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BY Amanda

11/01 Direct Link
Where to start? There's a poem that's lurking and waiting to be born. It's on the tip of my tongue, but it's still embryonic and it's  time isn't quite here yet. It starts -

Little child upon my lap,
Snuggled close to take a nap,
Eyes shut tight,
Against the light so bright
I wonder if you know
How much I love you so
If I could find the words
And if you understood
I'd let you of my eternal love....

The sentiment is there, the feeling of my grandchild asleep on my lap is poignant and unique, but the words aren't there yet.
11/02 Direct Link
Talk about dropping a bomb shell! You came back from leave yesterday and announced you were resigning. Your last day is Friday - that's Friday THIS week. Now I have the task of trying to organize a farewell that includes around 400 people, gifts, card etc in 4 days. I didn't even see it coming. You have to have been planning this for a while. I'm a little hurt you didn't tell me, but mostly I'm in shock and I'm sad. I'll miss you - a lot. No one calms a situation quite like you can. You're our calm in the storm.
11/03 Direct Link
I had a win today. I managed to find a completely awesome picture of St Peter's Cathedral, not only will it be a reminder of Adelaide but it is the very Cathedral that you saw each time you looked out of your window at your previous hospital. The usual time to get a picture professionally framed is about 3 weeks and I've found someone that will do it in 2 days. It's true that I have to coordinate items from 3 different locations to achieve it, but, the main thing is that I have achieved it. That's no mean feat!
11/04 Direct Link
We've spent the day joking around to compensate for all the people who have burst into tears at the news that you are leaving. I don't think either of us realized just what an impact you've had on the people here and how much you will be missed. Tomorrow is your last day and I'll work hard to make sure that it's as hassle free and light hearted as possible. When I started here you jokingly told me that you expected your slippers and a muffin every morning, and guess what I bought you as a going away present? 
11/05 Direct Link
Your office was truly a work of art this morning. The bow around the door didn't prepare us for the amazing sight that met us when it was opened. A hundred balloons hanging from the ceiling, streamers, party poppers and then just so you didn't get too overwhelmed, every single items completely enclosed in cling wrap. Pretty impressive really! The farewell went well, despite the predictable tears and the quiet drinks with a few colleagues after all the hype was a welcome change of pace. I wanted to say thank you, but we both knew that it was too hard.
11/06 Direct Link

It's Saturday - how I love Saturday's. The change of pace is wonderful, even if I am still busy. It's been a day of domesticity, which leaves little to speak about. Washing, folding and ironing clothes, cleaning rooms, and stocking the cupboards makes pretty boring reading. But if you don't get to do it very often it's wonderful to have things in order again. The garden is finally looking more presentable, and while it's not weed free, they are now at least at ground level. I have to start studying again next week, but that is not until Monday!

11/07 Direct Link
Moments pass. Something can feel so awful one moment that it's almost unbearable, but then it passes and becomes just a memory, and life goes on. It's comforting to know that no matter how horrible today is, tomorrow, it will just be a memory. That's not to suggest that today was horrible, because it wasn't, in fact it was lovely. A few weeks ago I was so exhausted I didn't think I could hold on until exams. I craved rest. Now I'm rested and ready to start study again, and the exhaustion and stress - just a memory - until next time.
11/08 Direct Link
The Variety Performance is just 3 weeks away and choir rehearsals started today. In contrast to previous years, they weren't too bad for a first rehearsal. I'm impressed.  Now if I can just get the timing right on my solo's I'll be able to relax a little and breathe again. I usually spend so much time organizing everyone else that my performance suffers. Last year I managed one rehearsal in the interval and consequently missed an entire 4 bars of the instrumental break. Luckily my pianist wasn't phased. This year I'd like to feel confident and not stuff up!
11/09 Direct Link
If you want a job done properly, you can either give it someone as OCD as yourself, or you can do it yourself. I've decided that there aren't too many people as OCD as I am  and therefore doing it myself is probably the best option. How can someone distribute a hundred posters throughout the hospital and me not be able to find one of them? Well - that would be because they are all in the most obscure places, which kind of defeats the purpose of putting them up really. So, I'll print off more and do it myself.
11/10 Direct Link

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. She tells you that she is doing all that I did and needs more work. I didn't have enough hours in the day. I wasn't slack, so either she is superwoman or there are things that I did that she isn't doing. If I go looking for them and point them out then it looks like sour grapes. If I don't, then I look incompetent and lazy. It's times like this when I want to turn over, pull the covers over my head and stay in bed - forever.

