Saturday, 20 October 2012

Just a quickie!

No, not me and Ken Stott (if only)! Just a quick post to update you on my PGDE progress. Well, that's me finished the first course of four. I'm a quarter way through my course, 9 weeks of bloody hard work have passed and there are another 18 to go!! I've handed in my first essay (twas' hellish) and had my two week nursery placement (no comment) and now I'm about to embark on my lower primary 5 week placement. My class is a primary 3 one and I've had a meeting with the teacher who seems really nice - and very supportive as she has also done the PGDE at Edinburgh - so she knows what it's like! I also only have a 10 minute walk to my school which will save me a fortune on fares. I feel there may be the possibility of a 'Christmas present to self'.

I am trying to get myself organised this weekend. There is an amazing amount of things I have to do on an hourly/daily/weekly basis - not to mention all the other bits and bobs over and above. I'm thinking I should start with a really big piece of paper! On that note, I shall be off, as I need to finish a lesson plan for a little maths activity I need to teach.

Hark at me - 'teacher talk' and everything!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

First week at Uni!

This is just a quick-ish post for those pals who are wondering how I got on with my first week at University. No, I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. I was too busy worrying that my alarm wouldn't go off at 5.45am (!!). Anyway, my alarm did go off and I made it to the bus stop and all the way into Edinburgh and down the High Street to the University. The first day was overwhelming. I was prepared for that, but had no idea just how overwhelming it would be. I really did wonder if I had done the right thing. There was so much to take in and remember, not to mention trying to do those important things like find out where the loos were! Tuesday was much the same - more information and trying to remember what to do and when. I have to say though, all the teachers were absolutely wonderful and so so encouraging and supportive.  By Wednesday I had made some friends - both young and old and was enjoying sharing ideas and emotions. We were all pretty tired by then to be honest and I don't mind admitting I just wanted to go home and cry. I was really missing not being there for the kids in the mornings and after school - I think that was the worst bit.

However, I'm not my mother's daughter for nothing, and I didn't cry but carried on and got through to Thursday. I was a bit nervous for the morning as I had to teach 3 of my fellow students 'something' in five minutes. I decided on 'last minute iced biscuits' (you know the kind of thing - two biccies sandwiched together with jam and decorated with icing and sprinkles). Well, we had the best fun of the whole week, it was an absolute success and everyone else's lessons were amazing - I learned how to introduce myself in Irish, communicate under the water, and re-pot a plant. That was the turning point for a lot of us I think - we started to gel in some small way, and began to see what the course was really all about. Friday we had to do a group presentation in front of the whole class (about 30 people) and that was really nerve-wracking. Ours was on expressive arts, and my area was art and design (woohoo). My small group went first and we did really well and got good feedback from the rest of the class. The most surprising thing for me was that I not only managed to talk without babbling or mumbling, but I actually enjoyed the experience too. Amazing.

So, that was the week in a nutshell really. The amount of reading and work we have each and every night is huge and is only going to increase, and that is really difficult, especially if you have a family as I do. However, I can see that it will be worth it in the end, at least I hope so. I think I'm going to enjoy the course if I can keep awake in classes - there is some fascinating material to work with and all my placements to look forward to as well, and if I keep organised and on top of things, it will be great.

Roll on the Christmas holidays!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Filofaxy and University

Did I mention I had a Filofax? I've had one for quite a few years actually - just a little pocket sized one that I keep in my handbag most of the time. Well, somehow I suddenly have three. I have the original pocket sized one - a Domino, in a grape colour, a pocket sized mustard coloured Finchley which a lovely lady gifted to me, and a larger personal sized Domino in a lavender colour. The lavender one is to use for Uni and largely replaces my purse while I'm there too. I love my filofaxes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for technology - in fact I love it, but you can't go wrong with some paper, a pen, and a lovely filo to keep all your scribblings and notes in. It helps keep me organised - and I'm going to need a lot of organisation to juggle Uni and home life!

Here are my Filofaxes

It's a shame the pics are a little dull, but the lavender and grape colours are much nicer in the flesh. 

Inside my Uni filo, you can see I am well organised in terms of paper clips! In there is the calendar bookmark Miss Lucy gave me and behind that a postcard I bought on holiday..

I printed out my first weeks' timetable and folded it to fit in, so I can never get lost (hopefully), as I have a shocking memory...

My plain brown notepaper - love it - and another of my bought postcards. Just behind you can see the top of my fold-out of the periodic table - well, you never know when that might come in handy!

 Not to mention a list of chords for my ukulele!

I hope you've enjoyed a wee tour of my organiser. I have a diary section in it which I can write in all my assignments etc and a big 'To Do' list at the front for other things.

I can't believe I will be starting at University tomorrow morning - it's been such a long time in coming around that I feel I'm not quite ready for it now it is finally here. I'm sure it will be fun though, and challenging to say the least, not least of all because I will be one of the few older students on the course - the majority are at least half my age! Hopefully, my many decades (!) of life experience will be an advantage in some areas. Surely all those birthdays must have been useful for something lol.

Well, wish me luck on my adventure towards becoming a teacher, and I'll let you know how I get on :) 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Drop Spindle Hand Spinning

 I have done a bit of hand spinning recently after I bought a lovely wooden Ashford drop spindle. I must say it is very relaxing and I'm finally getting the hang of it. I love it.

 This orangey/red one was my first attempt! I used pre-coloured merino for this one.

