Tag Archives: victoria


All right, so I caved in and ingested *some* caffeine this weekend. I have been on a good anti-coffee streak for about 2 trimesters until recently. Coffee in this town is simply too good to resist; in fact, I’m surprised I managed to hold out for so long. Since about 2 months ago, I’ve been drinking coffee maybe….once a fortnight as a “treat” to myself and also because I’ve just been feeling more and more lackadaisical from sleepless nights and baby weight. (Btw, it’s quite safe for pregnant women to drink limited amounts of coffee containing between 150mg-300mg caffeine. I just chose to avoid it completely for awhile, just in case. For more information, click here.)

This new cafe, Market Lane Coffee, at the Victoria Market in Melbourne serves exceptional coffee and I’m glad I got a cappuccino from them! They also sell some pretty cool coffee brewing devices and some really wonderful coffee beans. They’re on Therry Street next to the market. Apparenty there’s also another outlet at the Prahran Market. These cute little cafes serving quality food and drink are really what make Melbourne such a great food town…and me, a very contented foodie.


so here’s a snapshot of what being an SLP employed by the department of education in melbourne victoria is like:

– technically, you don’t automatically get school holidays off (you have to apply to take those days off and yes you only get 20 vacation days a year);

– you sometimes work out of store rooms, principals’ offices, staff rooms…basically any spare room the schools can find you;

– you have to pay tax on your travel claims;

– you don’t really have a clear idea of a career progression path;

– you don’t get recognized monetarily for studying more;

– you get $300 to attend Professional Development courses;

– you have to pay for your own end of year celebration meals because apparently we don’t need a break or team bonding activities;

– you don’t get your membership with the professional board (Speech Pathology Australia) (about $450 a year) automatically paid for;

– you see kids for therapy at best once a fortnight which really allows you to see lots of progress (NOT).

and here’s what you get for being a teacher:

– almost all of the above catered for.

i’m still trying to understand WHY anyone would want to be a Department employed SLP for more than 2 years. the working conditions are absolutely shocking. not to mention graduate SLPs are paid WAY less than teachers for having similar qualifications (don’t even get me started on the fact that my Masters is not worth anything in this system).

take me back to california.

Finally went to Brighton Beach, home to the famous colorful beach huts. What a pretty sight to see on a lovely day in spring.


The school holidays are here. That means I get to work from home. Also, I took a few days “off” work. We’re going to Sydney this coming weekend to meet Bry’s sister and husband, then follow them to Noosa, and finally end the trip with a couple days in Adelaide where Bry has to be to present a paper. The whole trip in about 6 days.

I’m not setting my alarm for tomorrow morning. That means I get to sleep in till probably just past 7am (vs 6am on a normal school day): how luxurious!

Yes, haven’t had time to update this blog (or my other one). Working 5.5 days, plus tutoring and attending bible study one night a week, can really be quite tiring sometimes, surprisingly! Anyhow, will try to update more regularly. Last weekend Bry and I went to Torquay, a beach town about 60kms south west of Melbourne, to celebrate our one year anniversary. The place was beautiful, the time spent was wonderful.


As usual, the weekend came and went so quickly! Melbourne, Australia was hit with catastrophic bushfires this weekend, where over 100 people have died and hundrends of homes have been destroyed. We’re really far from the disaster epicenter , but being in the same state as these people, naturally still feel saddened by this disaster.

This incident reminds me of the 2007 SoCal wildfires that left hundreds of people homeless, schools and businesses shut for about a week or two, ash gray skies, and evacuation camps at Qualcomm stadium and other neighboring high schools. It was a much scarier time for me back then because the raging fires were much closer to me and I also had friends who had to evacuate or were on evacuation standby. One of my English students actually saw the huge flames right behind her house and thought San Diego was under terrorist attack, before she found out it was a bushfire.

Parallels can be drawn for both incidents…some of the fires were started by arsonists and then spread under the dry weather and strong winds. But what’s crazy is the death toll in the San Diego/So Cal fires was really minimal (under 10, I think, despite its magnitude) compared to the Victorian one of about 135.

Anyhow, our thoughts and prayers over the next few days for these Melbournian victims and their families, as well as to the firefighters and staff assisting in disaster relief. May God bring you strength, endurance, consolation, and relief.

If you wish to read more about the fires, you can do so at the Sydney Morning Herald, or here on the New York Times. You may also wish to donate to the disaster relief via the Australian Red Cross.

  • 1) Keep sticking your head in the fridge/freezer
  • 2) Splash water on body every hour
  • 3) Sit infront of a big cooler fan
  • 4) Have a glass of ice water
  • 5) Hide in the room with blinds and curtains shut
  • 6) Stay away from the laptop that emits heat
  • 7) DO NOT leave the apartment and if you really need to, slap a ton of sunblock, wear a big hat, sunglasses, and a cool, long-sleeve top
  • 8) Oh, and cover the legs too — very important because the heat radiating from the ground, from experience, is literally painful to bare the legs.

This heatwave is supposed to go on for just a few more days. The simple solution to half the problems would be to get a portable air conditioner BUT we’re too much of a scrooge to pay to be comfortable for the rest of the week. Whew.

AND I can’t believe people are battling out for a grand slam in this weather; it just sounds inhumane. I wonder if the health authorities will try to put a halt to the games?

Here’s one of the few new necklaces I made yesterday with a hint of blue. Inspired by my longing for…for winter!


USD17 only on

Going to make more ice now. Laters.