International Day of People with a Disability

Today is the 3rd of December, and it’s International Day of People with a Disability, so your friendly neighbourhood student blogger (with a disability) is here to share a few stories with you!

Getting around…

Navigating the Kelvin Grove campus with my physical impairment hasn’t always been easy. While a number of the newer buildings are accessible, the now-demolished L block and E block buildings were interesting to get around. To get to the Woodward theatre in room L207, I had to park in the carpark adjacent to E block and weave my way through the cinderblock-lined walls of the building, find the lift, come out on level 2, and weave my way out of the building to the concrete hallway joining E block and L block. Not an easy feat, by any means. It was time-consuming and if I wasn’t really focusing, it was confusing, too!

Planning for this required skill, reasoning, and the expert advice of my Disability Advisor at QUT. All students living with a disability can access this service and make a Support Plan for each semester. Knowing that getting into L block was a challenge meant that we added time consideration to my support plan, so every tutor and lecturer knew and understood that I may be late to classes if I have difficulty walking long distances and getting to the right room on time.

Assessment modification…

One of the compulsory subjects in my degree was a physical theatre unit called ‘Creating Body’. This subject’s requirements included lectures and weekly workshops. I did this subject a year later than most of my peers, and I remembered seeing their sweaty, red, fatigued (and possibly heartbroken) faces when running into them after their workshops.

This scared me.

Having received my Support Plan, the unit coordinator (the staff member in charge of the subject) got in touch to see how to best modify the subject for me and my needs. Participating fully in each workshop was a requirement of assessment, but we agreed that the physical demands of the unit were not ideal for me and my situation. Instead, I agreed to attend every workshop and take copious notes. I was still required to contribute to in-class discussion and to apply appropriate theory where possible. And of course, my assignments remained the same.

When the final performance assessment for this unit came around, I was pleased to be allocated to a group full of understanding and supportive fellow students. A couple of my group members remain great friends to this day. We created a performance that worked to each of our limits, and we received a good grade for our efforts. We then wrote our final assignment as a reflection on our performance, and I managed to receive a High Distinction.

A High Distinction in physical theatre? Me? The disabled one? I can’t stop laughing about it, even now.

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This is me, in a wheelchair, taking a sneaky selfie mid-performance… Okay, so my phone was a prop… 2014 was an interesting year…

Reality…

There are so many more stories I could share with you – including that time I fell and fractured my leg after a tute one day, went to hospital, and completed my performance assessments that semester in various stages of pain (see above photo) – but the main purpose of this post is to show all prospective QUT students that no matter the circumstance, tertiary study IS possible.

With the right support and accommodations in place, you can complete every subject. If you’re willing to work hard, QUT is willing to work with you.

Happy International Day of People with a Disability! Be kind to one another. 🙂

The final countdown…

…you’ve got the song stuck in your head now, haven’t you? Oops. Sorry! It’s been stuck in my head all week, and for a good reason.

I’m about to submit my last assignment for my BFA.

Oh, what a glorious yet bittersweet feeling!

It’s been almost four years since my high school graduation and the more I think about it, the more I realise that what I’m feeling now is exactly what I was feeling back then. There’s a sense of joy mixed with a tingling of uncertainty. An air of trepidation with a dash of elated screaming thrown in. Read more

So Many Options!

As I come closer to finishing my Bachelor’s degree, I’m starting to think about my options post-graduation. Though catching up on missed sleep seems like a solid plan (to make up for all of those questionable all-nighters), I’ve come to realise that I need to think ahead. Read more

The Mid-Year Slump

As QUT student bloggers, it’s our job to document the highs and lows of university life. I try to keep it positive as much as I can, but I’ve got to admit – I’ve been in a slump lately. I’m in my last semester of my undergraduate degree in Drama… and I’ve only got two subjects to go! Why am I struggling to stay motivated?

Let’s be honest. It all started when I fell sick in June. Just an ear infection, no big deal – but man, did I feel gross.

So, I stayed in bed. I thought that if I took time off to rest and recuperate, I’d be back at it, better than ever. I recovered, and was so excited to jump back into all of my commitments. Then… I caught a cold.

EUGH.

In total, I was sick for about five and a half weeks, which put a serious halt in my momentum. We’re back at uni now, week four, and I’m still trying to put all the pieces together. I think I just feel so far behind that I’m struggling to believe I can catch up completely.

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…because when you don’t have any motivation, you’ve just got to take a selfie outside O Block at KG… right?

