Wintec vs Waikato: Preparing Myself For Study

I am fully prepared to admit that I am not smartest guy on the planet, but so far the process of weighing up wether to go to Waikato University or Wintec has been a pretty enjoyable one, all be it hugely crucial in getting right which is still continuing to dominate much of the conversation as myself and “the team” try to decide what the best option is for me and more importantly my health in the long term.


So I just wanted to give you guys and update on where we are at.

The plan is to study Journalism. Obviously right.

I can either study what is called a Bachelor Of Media Arts majoring in Communication (at Wintec) or a Bachelor Of Arts majoring in Writing Studies (at University). There is also a little thought of doing Social Work at some point, but for now it is the Bachelor degree which I am aiming for.

With me so far? Cool beans.

Primarily, the two degrees are much the same, but right now it is Wintec which is pulling me in slightly more than University because from what I believe and have been told, University is more theory based where as Wintec is a little more practical. In easier terms, Wintec will be slightly more hands on sit down at the computer and work sort of style, where as with University there are lectures and the likes, then some computer or lab work afterwards.

That’s not to say Wintec doesn’t have lectures also, because there are a few of those there as well.

With both, there will be a lot of work and a lot of study both at campus and at home. I will be busy, busier than I have ever been.

Full time study vs Part time study is also a major factor in this whole decision during the talks we are having right now. In an ideal world I would like to study full time, but with a degree such as the one I am going to be doing, the schedule is very demanding, however Wintec’s timetable is a little easier to manage full time verses the one University has to offer.

Tegan made a great point the other day on Facebook and I really should have worded my status a little better.

Obviously my energy levels are not that of most other people my age, and that has to be taken into account with the decisions I will need to make over the next few weeks. University is closer to home than Wintec, but the “hands on” approach of Wintec suits me a little better than the more “sit in a lecture but also do some hands on” approach that University has offered me. Clearly I am not trying to make an excuse for myself because both Wintec and University have both said that I have the brain power, enthusiasm, and energy to fly through the 3-year degree and pass with terrific marks, both saying I have the talent and will to land a top job in Journalism in the near future post degree, but a full time schedule over the course of 3 years would have an effect on my health and disability long term, there is simply no denying that.

At Wintec, studying the Bachelor Of Media Arts (Communication) a full time schedule looks like this:

Monday: 8am – 12pm 

Tuesday: 8.30am – 12pm 

Wednesday: 9am – 1pm 

Thursday: DAY OFF

Friday: 12pm – 5pm

University were not so clear in their timetable and didn’t offer concrete set times for me, where as Wintec did and also offered alternatives to the schedule long term for myself depending on the fluctuations of my health, which will undoubtably have their own ups and downs.

University offers much of what Wintec does, in my mind the degrees are a little better there, as are the social opportunities, but it is just a bit of a worry with the number of lectures because if I wake up and feel really sick one morning, which honestly happens a lot, and I have a lecture to go to, the fatigue and sickness, tire of muscles, and pain in the limbs I suffer will make it difficult to be 100% attentive throughout what would be a crucial lecture. Even with the support of a PA. Where as at Wintec, I may have more chance of working through that lack of comfort if I am at the computer working that way, which by the sounds of it at this stage Wintec offers more of than Uni does.

It is all such a mind field. But an exciting one.

Sure, doing 4 hours in the morning three days a week and 5 hours in the afternoon on a Friday is more than doable, that is what the full time schedule will look like for me if I go to Wintec, but that is not counting homework and other things.

I think I could manage the full time schedule, but for three years on the trot?

I mean, I don’t know where I am going to be healthwise in six months let alone three years, but I don’t want to let that hold me back either because if I get sick, I get sick. If I die at 25 because my health fails quickly while still working on my degree, then so be it. At least I had a go at it. That really is the mindset now, I am disabled but I don’t think I am really, so I try not to let it effect the will to try and achieve my goals, while at the same time remaining practical in how I live my life day to day. That is really how I feel, I don’t want to let my disability effect my dreams, and I certainly don’t want to go down the path of studying part time without trying full time first, just because I am worried my health my drop earlier rather than later.

I guess I am reserved to the fact that sometime in the next 10 years my health will take a serious hit. That was a big reason why I moved here in the first place, I want to experience while I can, and that includes studying.

Basically, if I study full time and hopefully do well, I will be extremely busy most of the time, but I can have the degree in 3 years. If I study part time it will be easier on my body, my health, and the fatigue, but it will take 6 years.

