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