11/11 Direct Link
I need to whinge again today. Common sense just isn't common any more. There are three of us in the office.  Do you have to go to the ATM  exactly 30 seconds after she's gone to deliver some documents, or go to lunch at 12.30 when you know I won't be back until 1pm? Seriously! Could you not wait another 30 minutes? Would your world disintegrate if we only had one person absent at a time and you had to wait a few more minutes? Maybe I wasn't cut out to be a supervisor.
11/12 Direct Link

What was I thinking yesterday? It was Remembrance Day. Thousands of soldiers gave their lives so I can live in peace and freedom today and what did I write about? I complained about a co-worker and the lack of common sense that seems to be prevalent today. How incredibly selfish and narrow minded! I guess we all get caught up in the day to day issues so much that we forget to stop and see the bigger picture some times. It is good to take stock and remind ourselves that we are little fish in a very big pond.

11/13 Direct Link
Santa Claus came to Adelaide yesterday. The Christmas Pageant heralds the arrival of Santa, who is proceeded by a myriad of floats, bands, clowns and a wonderful festive atmosphere. We tried to set a world record to be recorded in the  Guiness Book of Records for the largest massed choir. I'm not sure what the final count was but my 103 participants were all stars. The children were exceptionally well behaved as they waited patiently for over 3 hours for the procession to start and their chalk drawings will grace the streets of Adelaide for days to come.
11/14 Direct Link
I felt strangely nervous today, shy even, as I jammed with a band whose members were significantly younger than I am. I've struggled with arthritis just lately and my joints are inflamed. The lack of mobility has made me feel my age, something that doesn't happen often, and has brought to the surface insecurities that I didn't know existed. I don't like it very much, but it's another learning curve and hopefully my understanding will deepen with this experience. I have friends who are becoming ill as time creeps up on them and facing ones mortality is an uncomfortable process. 
11/15 Direct Link
I'm having a few "my body won't cooperate" days and I don't like it one bit. I am constantly in pain and I hope that I'm just experiencing a bit of a virus because my voice won't cooperate either. As I have 2 weeks before I need to perform and direct this show, and hopefully not look and sound like an idiot, I'd like it to get its act into gear really soon. I'm getting nervous about the performance. Tickets aren't selling well yet and I have no back stage crew for a 2.5 hour show.
11/16 Direct Link
I went to get my hair done this morning. There's something really uplifting about having your hair nicely styled. I can walk around in daggy clothes with no make up if my hair is well styled and still feel on top of the world. The same rules don't apply for anyone else, I'm happy to take them exactly as they are (well at least as much as the next person is) but I'm completely out of sorts if my hair is a mess. So, today I feel better about myself. Things will come together, they always do work out.
11/17 Direct Link
I'm really over this performance and becoming more "over" it as the days go by. It's not the show that bothers me, and I'm willing to put in the incredible amount of hours that it takes. Unfortunately, the people in the show have done a couple now and everyone thinks they're an expert. The trouble with knowing what you're doing is that other people get the impression that it's easy and anyone can do it. I've had over 30 years experience with choirs and a good 20 years experience with performances and I still don't find it easy. I'm tired.
11/18 Direct Link
I'm getting really tired and disheartened. I'm really, really tired of fighting with people. The choir have decided that they want to sing traditional carols. Unfortunately, most of them can barely hold a tune and can't hold a harmony. I don't have backing music that is complimentary to their voices and we don't have a pianist. That leaves singing carols in unison. That's not a performance, that's just a sing a long. I'm not doing this so I can be on some giant power trip. It's my job to make them sound good and traditional carols won't cut it.
11/19 Direct Link
If there was ever any doubt in my mind that this is the last year I will produce this show, today has erased it forever. I've butted heads with the choir again, to the point that I've singled the trouble makers out and spoken with them separately. I've bullied the director of the play so that the cast have at least one rehearsal prior to actually getting on stage and I've spent hours  going around the hospital putting up posters. I'm worn out, stressed out, and out of patience. It's time to admit that after this year, my time's up.
11/20 Direct Link
Today was just the tonic I needed. A quiet day preparing for the next semester. Nothing particularly interesting happened. Nothing worth writing about at any rate. It was deliciously boring and just what I needed. We went through my songs again today, and we'll redo them tomorrow. Silent Night is pretty easy, we just need to get the right key and I'm good. Big Girls Don't Cry isn't so easy, in fact, its quite technically difficult. The timing is all over the place and singing an accoustic version is heaps more challenging than I imagined. But, I'm getting there.
11/21 Direct Link
I'm speaking in church next week on music - what else? That seems to be the theme for this month. It would be great if I actually put some of what is in my head down on paper. It's a 25 minute talk, so going blank in the middle wouldn't be easy to cover. Much better to have it written down. I had lots of thoughts in my head but each time I go to write them down something else pops in as well. I guess I just haven't quite got it right yet. Luckily, it's one of my favourite subjects.
11/22 Direct Link