To have had both the University and Wintec tell me that I have the smarts to do very well in a degree as high as this is a wonderful boost for my confidence, but at this stage I am leaning towards Wintec over University, which is certainly a surprise because University was really the goal when I knew I was moving to Hamilton, so in many respects it has done a bit of a 180.

In terms of on site support, I am golden. I will have a full time PA (personal assistant) with me throughout my studies, at all times on campus to do everything from help me with note taking, to opening doors or getting me a coffee.

It’s actually looking like a pretty sweet deal. I am very lucky.

So the workload may be big, especially if I go full time over part time. I really am pushing for the full time schedule, but I will have to sit down with Mum in particular and see what she thinks. I will certainly do what she feels is the right way to go for my health, because she is the expert on what I am capable of, I have a bit of a habbit of overworking my body at times with my enthusiasm and drive for life.

At the end of the day, my health is important and I don’t want to burn out in six months. I can start at full time and then cut back to part time if the schedule is taking a toll on my general health, but I really don’t want to set the bar low from the outset.

More to come on this.



Predictions For Blackcaps vs India ODI Series

When I got home from the HRV Cup final last night, I hit the pillow knowing that the next day would see the main event of our cricket summer finally get underway.

In just over an hour, the Blackcaps kick off their ODI Series against world champions India, and while many will think that the 5-match series could be a walkover, to me there is a lot of reason to be hopeful at least about the chances of our national team.


The problem for the Blackcaps is consistency, hasn’t it always been that way?

They failed to close out the ODI Series against West Indies, but came back and dominated much of the T20 Series, and let’s not forget about the performance in the Test Series a few weeks earlier.

Martin Guptill needs more consistency, but he hits the ball so cleanly during all his hit outs at the crease. I think he is not far off a big ton, perhaps multiple tons in this Indian series. Jesse Ryder is in typical Ryder form, hit the ball long or get out, I think he should stay just there for now, but let’s be honest most of the batting lineup for our Blackcaps needs to be more balanced, and perform well on a more regular basis. I don’t want to sound like I am negative because I really feel that we have a chance in this series, but India are a whole different animal than the lackluster West Indians were.

How good was it to see Luke Ronchi get up and put on back to back good innings with the bat? He has no justified his selection which was questionable at best prior to the T20 series last week.

Despite so many class names not touring our shores, players like Laxman, Sewag, Tendulker, Yufraj, and more, this Indian side is still absolutely booming with hard hitting, match winning power. I am terrified of what the likes of Kohli and Raina will do when they bat, and Ishant can be deadly with the ball on his day, so the Blackcaps are certainly up against it but we always perform decently well at home.

In short, India are the unchallenged superstars of cricket. That is a huge mountain to try and climb.


I think the Blackcaps may just get up for this one, I am going with a series win 3 -2, India won’t start well in game 1 today, but look for a major comeback in games 2 and 3, before the Blackcaps win games 4 and 5.

Looking forward to it. Of course I am predicting that the boys in black will get up and win, I have to support my own country!



My Parents: A New Change For Them Too

When I think of my childhood, it wasn’t anything other than fantastic. I mean, you couldn’t dream of having better parents than I had.

Sure I am a little bit one sided, but I think most people believe that their parents are just the bees knees, well I do anyway.


The move, the new life, my new experiences, and everything else that has been going on has been just as big a change for Mum and Dad as it has for myself. One of the big motivators in favor of moving out for me was the opportunities it would present Mum and Dad, mainly the opportunity for them to finally just be my parents, not my parents and my caregivers, and the transition from that to this has been really interesting. I now find myself waking up everyday not needing my Mum to feed me breakfast, not needing Dad to pull my legs forward every couple of hours, I just have my parents as my parents you know, it is a truly awesome feeling and it is one of the best realities of this new life so far.

I won’t lie, a big reason why I decided to move was because I would be god damned if I was to be relying on my parents when they were 70 years old plus, I just couldn’t imagine getting Dad out of bed at 2AM when he was 75 to turn me over.

It WAS NOT going to happen, I would rather be in a hospital than see my parents have to struggle at that age.

The thing is though, they would have done that for me, without a problem. If I had of decided to stay at home, and believed this move was just too unimaginable to even try out, they would have supported me in that too.

But honestly, I never ever believed for a second that this wouldn’t work. I had slight doubts, but I just had something inside telling me to do it, because it would all fall into place, and it has done just that.

