Sunday, 28 August 2011

College - Week 12...

Counselling was previously billed as a 'fun session' this week, but Family Therapy is about as much fun as a visit to the dentist in my opinion. Six volunteers were required to take on roles within a close-knit family, who were all attending a wedding, suffering from a recent bereavement (of course!).

I deliberately stayed quiet when the performing roles were offered, and for my silence I ended up as observer and therapist instead. It was amusing watching your female classmates take on the male roles, and I was suitably impressed with their acting abilities under the difficult circumstances.

After forgoing our usual mid-morning break, we ended our first session earlier than usual, and gained an hour and a half long lunch. Luckily, we’re all good friends, and made full use of the time by gossiping.

After jacket 'n' beans we returned to class to discuss our three important assignments. This gave us the opportunity to grill our tutors as to the exact nature of the essay, and how to approach the skills assignment and the personal statement that’ll have to be completed during the festive season.

I.T. saw a change of venue, due to exams taking place in our usual locale. This meant that the luxury of taking the lift was not an option, and a pair of sturdy hiking boots became the order of the day. I arrived clutching my chest and wheezing like a 90-year-old asthmatic with a 60-a-day smoking habit.

Creating a posh front page for our assignments was a fun exercise. Once I’d put my brain into gear, and finally figured out how to highlight my border and insert a text box, there was no stopping me, and I merrily created matching front pages for all my subjects.

Following the essential hot chocolate break was numeracy, and the promised session on how to use our posh scientific calculators. This exercise sounded far easier that it actually was in practice, although it was, indeed, a welcome break from lengthy, mind-numbing calculations on large, lined sheets of A4.

Jacket 'n' beans was even more hurried than usual, due to a frantic attempt at completing most of the numeracy worksheet in class, leaving just 20 minutes left before study skills.

As luck would have it, our study skills project group members all bumped into each other for a spot of mutual indigestion in B Block refectory, and as we had no need to actually attend the class due to research we remained in the dinner hall and pondered over the fact that we only have 10 days in which to complete this task.

Two of the group then vanished into the library on yet another book-gathering session, whilst the remaining group member, and myself, hurried off to The Learning Link to nab a computer.

A gloomy cloud’s hung over my head these past few weeks between 3pm and 4pm on Tuesdays, but today I was ecstatic to learn that I’d obtained my level 3 for writing skills. Hooray.

Some mention was made regarding another test to be taken at some point, but I am afraid to say that the information went in one ear and out of the other; such was the joy of relishing the fact that I’ll be able to get a much earlier bus home on Tuesdays from now on.

A pneumatic drill mid-morning rather rudely interrupted Thursday's sociology lecture. It became almost farcical at one point, as the tutor valiantly attempted to instruct us as to the finer points of conjugal roles, whilst battling 100 decibels of sheer din just a few feet away.

After a comforting hot chocolate drink to steady the nerves, I was relieved to discover that I’d gained my second level 3 credit for the theories and methods module, thus gaining two level 3 credits overall.

It’s been said, on several occasions, that this term is by far the hardest due to the length of it……along with the fact that most of us are still finding our feet in regards to further education.

There are germs-a-plenty flying about, and a large proportion of the access students have some coughing or sneezing ailment or other. I feel that we’re rapidly becoming the lockets and lemsip brigade.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

College - Week 11...

Counselling this week bore witness to my less-than Oscar winning performance of a counsellor in session. I felt that I gave it my best shot though, and under the circumstances….those being that I’m not exactly crazy about the course…. I didn’t do too badly, all told.

I swiftly carried my 30 minutes of recorded fame to a little room located near the F Block foyer, and a rather helpful gentleman immediately set about creating a copy for me.

After jacket 'n' beans, was the inevitable theory element of person-centred counselling, and, with depressing predictability, we ended the day by looking into a suicidal scenario.

I.T. was pleasantly challenging this week. It’s been quite a while since I’d last created tables in Word, but it was a fun exercise …creating multi-coloured boxes and playing around with font formats.

After a comforting Suchard's hot chocolate drink from the vending machine, it was straight into numeracy, and those awful power numbers again.  I managed to make a start on my homework during class, but I suspect that I’ll be up half the night, yet again, attempting to divide and multiply numbers containing dozens of 0's.

Apparently, there’s to be 13 (unlucky for some) number worksheets. Next week we’ll apparently be learning about how to use our scientific calculators, which I’m looking forward to as I’m clueless in that department, and relish the opportunity to play with my new toy.

Jacket 'n' beans was a somewhat rushed affair, as is the Tuesday ritual, and I was somewhat surprised by the diminished number in attendance for study skills. The group project has been recently marred by apathy within my particular group….me being the main culprit…. but today proved a reasonably positive experience, and all is finally becoming clearer regarding exactly what is expected of us. The words "timed essay" were not at all welcomed, but forewarned is forearmed, as they say.

The joy of writing skills saw us vacating our usual room for the technical delights of The Learning Link. An online multi-choice questionnaire greeted us, which, in my case, was far, far preferable to the previous handwritten tasks inflicted upon us. I admit to rushing through the 40 questions in an attempt to catch an earlier bus back home, but 35 out of 40 was no real disgrace, as 26 was the required pass mark.

Wednesday I spent a very enlightening hour having some much-needed careers advice. Avenues opened up before my very eyes, and an overwhelming amount of information was made instantly available to me. I left there feeling as though I’d passed through a new door, one that led to new and exciting opportunities.

Thursday I was feeling distinctly below par. There’s been a lot of nasty bugs flying about, and I’d done well to avoid them so far.

The person sitting next to me, who’d brought a cup of rather strong smelling soup into the room, didn’t exactly aid my nausea. Their even stronger personal aroma, courtesy of B&H, practically finished me off. I soldiered on, however, and tried my best to absorb all the data aimed at us during sociology.

The word statistics made me physically shudder, but I soon got the hang of all the graphs and charts, and towards the end of the lesson I was actually quite enjoying it.

The class received a rather nasty surprise today regarding credits. I, along with many of my classmates, had assumed that for a double module… with two credits available, and where two separate assignments are set…..that each piece of work would carry a separate grade.

It now appears that a nice level three for part one can, and will, be downgraded to an over-all not-so-nice level two if the second assignment is marked at level two.