Category Archives: Updates from UC staff

Important information for students from UC staff.

Book Release: Motherhood Missed: Stories From Women Who Are Childless by Circumstance

What happens when you grow up imagining you will have a child at some point, but find yourself running out of time, and it hasn’t happened? Not because you are (as far as you know) infertile, but because life didn’t work out that way for you? 

Circumstantial childlessness is a growing demographic trend, especially amongst academic and professional women. In the new book Motherhood Missed: Stories From Women Who Are Childless by Circumstance, UC lecturer Dr Lois Tonkin edits a collection of 32 first person narrative essays that explores this experience.

Tonkin’s book was published in both the UK and US on 10 September, timed to be launched for World Childless Week 2018.

As both a researcher and a counsellor, Tonkin, who specializes in infertility and grief, collected and edited the stories, which are arranged in a way that explores the complexities of this experience.

The stories explore women’s experience of sometimes conflicted feelings around issues such as grief, feminism, abortion, and the sense of isolation they often feel in a world that valorises motherhood and centres on families and children.  

“There are stories from young women in the early thirties, and older women now in their fifties, single women and those in partnerships, gay and straight women, and one trans woman – women living in New Zealand, Australia, US, India, Spain, and the UK.”

 “They discuss their responses to not being mothers when they thought they would, and the ways they are coming to terms with this and creating lives they value and enjoy, alongside grieving at times for the children they have not had, and the lives as mothers that they have not lived.”

The book has been endorsed by three high profile women in this field internationally: Jessica Hepburn, author of ‘21 miles: Swimming in search of the meaning of motherhood’, and ‘The Pursuit of Motherhood’; Stephanie Phillips, Founder of World Childless Week; and Kathleen Guthrie Woods, San Francisco based ‘Life Without Baby’ columnist and author of ‘The Mother of All Dilemmas’. Its Foreword is written by Jody day, founder of the award winning website Gateway-Women.

The book is available both as a paperback and an eBook, and can be ordered from Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads, or  bookshops.

A MID-WINTER SUMMER FOR FIVE UC STUDENTS

During July’s mid-year break, Jade Humphrey, Kerridwen Russ, Natalie McHugh, Ruby Maurice and I had the opportunity to participate in the week-long Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT)’sLand-Sky-Ocean summer school in Weihai, China.

Participants consisted of over 68 students from seven different countries, which provided a fantastic opportunity to learn not only about Chinese culture, but also South Korea, Russia, and Vietnam.

The first few days of the programme focused on language learning classes and academic seminars, interspersed with opportunities to explore Weihai and the HIT campus.

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Photos courtesy of the group’s takeover of the @ucnz Instagram feed.

The academic seminars focused on the latest research being conducted at HIT. I particularly enjoyed the seminar on satellite design given by Associate Professor Wu Baolin. It was amazing to see undergraduate students developing and launching working satellites so early on in their academic career.

The last days of the programme focused on sharing and learning from our respective cultures. For our cultural exchange, we sang a traditional Māori waiata, Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi and showcased the facilities and lifestyle of UC.

From the perspective of a commerce student, this trip was invaluable both personally and professionally.  The experience challenged our ideas about China, international collaboration and helped shape us to become more well-rounded students and individuals.

Professionally, this trip has given me the experience to tackle the challenges of coordinating global supply chains that I’ll face in my graduate position next year.

I encourage all students, regardless of their study area, to get involved with the international opportunities that UC has to offer as they are truly life-changing.

We are extremely grateful to the International Relationships Office and our respective departments for providing us with the opportunity to represent UC in this programme.

Jared McNicoll, BCOM.

Find out more about Global Opportunities available through UC here>

Learn NZ Sign Language during term 4

Sign up to the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) introductory course running in term four. Learn how to finger-spell the alphabet, basic phrases, numbers, some university specific vocabulary and basic grammar. No previous NZSL experience is required and the course is open to both students and staff.

Classes will be held each Thursday of term four from 12.00 – 12.50pm in the Puaka-James Hight building. The course costs $60 and class dates are 13, 20, 27 Sept, 4, 11 and 18 Oct.  Handouts are provided and there is no structured homework with the course, but practicing what you have learnt between classes is encouraged to enhance your learning.

Sign up today to learn New Zealand’s third official language. Simply email Nicola McDonald nicola.mcdonald@canterbury.ac.nz for details and a form to enrol.

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