It is hard to explain to able bodied people, but you rely a lot on others when you are disabled like this, often for the most basic and personal of day to day rituals. It does add another dynamic to the typical parent/child relationship, in my opinion it makes it stronger, unbreakable actually.

To me it makes you respect Mum and Dad a whole lot more, or at least it bloody well should!

I don’t think there was one time in 22 years where I told my Mum to “shut up and feed me” or “go and get my drink now”, it was just never like that, and when it came to Dad there was ALWAYS a level of respect there, and I thank him for the benchmark he set. I believe a Dad is important to a child’s upbringing, they harden you up a bit, and Dad was always a hard bugger but also the fairest person on the planet.

You could probably count the number of times Mum and I would have an argument on one hand. Sure we had our fights, but they never lasted anymore than a few minutes, and it would always end in a cup of tea and a chat when it was over.

How has the relationship changed since I moved to Hamilton?

It is different, but it’s so much better. Mum and Dad typically journey up here every weekend to see me, and I always feel so happy when I see my Mum and give her a big hug. It is like a catchup really, they come in and make themselves a drink, maybe some lunch, and we just sit in the lounge talking about everything that has been happening, then after a few hours it’s time to say goodbye and they are back on the road off home again.

The thing is, now days when they come and see me, they don’t have to do ANYTHING for me, if anything it’s me who does stuff for them. They don’t have to help me with my shower, make me a drink, go and pick something up off the floor, they can just come in and sit down, relax and be parents.

I love it.

I want to say that I appreciate my parents more now that I have become more independent and moved to Hamilton, but the fact is that I appreciated them as much as I do now before doing this. Moving out hasn’t raised that appreciation, it has raised my love of them, and when you stop and think that you are able to do things like go to the shop on your own, go to the cricket, to the movies, get the weekly groceries, all without the assistance of Mum n Dad, you just pinch yourself and smile like a goon for a few moments.

In the back of my mind I feel so safe in the knowledge that if god forbid, god forbid something were to happen to Mum or Dad, then I would be ok, and Mum or Dad wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with me.

The reality is your parents are not going to be around forever, they are human too and eventually they will pass on, I wanted them to know and be comfortable in the knowledge that I would be safe, secure, and ok in what I would imagine would be hugely tough times if I ever lost them. That is a HUGE thing about this new life, and I never understood why others in my position who had the opportunity to do the same as me simply shut the door on it without looking into it at all, because what happens to that person if their Mum went out and got hit by a bus tomorrow?

At best you are looking at moving with other family, at worst something like a rest home or respite care centre. Yes, that SUCKS to think about, but there has to come a time when you have to consider it a possibility, it wasn’t like I was just going to rely on the fact that I would probably pass away before they did, even though that could happen, excuse my French but FUCK thinking like this. It dawned on me that it could be a reality. That is a scary but so real prospect.

This house was a real “take it or leave it” scenario, if I didn’t jump on board then someone else would have, and I would have missed out.

Sure, if Mum or Dad ever passed away it would be gut wrenching, but at least Chris and myself won’t need to worry about how we are going to be looked after if that ever happened to either of us, fortunately Chris and I don’t have to face that worry now.

I really hope that Mum and Dad are proud of themselves as parents, because they did a fantastic job raising Jenna and me.

Sure, my new life will have its ups and downs, I will get my heartbroken by a girl I am sure, but no matter what happens, I don’t plan to make any mistakes, but even if I do, I know I can’t blame it on how I was raised, and I can’t blame it on the fact that I am sitting in a wheelchair,  because I was raised with the belief that I am not disabled, I am a human being, and I can achieve my goals with a little hard work and constant plucking away, never giving up, and knowing who you are and where you came from.

The biggest accomplishment my parents achieved with me was the thinking I have in me right now, and that is: “disability… what disability?”.

I guess I am saying that I really don’t feel as if I am disabled anymore, I just feel like a normal human being, and I love my parents just as much if not more than anyone else, disabled or not. This life “in a chair” isn’t a bad thing, it is a challenge, but I try to focus on what is good about that never ending challenge.



Concerning Heatstroke During Australian Open

Don’t you just love January? Not only is cricket season in full swing, but tennis finally returns to the big time with the Australian Open kicking off this week in Melbourne.