A week to go to dress rehearsal and finally things are starting to fall into place. After explaining my reasoning behind my decisions the cast are starting to understand there's more to this than is apparent at first. They look with a dawning understanding as I take them through the intricacies of all the things that need to be taken into consideration and are finally realising the complexities of putting together a two and a half hour show. They are starting to cooperate and pull together and I'm starting to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, we are getting there!

11/23 Direct Link
Today we were photographed by the local paper so they could do a story to promote the show. I hope they don't misquote us - it's been known to happen. They took what felt like a million pictures of the choir in costume with stethescopes and reflex hammers. If it sells tickets, I really don't care what angle they use. Not only do I want to raise a heap of money so we can buy gifts for families in the area that have had a tough year, but I also want the performers to get the feedback of a decent audience.
11/24 Direct Link
Today was a comedy of errors that evenmade me laugh. I promoted the show live on radio. Unfortunately, they didn't organize it until yesterday and I don't have an office anymore, so the plan was the I would borrow someone else's office. Well, you know what they say about the best made plans... We couldn't transfer the call, so I was interviewed at my desk with a number of interested on lookers present just to increase my self consciousness. I must have said the right things though because the phone has begun to ring and tickets are beginning to sell.
11/25 Direct Link
Two promotions down, and two to go. Today, it was the Sunday Mail. The reporter did an in-depth interview and the photographer was extremely diligent. We were photographed up the hall, down the hall, in the entrance to the hospital and even looking up to a balcony. Where do they think these things up? Anyway, the end result was extremely artistic. Luckily the choir is starting to sound really good because it took the entire hour's practice time to do the interview and photo shoot. The performers are starting to become nervous and it's time to be a coach.
11/26 Direct Link

A change of pace was just what the doctor ordered (so to speak). I spent the morning studying and the afternoon sitting a psychometric test. I've agreed to volunteer for the state emergency services help lines during disaster periods, but they require a psychometric test to ensure that you are suitable. As a psych student who has read about but never experienced the 16PF it was quite fascinating. I'll be interested in the results. As I was in the city I took the opportunity to do a little sight seeing and then went to the movies. A very pleasant day.

11/27 Direct Link
Rehearsals all day and then an interview on radio tonight have filled my Saturday. I speak with much more confidence than I really have, but deep down I know it will be a good show. They are starting to get serious and I saw some of the skits today, The ED guys are doing the Time Warp and they look really good. They've certainly become very excited with costumes and props and the challenge now will be to encourage them to minimize. The choir is sounding much better with the inclusion of some missionaries from church. Should be good!
11/28 Direct Link

My talk in church today went really well. I talked about how music needs to come from your heart, not your mind, especially when its a form of worship. If it comes from your mind, then you're not concentrating on God, you're concentrating on a performance and I don't think that is what music in church should be about. Then I did a final rehearsal with the band. It went really well. I think I can do this! One of the guitarists is a lovely man who is really encouraging. I'm really grateful for his feed back and support.

11/29 Direct Link
The dress rehearsal was all that it should be. Stressful, disjointed and problematic. That way you iron out the glitches before the performance. Unfortunately personalities got in the way yet again tonight and some people thought they had more expertise than they do. The band I'm singing with are mostly professional musicians who have also agreed to be my back stage crew. I'm so grateful to them. Now I just need to get the cast to actually follow their directions (another fight) and then all will run smoothly. I can see I'm going to have to get really tough.
11/30 Direct Link
The last day of the month and what a month! It's been action packed and incredibly stressful. I've learned my lesson and this really will be the last show that I'm involved in. It's just too hard. I'm happy to put in the time but not prepared to constantly battle with my colleagues who think they know a whole lot more than they do. I'm tireder than tired and have really been faced with some demons as I've battled health problems and low self esteem. But I am facing them. That's the trick I guess, just keep on keeping on.