - there is no one to hear you!
2. If you run into the closest house for help you will most likely be chased and bitten by a dog, so take your pick - man or beast.
3. You could possibly out-walk the drunk, racist, homeless guy who is yelling at you so don't beat him to pulp, just walk away!
4. If you live anywhere other than mid-city you are more likely to be attacked by a kangaroo (as my sister said so wisely) than any man, hence keep those boxing gloves handy!

Light amplification - unleashing a monster!

I have a way with lasers..... a way of making them not work! Sitting in my lab, been here since Monday (ok this is where I work so it makes sense) but making progress still seems a like a long shot. Lasers do no behave, they are inconsistent and moody. Their whims and fancies can drive anyone up the wall and really they have no notion of temperature control. I vote all lasers be fitted with a hypothalamus and a very strong conscience. Something that says to them 'DONT DO IT' when they are about to run amok and ruin a poor student's life (ok I exaggerate, maybe a week!). A laser does not understand the simple concept that weather changes. Cool may come and heat may go but you must go on forever! It is a very simple concept really. Humans are not allowed the privilege of changing with the weather (changing oneself not one's outfit!). Quite honestly it is not an excuse.
Anyhow, back to the point of this blog. Im a firm believer, or rather I was a firm believer in the concept of 'when God closes a door somewhere he opens a window'. Well I realise now that if one with full knowledge of the consequences chooses to work in a lab with no windows, and the door remains closed all the time... well... need I say more.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Home for the holidays!

Many a person has said to me 'Home is where is heart is' but to me Home takes on an entirely new meaning when one lives away. It is no longer the place you have to go back to, but rather somewhere you want to go!
Home is familiar, you can wake up in the morning and in a half-asleep state pick up your brush and you can be sure as hell that the toothpaste will be where it was yesterday. No muddling flatmate would have made off with it, or thrown it away or worse still, replaced it with shaving cream! The face-towel is always accessible and the bat mat is always in place.
Home is where the couch is positioned such that one can always lie on it and still see the TV just fine and there is always junk food to pig out on. Home has a warmth about it (even in winter!!).
Of course one cannot be expected to appreciate these things when one lives at home! However, one becomes more appreciative when Home is just a pleasant (10 day!) break from a hectic routine.
I went home for the holidays. I could put up photographs of home with my family smiling artificially for the sake or the camera, but really all that matters is that they are there!!