Due to Hewitt’s longer than predicted knockout match yesterday, I missed the Nadal/Tomic match last night, I really couldn’t stay awake any longer I am afraid, but from what I hear it was a little bit of a walkover anyway.

I want to start tonight by discussing some of the controversy I have seen on social media today surrounding the heat over in Melbourne, word has it many players have collapsed, even passed out during the first few days of the open. Clearly it is concerning, playing in that type of heat would be extremely testing on even the fittest of athletes, and I think the ATP really need to take a long hard look at the timing of this tournament going forward. Many argue that as these players are elite athletes then they should be able to cope with the conditions. You are playing in 40 degree heat, imagine how much hotter it is on the court, it really is a scary possibility that a tennis player could get seriously sick from heatstroke, there has to come a time when the safety of the players needs to take paramount over tournament schedule. I am no sports director, and I am certainly the furtherest thing from a health and fitness expert, but some of the news I have read about coming out of Melbourne is certainly troubling.

Frank Dancevic lies on the court after collapsing during his match

Hopefully the temps drop over in Melbourne, but don’t hold out much hope for that as January is typically the hottest time of the year over in Australia.

I just hope I don’t wake to the news that a player has been seriously injured, or even died due to the heat.

And finally, the Blackcaps have wrapped the T20 Series against West Indies tonight, winning in Wellington in what was the closest game of the tour without question. Luke Ronchi has had two class outings back to back now, and I think the Blackcaps have a lot of reason to take confidence heading into the Indian series which kicks off this Sunday.

Do the Blackcaps stand a chance against India? Certainly, but it will be a much tougher series than the one just gone, without doubt. The World Cup is a year away, consistency has to be key going forward. West Indies scored 365 in Hamilton the other night, and I just think that a score like that will be par come semi final time in World Cup, especially on a ground like Eden Park, where the Blackcaps will play in the semi if they get through the round robin unbeaten, a very tough ask on its own.



New House: How It’s All Been Going So Far

They say that when a person moves out of home for the first time its life changing.

After nearly a month of living in Hamilton and experiencing all the things I have, I can totally agree with that theory. I have talked about how the new house has been going in little blips and blobs lately, but I wanted to write a solid editorial about the ins and outs of how things are for me now, so sit and read while I try and give it my best shot.


Life is pretty different these days, that is probably the biggest thing. I knew well before I moved that my life was about to change in a pretty big way, and almost from the get go the transition from Te Kuiti to here was fairly simple and easy to adjust to. I moved in on December 17th, which was my 22nd birthday also, so it was a pretty big day for sure. But I will admit that my first night here was one of the scariest and most nerve wracking moments of my entire life. It was just an end to what always was, and the beginning of something new, but while it was so exciting and comfortable, it was a gigantic leap to make without a doubt and when you begin thinking about things like your health and your disability, you just hope it all works out for the best I suppose and you just need to trust that the people who are looking after you will see you right through thick and thin, keep you healthy and the likes.


I am pleased to say that all my worries were for nothing. Because the transition has been so easy as I said, and the carers here are FANTASTIC in every sense of the word.

Perhaps the biggest change is how busy my life has become. Everyday it seems there is something to go and do. On the usual day I am getting out of bed at around 7 – 7.30, off for my morning run/ride by 8, having breakfast at 8.30, then in the van and on the road by 9.30 – 10 going off to do something. Grocery shopping, errands, days out here there and everywhere, random drives, visiting people, or off to the NZ Care offices to pick up the latest rosters, everything is go go go most days.

As someone with a disability which tends to suck the life out of you even on the best of days, you have to work hard and manage your energy levels. It can be maybe eating an extra wheetbix in the morning, or taking a longer shower that afternoon, going to bed at the usual time every night, planning ahead as best as possible so you know what to expect. I find eating fruit is helping me stay at full pace. Sometimes the phone will ring and you are wanted somewhere, you had planned on watching the cricket at that time, then the next minute you are in the van heading somewhere, it’s all very off the cuff and random. It’s difficult to manage the energy, but my body is adjusting to the new schedule and so far it’s keeping up as best as it can, so I am happy.


I live with 3 other flatmates. There is Chris, the other guy in the house, and then the two girls (or should I say woman?) Alyssa and Christine.

It’s actually quite good because for the most part, we are all doing our own things pretty much all the time. There isn’t a lot of sitting around the table talking apart from at dinner time, usually Chris is over at his sisters house during the day, and I am either in my room or out running errands somewhere, while the girls are watching TV or having their afternoon naps, with a few smokes thrown in here and there.

