Graduation is Done

Well the last few weeks have been very busy for us. I mean, when are they not? But we have had lots of different things on and some of them have been quite exciting.

We have been down to see my dad at tweed a few times. He is always very unpredictable with how he presents when we see him. One day he is totally off in his own little world and other days he can be quite engaging with us. We have both learned not to be upset by how he presents, but just to be settled in ourselves that he is comfortable, not stressed and soon enough he will be going home – something he has been looking forward to for many, many years.

Kelvin Grove State College had their graduation ceremony for the year 12 students on November 18. Each student was able to take 2 people. Kyah was fortunate enough that borders to NSW were open to those that were not living or had visited a hot spot. So her dad was able to attend with me. The function was very COVID compliant. The two people that came for each student had to stay and sit together. There was no walking around, no talking to others allowed, no socialising with others allowed. All the students; 17, 18 and 19 years of age, were all sitting in very close proximity to each other. I know the experts say “children” are not good transmitters of the COVID virus, but at what age are people defined as adults??? There was two seats close together, then the next lots of two seats was a 1.5m square away.  It was simply bizarre. The most confusing thing about all this was that, we all had to comply with these very explicit rules in order to allow to have the function conducted. But that very same evening 50,000 people were allowed to attend a State of Origin game, where no one practiced physical distancing. The rules seem to be very confusing.

Anyway, Kyah has now graduated from high school. She has had a very unusual schooling. She started school in 2008. Her first year she was in a composite class Kindy and year 1. She continued in composite classes up until she was in year 3, when  we left NSW and moved to QLD.  She was supposed to move into grade 4, but the QLD schooling system insisted because of her age, she needed to be in grade 5. She was one of the oldest in her year in NSW, but she then became one of the youngest in her year. So she missed grade 4.

Kyah’s grade 7 was the first year in QLD to attend high school. In the past it had been that year 7 was the final year of primary school. In grade 7 Kyah was in the Japanese Immersion program at Robina high school. It was so full on. By semester 2 the students (a select handful) were learning math, science and business studies in Japanese! The teacher spoke Japanese, all writing was in Japanese,  the text books were in Japanese, the exams were in Japanese. Kyah and the other students  didn’t even really know Japanese at this stage. She was also doing 30 plus hours of dance each week. By term 1 of grade 8 it was pretty tough. The final straw was when the science teacher expected the students to learn and know the periodic table off by heart in Japanese!! We decided to pull her out of mainstream education. Kyah then did home education with me as her teacher. That was stressful and very busy.

Grade 9, Kyah did distance education. She was dancing almost full time and doing school via distance ed really worked for us. It taught Kyah to be responsible and she learned time management, and the need for prioritising.

Grade 10, 11 and 12, she did at Kelvin Grove State College. But grade 10 she would attend school until 1.30pm, then dance with the Queensland Ballet Academy until 5pm. Grade 11 and 12 she danced from 7.30am till 1.30pm then did school till 5pm. Her subjects were not mainstream, so she did not have to attend school like other kids. She completed a Certificate IV in Dance, outside of school. She completed a Diploma of Business as part of her school workload. She completed a Certificate in Anatomy outside of school.

Her grade 12 is the first grade to go through with the ATAR system. Then needless to say her grade 12 is the first year to have to deal with the pandemic that we know of as COVID-19. A lot of online lessons, minimal socialising, no excursions, very restricted formal functions, graduation was restricted and no formal schoolies.

Despite all these things, she has graduated very successfully. She is currently doing the practical portion of her Pilates Instructor course. We anticipate she will do very well with her results from her one exam. And she will more than satisfy the criteria for graduating, i.e. you need 20 points to graduate. Kyah will graduate with 25 or 26 points. And she did it all in 12 years, not 13. All the kids she started school with still have another year of school to go.

A beautiful gift for Kyah from Anne for graduating. They smelled and looked wonderful.

Her final last day was November 20. Apparently there was a “compulsory” BBQ breakfast the students had to attend. So she did. There was nothing of note that happened, so we are still wondering why it was compulsory.

We had some friends come over for dinner and celebrate Kyah’s completion of school. Kyah did lots of things with her dad while he was up here. It was nice that I could leave them to do what they needed / wanted to do. They used Kyah’s car and spent some good time together. Kyah took him to his first and second Pilates class ever. At least now he will know what she is doing when she says she is working.

We have been looking for a house to purchase in Brisbane. Both Kyah and I have decided that Brisbane is a lovely place to live. She has been fortunate enough to have received a half sponsorship for her Pilates course. So we agree she should commit to working for Liz for at least 18-24 months. So Kyah is in Brisbane for at least that time. I plan on staying for longer than that. My business is picking up and doing really well. I do not want to move again and have to start all over again.

So we’ve been looking at houses to purchase most weekends. I have very specific requirements so even though the description of a house sounds great, it may not be anything near what I need. We’ve been seriously looking  for at least 12 months and half heartedly looking for another 8 or so months. Nothing that fit my specific requirements ever came up. Anyway, last weekend we found the perfect house. It has been renovated and the layout is ideal for my needs with my business. Ceiling height is perfect, location is perfect, size is perfect. So now we are in the process of selling our house on the Gold Coast and buying this house in Brisbane. Don’t believe  anyone if they tell you it is a buyer’s market. It really isn’t. It is a seller’s market at the moment. Houses are being listed and within one to two days they are going under contract for a lot more than the asking price. This is Brisbane in particular.

So are really looking forward to being in our own home again. We have spent a great deal of time restoring furniture and staining it or painting it so it is fresh and “new” when we move. Here is an example of what we have been doing.

This was a table we’ve had for a while. Never like the shape but never had time to do anything about it…

Changed the shape and sanded it back.

Finished product.

The coffee table matches another table I’ve done. I am also going to do a small book case the same colours. Just so they all match. Kyah is also very keen and helpful with making sure all items of furniture are suitable for the new house. She has a flare for interior decorating.

We spent a whole day a couple of weekends ago making Christmas cushion covers. We purchased Christmas fabric and decided what fabrics went well together. Then we used the sewing machine and overlocker and  made five cushion covers each. The idea is that as the Christmas season comes closer to just put the covers on our normal cushions, simply to make the room more festive. Here’s a photo of them.

All the cushion covers. Some do not have cushions in them here.

      

    

Here is a few of them up close.

So another 6 days and Kyah will be fully qualified to work as a Reformer Pilates Instructor. She is hoping to work lots and lots. She’s never had the ability to work because dance has always taken up too much time, it has also been unpredictable in that rehearsals for performances would be scheduled with very little notice to prepare or change plans. I think Kyah is really looking forward to being in an environment where the people are friendly, helpful, positive and she knows what is required of her and when. We found the unpredictability from year to year with the ballet was very unsettling.  We are both very happy to be out of that.

Phil 3: 13-14 1Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.