This was blue faced leicester I think, lovely and soft.

This autumnal coloured one is massam wool. I dyed this wool before I spun it. It was nice to spin but a bit 'hairy' for my taste.

More hand-dyed massam in pinky/purply shades, this was my first attempt at plying to strands of spun yarn together. The colours are much more vibrant than this picture shows and I think it came out reasonably well.

At the moment I've got some Shetland wool on the go in lovely natural colours - it's gorgeous to work with.

Now, if I could just get my hands on a spinning wheel!

Knock, knock...

...anyone there? I'll be surprised if anyone reads my blog anymore as I've been missing in action for a good few months now. Time for an update methinks.

My biggest news is that I am going to begin the PGDE Primary course at Edinburgh Uni in a fortnight!! Yes, by this time next year I should be a newly qualified teacher. Can't quite believe it myself actually. I had the interview in January and was thrilled to get accepted - it seemed a long time away then, but now it is coming at me with a rush! I am a bit nervous but mainly very very excited and can't wait to get stuck trying not to think about the fact that most of the other students are at least half my age :( 

Still on academic matters, I finally had my OU graduation ceremony in Glasgow in April. It was a lovely ceremony and a fantastic day, only marred by me falling flat on my face as I left the hall! Luckily no one with a camera saw me.

On the home front - Mr A is about to enter primary 7, and Miss Lucy has chosen her subjects and is going into S3. I know it's a common lament by parents, but I really can't believe how fast they are growing and they will be off on their own adventures before I know it.

Well, although I'm sure I must have done something else blog-worthy (or not) since December 2011, I can't think of anything right now ;-) My recent weeks have been spent trying to decipher the pre-course work the uni gave us and trying to tidy the house that somehow was neglected during all the OU years - and is about to be again!

If there is anyone still willing to read this, I will attempt to keep it reasonably up to date. I miss my blog friends xx

Monday, 5 December 2011

Interview update and Christmas preparations

As I thought, I didn't get the job... the person who was already doing it got it. Good news is that I have another interview for the same sort of job at a different school, which is on Wednesday. I'm more nervous about this one. Not really sure why - perhaps because I sort of know what to expect and I think I've already had the relatively 'easy' questions. Some feedback I got from the last interview was to think of more examples of how I would deal with certain situations whilst 'in post' - so I need to think about that. Anyway, it will all be over soon enough.

On to Christmas preparations...I am almost done with my gift shopping, just a couple of small items to get and most things are wrapped too. Cards all written and waiting to be posted. Some (well, quite a lot actually) knitting/crochet to be finished/started. Something else to be made that I can't mention here. Cake still not marzipanned or iced (marzipanned? - not a word one uses a lot). Decorations are going up tomorrow - complete with some rather odd looking things you hang from the ceiling chosen by OH.

I am almost on day 5 of the 'Journal Your Christmas' scrapbooking/journalling project - at least I would be if I'd actually begun it yet. I will get caught up in the next couple of days :) I'm not stressing yet.

We had our first touch of snow this morning (lasting about 10 mins) - I know this because my lovely neice texted me to tell me this at 8am!!! Now I know snow can be exciting and magical and looks so pretty...BUT, I do not want any snow, no thanks, not now, not any time soon. Does that sound mean spirited? Okay then, there can be a nice downfall of snow on Christmas morning - just enough to allow a snowman or two to be built, a quick ride on a sledge, and then it has to gracefully melt away without causing any traffic problems at all. That's fair, right?

In other weather-related news, it's gotten a lot colder here. We shouldn't be surprised of course, but it's been so mild up until now that it has taken me a bit unawares. Time to dig out warmer clothes and hunt out those gloves and scarves!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Progress of sorts

So, I had the interview for the little job - it was as a Support Assistant in a primary school. It was actually a lot better than I had anticipated. I worried that my first interview for over 20 years would be absolutely dreadful but it wasn't so bad and I think I actually did reasonably well (and for me to say that about myself is a big deal!). However, I haven't heard anything and I really don't expect to get the post but I am just really thrilled that I got as far as the interview, so yay for me...there's hope left ;-)

What else to chat about? Hmmm, can't even post a pic of what I've been up to in the knitting/crochet department because they have mainly been secret Christmas projects. Well, I could show you the dalek inspired gloves I knitted for Mr A from a pattern on Ravelry, he doesn't read my blog. Here they are...they look better in real life, believe me - really 'daleky'!

Now that I have looked through some photos, I see I have got a few pics to show after all. These below are some fingerless gloves I knitted for myself from a ball of Noro yarn that I had been meaning to 'do something with' for several years.

And these are 'ninja' fingerless gloves for Mr A (crocheted).

...and fingerless gloves for Miss L (crocheted). Bit of a theme here...

Ah, this was a lacey-ish scarf knitted from sock weight yarn. I'm not that keen on it, so will probably re-use the wool for something else.

Oh, and my ripple blanket is coming on. It's bigger than it was in this pic and much more vibrant in the flesh. I love the ripple's growing on me lol.

Oh yes, and my first ever crocheted 'garment'. A little cardi for my new niece.

That turned into quite a few pics! And I'm not the only one to have had the needles out - Miss L knitted a lovely scarf for her great gran who is 91 (we call her Nana) and she is going to give her it at Christmas.

It's a lovely colour and so cosy. Nana will love it :)

I hope you are all having a lovely Friday xxx