Monday, December 26, 2016

we learn

Cerpogia stapeliiformis is identified as being particularly hard to grow in cultivation. Being as it looks like a fat dead stick, I had to give it a shot. Unfortunately I doomed myself to failure the day after bringing this baby home. It had some light scale growing on it, and using a Q-tip and some soapy water I wiped away what I could. Even that light touch of moisture was enough to start in rot on the growing tip of the longest stem. I've since amputated and sealed the cut with ground cinnamon, but the rot appears to have spread throughout the plant anyway.

My woolly senecios aren't looking too happy either. Scarposus and haworthii require the same conditions and care: heaps of sun and extremely careful watering, as they're also prone to rot. I pulled both of them up today to check the roots. Scarposus is looking okay in the roots, but extremely limp and withered in the leaves. In any other succulent, I'd assume that would be from lack of water, but this one I'm not so sure about. Haworthii has unfortunately had a big root die off. Still some good living ones visible, but on the whole, not great. I'm mostly certain the potting medium and pots I had them in were contributing factors here, so I've repot them both in near pure scoria and more open pots. I'll think about giving them some water in a couple of weeks.

I'm one of those foolish individuals who creates their own superstitions. The Senecio haworthii I bought the day I sat my STAT tests, as a celebration. In my mind, the possibility of me going to university is now inextricably entwined with the life of this plant. Things aren't looking good.

The university sent out an email notifying all who'd applied for the course I've taken aim at that this course will no longer be offered as part time. No reason was given for this.

It's a spanner in the works. Full time the course is 20 contact hours a week, with homework and prep on the side. Sometimes, I feel strong enough to manage that. Most of the time I don't. Much as I want to try full time, I had been assuming I'd do the degree part time.

Right now, unemployed, I'm living part time. Fibromyalgia first manifested as my working part time, but after the last few years and all that has happened, I exist part time. There are so many hours that perhaps another person could use productively, that I spend simply being exhausted. I know I can study just fine, I'm doing it right now with chemistry. The system just needs to be flexible. I'm willing. I can do these things. In my own time.

There's small room for wiggle, as in the case of "exceptional circumstances" the Dean may allow a student to complete the degree part time. I don't yet know what constitutes an exceptional circumstance, and until I know whether or not I even have an offer I don't wish to draw attention to myself. This degree only has a small yearly intake, and I have a pretty distinct name.

It could be that chronic illness is not an acceptable reason for part time study. In which case, the only option I have is to drop the course entirely. The offer of a refund of the VCAT application fee is small compensation given the surrounding money I've sunk into merely making myself eligible to apply.

There are other paths and plans. But.

I want to get myself into a place where I can stop trying to get into a place, and start focusing my energy on being in that place. I want to stop reaching and reaching and reaching and start building.

It is all learning. Sometimes plants die, and sometimes plans are thwarted.

Other plants thrive. Other plans work. This disappointment will pass. One day.

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