Honestly, they smoke like trains! Glad I don’t because it’s an expensive habbit.

I am a lot closer to Chris than I am to the girls for sure. Chris is a lot like me in many ways, and so far we seem to connect really well, and we have the same opinion on a lot of things.

Occasionally Chris will be playing PS3 in the room next to me and suddenly you will hear him shout “SUCK A BAG OF DICKS” or “MOTHER FUCKER… MOTHER FUCKING FUCKER” at his PlayStation. He is very passionate about a lot of things, and I really enjoy his company. Some nights I will just bring my laptop in his room and chill in there with him, listen to heavy metal while we both sit on our computers doing our own things, with casual conversation every now and then.


I guess you could say the girls are much more normal than Chris and I. Things are very quiet down their end of the house usually.

There has been so much going on that I could be here for hours, but for me the new experiences, even the boring or errand running ones have been awesome. It is just a big bunch of random, the other night we randomly decided to go to the lake and have dinner, I was in my PJ’s but I didn’t give a rats behind, I just threw a jersey on and romped up to the lake sporting my blue PJ pants.

One of the big things that made me stop and go WOW was just the other day, but for most people reading this it won’t seem like all that big a deal, but it was for me. I took my wallet in hand, drove down to the shops, went into PaperPlus brought some magazines and a calendar, went to the Supermarket and checked the lotto tickets, then drove back home again.

I did it all on my own, with absolutely ZERO assistance from anyone. It was just an awesome feeling afterwards, I really don’t know why. In the back of my mind I was thinking “have someone with you in case someone tries to steal your wallet”, but I wanted to at least try and see if I could get to a counter in a shop and purchase something on my own. It would have been fine if I got to the shop and discovered I couldn’t reach or something, I would have either asked for help, or just driven back home again empty handed. A waisted trip maybe, but a learning experience no matter the outcome.

It’s hard to say what is going to happen next, because on any given day you find yourself doing something new that you had never done before, but for me one of the big plans is going to University in March and studying the Bachelor Of Arts majoring in Writing Studies. That is the plan and I am getting enrolled soon. Anything and everything else apart from that will just happen.

Overall, I am so glad I moved to Hamilton and took what at the time felt like such an exciting yet risky venture to take on. Because it was risky, especially when you think about the fluctuations of my general health and well being, but like I said the carers here are absolutely fucking fantastic in every sense of the word, they are all kiwis which helps, and they really have become like family to me. I see them everyday, they look after me, but more so than that they have become such close friends already, they don’t just cook and clean, they eat with us and go out with us, experience everything with us, the good and bad, the exciting or indifferent. Most of them are young too which helps. As a disabled person I think that one of the big things you have to bear is trusting another human being, many cases with your life, it’s not easy at all to do, but meeting people halfway and maybe taking a little bit of a leap of faith has paid off in this case, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

I miss living with Mum and Dad, I miss my cat Basil, but I am lucky that Mum and Dad are up here visiting me almost every weekend. They really aren’t all that far away.

Do I think other people in my position could do this? Yes I do. The carers are that good, in many ways I am far worse off health wise compared to Chris, especially in my arm ability, he can’t even feed himself, but he makes it work… so I think that yes given an open mind and a bit of luck, it could be something perhaps some of the younger ones coming through can look into one day. I have done my dash, it will be different for them.

So, in conclusion. The move has been a major major success so far, and from what we have talked about and plans that have been made, it looks like the best is yet to come for all of us here. I am going swimming for the first time in over 10 years soon, that is another big event on the horizon. I can’t wait.



Back To The Blogging Stratosphere

With the move to Hamilton I knew I wanted to do a lot of things, new and different, weird and crazy, as well as meaningful and unique. But I also wanted to keep doing a lot of some things too, and now that I have settled in and got to know “my new life”, I figured it was a good time to launch a new blog where I could give my friends and family a sort of “inside access” into how life rolls these days.

So welcome to simply, THE REAL MICHAEL PULMAN.

I will try to blog very often on this new platform, with the aim of putting out new content every day, or at least every second day for sure. I will write about many things, from life theory to sports, from gaming to random little ideas that pop into my head, to deep and meaningful editorials on subjects big (and at times uncomfortable) in the world today.

You can follow me on Twitter @realmikepulman

Yes, just another blogging platform I have launched. I promise this one will last much longer than the others.


Michael Pulman