All I can say is, thank goodness for Blackboard. It’s super helpful to have an online learning portal with lecture recordings, and to be able to watch all of my lectures online, so every definition I’ve missed (or accidentally zoned out of), I can check up on them later. I’m also thankful that I’ve been taking my own advice, as seen in my last post (which you can read here) – know your due dates! Sometimes the best motivator is an impending deadline and a commitment to group assessment…

You might be wondering why I chose to blog about this slump of mine. The truth is, uni isn’t amazing 100% of the time. Studying can be hard, stressful, boring, and/or monotonous. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great experience, too. You learn a lot about yourself.

QUT has a lot to offer, not just in course options but in learning experiences, too. The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that when motivation disappears, you’ve got to go and find it yourself. And the best way to do that?

Start. Writing.

I thought this blog post would be a nice place to start… and I think I might just get started on my next assessment. Is that my momentum returning? Motivation? Is that you?

I sure hope so! 🙂

QCS is not the real test…

If I think back to 2012 and my QCS experience, I can remember the one recurring thought I had at the end of every test period. “…Is that it?”

For me, it felt like years of pressure had been building to get us to this point. I knew that my QCS result would count towards my Overall Position, and that could affect my uni application. I knew that QCS was important… but I’d completely overestimated how important it was. Read more

Throwback Thursday: First Year Edition

It’s 2013, and my first year of university has proven to be a challenge. I’ve met so many great people, but studying for uni is still so new to me.

In high school, I’d always found that if I put the minimum amount of effort in, I could usually get a pretty good grade. At university, I found that minimal effort just doesn’t cut it.

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Super cute webcam selfie during one intense assignment writing session. See that face? Sleep was a foreign concept…

Read more

The ghost of Molly Woodward…

When you become a drama student at QUT, you’ll soon become acquainted with the ghost of Molly Woodward.

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Molly Woodward, photo from QUT Woodward Theatre’s Facebook page.

A well-loved teacher and leader in drama, back in the day when QUT was a teacher’s college, Molly Woodward passed away in 1979 and left behind a rich legacy of creativity and inspiration. She was so loved that the theatre in L-Block was named in her honour – The Woodward Theatre.

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Woodward Theatre plaque – Photo from QUT Woodward Theatre Facebook page.

Though the new creative industries building has just opened, any past drama student can recall their spooky moments where good old Molly was present.

If there was a random technical fault that plunged the theatre in darkness, it was Molly.

If you were sitting in the Woodward for a lecture and the mouse on the screen had a mind of its own, it was Molly.

If you were rehearsing late at night and you heard a door slam – even if it was closed to begin with, it was Molly.

Much like the theory of Brecht, the presence of Molly Woodward is an iconic drama student experience. But if you don’t believe me, then read the poem below that was definitely not written by me.

Molly

as you walk into lectures
and find yourself a seat
upon the red, narrow rows
with nary a spot for your feet

you will find yourself among
a sacred spirit, a ghost
the one they call ‘Molly’
is the presence you’ll feel most

in L-Block she roamed
from room 207 to 226
and as the lights flickered
you knew she was up to her old tricks

if you were rehearsing your assessment
you did so in daylight, and never alone
for in the nighttime, Molly critiqued your work
if it wasn’t right, she’d make it known

with every gust of wind
and every echo in the hall
you’d hope it was just a lecturer
and not Molly’s spooky, creepy call

be careful of the lighting rig;
watch out for certain death
if you want to appease the ghost
better not say the title of that Scottish play 😉

now, L-Block may have seen its end
but these stories are ours, not just mine
and if you’re wondering where Molly is now
you may find her in Z9…

So there you have it, folks! Is it a myth? We’ll never know. But take it from this drama student… you might want to watch your back. Embrace Molly’s spirit and you’re sure to find success. But if you don’t believe in it, well…

maybe you’ll be next…

Assessment Planning 101: How to Maximise Procrastination

When the time comes to write countless essays on the theory you’ve learned in lectures and tutorials, it’s essential to quote resources to strengthen your work. But right now it’s Netflix’s world, and we’re just living in it. So how can we create a really strong piece of assessment whilst still indulging in the practice of ‘Procrastinating By Watching All Ten Seasons of Friends in One Week’?

Here’s how. Read more

Let’s go clubbing!

University is a playground for students of all interests, and QUT is no different. The wide variety of clubs and groups available to students mean that no matter what you’re interested in, you’re bound to find a club for you. Read more