Post Grad First Month 


As soon as people hear I am doing post grad studies,  they would ask for more information-how is the course, can I cope, etc.  I told them to give me a month to experience it. 

The course literally started with a bang.  By the second and third week,  I was attending classes four nights a week instead of two because there were two visiting professors. 

I whined to my ex-colleague on how heavy the workload is when I met her,  expecting a sympathetic hug and consolation.  Instead,  she told me with a straight face,  you asked for it. 

I really shouldn’t complain.  My prof reminded us every week that this is a master program and work load is heavy.  Indeed,  I had the  misconception that since there are only two night classes a week,  it shouldn’t be that bad. I didn’t know the amount we had to read, and how difficult the reading is. I thought,  as long as it is in English,  it can’t be that bad right? 

I have since learned,  although academic papers are in English,  it might as well be in Greek.  It took three readings and I still don’t get the point,  which got me very stressed.  (Try it: The Laugh of the Medusa by Helene Cixous) 

This semester started with fiction and creative non fiction (CNA) modules. 

I like the fiction module- the techniques,  the short stories given and even the assignment. Darryl is an amazing teacher and gives very good feedback to my writing. 

The CNA part is challenging because other than memoirs and poetry,  I have not done any CNA. (Oh,  I did some travel writings.) This week’s hermit crab essay,  while sounded fun,  was hair pulling.  If nothing else, it just highlighted how narrow my reading scope had been. 

I am almost afraid of my next essay, writing a portrait after interviews.  I need to really mull over it. 

Speaking of mulling,  I was told last night at a creative workshop that mulling is normal for creativity to spark. Other than my regular class,  we are encouraged to sign up for external workshops organized by the school which I did last night,  on Mindset and Creativity. I had an amazing time meeting fashion,  media,  music students doing diploma and degree courses. (yes,  all as young as my kids.) 

At the class, I was told I have a closed mindset after taking a quiz,   much like Trump.  A growth mindset is encouraged for creativity. I am told to embrace failure as ‘not yet(succeed)’ and to view feedback as a path for improvements. Fear of trying new things is a characteristic of closed mindset which I am aware of.  That’s why I try to get out of my comfort zones but obviously I need to overcome my fear of failure. Again,  we were reminded that success will only come with hard work and less Facebook.  I have been reminded that three times since I started school. 

My husband says I am stressed from the way I raise my voice and how I snap at him.  I probably am. After all,  it’s a entire change of lifestyle for me and I am still adjusting. Plus, my family members and friends assume just because I am no longer working,  I have reverted back to my tai tai lifestyle and am at their back and call. (I never had a tai tai lifestyle!)

Hopefully the situation will improve along with my writing. In the mean time,  I will remind myself to enjoy the process and be in the flow, and focus less on the product,  as I learned last night. 


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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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