It's been a strange week. Miss 13 was coming down with what we thought was a mild cold on the day of the trampoline competition last weekend. But it turned out to be a bit more than a minor cold and she's spent most of this week in bed and barely eating. Thankfully she's on the road to recovery now, although complaining that her jeans no longer stay up since she's lost so much weight! Needless to say not a lot of formal learning has happened. She did manage to mostly keep up with her three MOOCs though. The fact that they are comprised of multiple short segments really helped since it meant she could do just a little work when she felt able. Ecosystems finished this week with a thought provoking look at conservation efforts in China, Uganda and the Galapagos Islands. The importance of taking into account the needs of the local population and working with them was one of the key messages we took from this week. Our literature course focused on Pride and Prejudice, one of Miss 13's favourites. While she managed to watch the videos she just wasn't able to really dig in to the extra readings as she would have had she been well. Animal Behaviour continues to be my favourite and hers too. This week was all about animal communication and, as usual, there were lots of case studies (many involving birds) which help to make the learning fascinating. Sickness has meant no progress on either of the two assignments for this course though and the first one is due next week. Not sure whether or not she'll make the deadline now. We'll keep up with the video lectures though, even if we have to scale back the rest of our plans in relation to this course.
As for me I was amazed at how much spare time I had (and how much easier it seemed to be to fit cooking and cleaning into my schedule) without homeschooling. It really made me think about what I'm going to do with myself once Miss 13 has finished. If she takes after her oldest siblings that could be in as little as 3 and a half years. Gulp! I can't see myself returning to either of my pre-children roles. After graduating the first time I worked as a policy analyst for the Department of Justice, a job I found okay but a little boring. Then I completed a PhD in history but, if the number of redundancies from local universities is anything to go by, I can't see me gaining employment as an academic either - not that I would necessarily want to. The problem is I'm not exactly sure what I would like to do with the next stage of my life. Definitely something to ponder in my spare time.
The other strange thing about this week was the dh and I actually went out - to the movies. Can't recall the last time we did that but I know I haven't been in a movie theatre since the first earthquake (September 2010). I was tidying up some drawers and discovered a couple of vouchers we'd been given for Christmas. I'd totally forgotten about them and they expired six months after Christmas, two days after I found them. Luckily Miss 19 was home one night to keep an eye on Miss 13 since she was so unwell I wouldn't have felt good leaving her with Mr 16 - he's not the most sympathetic nursemaid! We saw Like Father, Like Son, a Japanese film about two families who discovered their six year old sons were swapped in the hospital just after their births. It was a beautifully shot and acted movie, with lots to say about nature vs nurture, what makes a family and the role of fathers. We were both so engrossed in the film we weren't even aware of the subtitles. It brought back memories of my former self. As a student and while in my first proper job I used to belong to several film societies and go to the movies, especially the less mainstream ones, regularly. One of those things that went by the wayside when we moved overseas so dh could study and then decided to have kids as well. Student scholarships only go so far and food took priority!
No actual birding this week but there was a definite highlight online. We've been keeping an eye on a puffin cam and when we checked in on Sunday morning the egg was beginning to hatch. So we spent several hours patiently waiting and watching as the puffling (wonderful name don't you think?) slowly emerged.