Term 4 Week 9

As was expected the majority of this week was devoted to cleaning and packing, getting ready to leave on Thursday. We didn’t have an individual timetable this week. We all used the time instead to work on whatever it was that we needed to.


After group meeting on Monday morning I asked to work with Kathi to finalise my C.V. and finish getting together everything I need to send to Monash with the form that I have been working on throughout the term. I had made some small changes to my C.V. over the weekend so Kathi checked those for me and helped me fix up the formatting slightly. Then we put everything together, addressed an envelop and I took it up to reception to post. It was a huge relief to have that finished and sent away. After that I spent the rest of the day cleaning. As I had planned, I devoted all of Sunday to cleaning too. In that time I managed to get a large majority of my room finished and a fair bit of my chore too. On Monday I continued working on it. This term I have the chore of lounge, dining room and wheelchair access bathroom for spring cleaning. I don’t mind this chore as it’s not too bad, especially not when compared to the kitchen that I had last term. On Monday I cleaned out the student fridge, cleaned the windows in both my chore and my room, did some touch ups in my room and spring cleaned the entire bathroom as I hadn’t started on it at all until then.


When choosing a restaurant for our Christmas lunch we came up with two options. The first was Wildfire. The second, the one I suggested, was to go back to the Riverhead Tavern. This is where we had gone in March for my 21st lunch. Jude asked each student to vote for the restaurant they would prefer. Half of the group voted for each restaurant  . So Jude put the vote to the staff. But again, the vote was split half and half. Jude then decided that we would do both. She used the second lunch on Tuesday as an incentive to encourage us to have our chores and rooms mostly spring cleaned by Tuesday. Most years students are given the opportunity to choose an outing from earlier in the year that they enjoyed and would like to revisit. This term we had too many things planned already so we weren’t able to revisit an outing. Going back to Riverhead sort of served this purpose though. Thankfully most of the group were well on their way to being ready to leave on Thursday so we were all able to head up to the Riverhead. For my birthday we took a boat cruise up to the tavern. This time though we were just driving. I had thoroughly enjoyed the meal I had last time there and had been craving the pork ribs ever since. We started lunch with garlic pizza, which we shared between pairs. Then I had the ribs. In my honest opinion I didn’t think they were nearly as good as last time but they were still delicious. For Christmas lunches students are given special dispensation to have a drink with their meal. I chose to have a toblerone cocktail as my dessert. It was also delicious. Then we headed back to Kickstart. It was nice to have a relaxing day on Tuesday after I was so busy cleaning on Sunday and Monday.


Wednesday was another day mostly devoted to cleaning. We were also a part of the Homai end of year concert. This year the theme for the concert was music and books. As we were performing for the students up at the school we decided to perform the Three Bears Rap. We went up for our rehearsal in the morning. Other than that I spent the rest of the day cleaning and packing. After lunch it was time for the concert to begin. We watched the other groups perform. They were all fun and I enjoyed supporting the performers. The audience seemed to enjoy our item too. By the time I went to bed on Wednesday just about everything was sorted ready to leave the next morning.


To begin with on Thursday I took Smooch to the cattery. I was very sad to say goodbye to her as I really love that cat and I know I will miss her heaps. Then I returned to Kickstart to finish off the last-minute things such as vacuuming my floor and cleaning the sink in my room. Then we left for the airport. As expected it was sad to say goodbye to everyone but we promised to keep in touch. It felt quite surreal to be leaving. I can’t believe that my time at Kickstart is over now.


I would like to thank each and every person who has taken the time to read my blog over the past two years. I have enjoyed documenting my time here at Kickstart and I hope that anyone who reads the entries have enjoyed hearing about it. I especially want to thank the people who have read every single entry that I post. The dedication means a lot to me. This will be the last entry that I post. I can’t see any reason to post more after this. I am going to decide some time in the near future if I will keep this blog online or if I will take it down. Either way though, I am going to post my email address here again in case anyone wants to get in touch with me privately. My email is: cassie.embling@gmail.com


Spending two years in the Kickstart programme has truly changed my life. I am a completely different person now when compared to the girl I was when starting as a student here. I know that I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a member of the team. I can say without doubt that 2013-14 have been the best two years of my life. Many laughs were had over the time and some memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life were created. I will miss the staff and students who I have shared some amazing times with and hope to keep in touch with them for years to come. 

I have been fortunate enough to experience a huge array of activities around New Zealand through our Friday outings. Some of the most memorable for me have been climbing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, seeing Stomp perform, meeting Burma the elephant at Auckland Zoo, jet boating, high tea, Hobbiton, seeing a movie in the La Premiere cinema and celebrating my 21st birthday with a river cruise and beautiful lunch among many others. I hope that my contributions to the group, such as getting the tactile tiles installed in the Countdown car park, introducing Swish to Kickstart, modernising the menu planners and others are enjoyed and appreciated for years to come. It seems a fitting way to end this blog by mentioning a short list of things that I can do or have experienced that I never thought I would before coming to Kickstart. Successfully applying mascara, cooking roast meals, mowing the lawn, cooking on a BBQ, serving a 3 course meal, making sushi, polishing my shoes and lighting candles are just a small number of things I can do now. I will leave Kickstart and start the next chapter of my life confidently, competently and happily and for that I say thank you.




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