Friday, May 25, 2012

Week 12

Hello, can you believe that it is week 12 already. Oh boy these 12 weeks have flown by!!!!!!!!And I can happily report that I have completed all tasks and duties for my three courses this term (as long as nothing else gets added next week) Wooooo Hooooo - how good does it feel. I am one happy little Vegemite. This week I had to finalise my Essay writing research essay- which I did, complete a reflective writing - which I did, complete module 5 for computing and do the final assessment - which I did and finally just contribute to the PSU forum - which I did. So I think that I have finished yippee
 This is a photo of my finalised term planner - with everything crossed off as I have finished it. All of the assessments are in red to ensure I didn't miss anything. 
And this it the sum total of information that I have learnt this term. WOW!!!! these folders and books are what I have worked my way through slowly but steadily. The file on the right is my Prep skills folder, then the 3 books in the middle are my Essay writing study guide and reference materials and the folder on the left is my computing study guide. I must say that I am very proud of myself for completing this first term. I am very satisfied that I have done my best and it feels good.

So now I have a little break - although I am going to do some investigating about possible career choices during this rest time. And then I have three weeks until I head off for my next round of surgery on the 15th June. I am going to indulge in my lovely hobby of card making in this next couple of weeks as well. And then I will get back into it with Term 2 studying maths and biology.
I am sure I will be back before then to keep you up to date on everything but if I don't - have a great couple of weeks.
talk soon
x joy  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hahaha - I forgot to do the main reflective writing!

Hello, me again with my second post for today. Can you believe that I forgot to do the main reflective writing activity for this module. I did the learning journal activities but not the reflection. Hahaha how silly am I. Although I could say that I meant to do it that way and you would of been non the wiser - anyway I would of known. So here we go again:

Did I achieve what I set out to do:
Yes I did - most definitely. I set out to embrace the journey of discovery and learning and enjoy it all and I have. Although I still have 2 terms left in STEPS so it will be interesting to revisit these questions at the end of this year. But I can't see anything changing.

How do I know that I have achieved this:
Firstly my grades reflect my success at this point and I hope they continue to be good in these last few assessments. Secondly by the way that I feel - I know that I am doing everything possible to achieve success. I am a firm believer that there is no point in pretending or half heartedly doing anything in life as the only person that you are fooling is yourself. I feel good about what I have done because I know that I have done it (with help from my lecturers of course) but most importantly I would not feel good on the inside if I had said that I had done something when in fact I had not.

What did I do to achieve what I did:
I have worked through each and every module and component of all three courses to get to the end. I have done and submitted everything that was required. I tried to complete each module by the Friday of the week it was required and I did achieve that up until the last couple of weeks where I needed to put in some extra effort over the weekend. I also got on top of my tendency to procrastinate - and plugged along even when I had low motivation. That in itself was a big achievement for me as I previously had a tendency to let procrastination take over me.

What is the significance of these achievements:
Well really it is the fact that I am able to study. I have always had self doubt about my abilities after my high school years. But now I feel positive about my future study as I know that if I set my mind to it - I can achieve.

How can I take it further:
There is definitely always room for improvement. I think that maybe I will continue my newly learnt skill of breaking tasks down into smaller more manageable pieces and keep writing to do list. Studying and writing out a calender of course profile details will again be beneficial. I am a little apprehensive about doing maths and biology next term but I need to be positive and embrace the challenge.

Where to from here:
Ok well I really want to do a couple of things in the next weeks to work out what I am going to do from here. I really need to decide what I am going to be when I grow up. I have narrowed my selection down to three main areas and I need to continue to investigate all three options. My short term goal is to do well in my next term of study in the STEPS program, again completing each module by the Friday of the week that it is required. My medium term goal is to decide and enrol into my program of choice and my long term goal is to be in paid employment within my chosen profession in 5 years.

Steps to achieve my next goal:
I need to spend time researching careers through the websites given to us in module 5 as I have not investigated options available to me fully as yet.   This will be my term break homework. I also want to see how I go at Maths and Biology next term as these are area's that I will need to do well in for one of my choices.

What is my responsibility:
I am the only person who is responsible for my own success. No one else can do this for me, that reminds me of a saying that a lovely man that I once worked with used to say 'If it is to be - then it is up to me'. I am aware of my strengths, interests and personal attributes as well as my weaknesses and shortcomings - I just have to make a decision about what I want to do. And I will do that. Maybe I could add another short term goal into the mix and say that I will have committed to what area of study that I want to undertake by the end of next term. 

To quote a little saying that stuck with me from an email that I received from Nel:

'Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go'

 I love it and have it sitting up on my desk in front of me because the sky is the limit - we can all achieve what we want if we only just set out to do it.

Ok this time I am off and not coming back today
so have a great afternoon
talk soon
x joy

Friday - again

Don't blink, cause you'll miss another week flying by!
OMG - are these weeks flying by as fast for everyone else cause I sure can't keep track of them. One minute it is Monday and the next second - it is Friday!!!!

I tried to get back to do my final reflections for PSU yesterday but it just didn't happen. I was a very uncomfortable girl yesterday evening and needed to get into bed with feet up to relieve this annoying swelling! Anyway it is much better today and as long as I have a midday break it will all be ok - but roll on the surgery ( I never thought that I would ever look forward to surgery - but that time has come cause I know I will get better afterwards!!!!)

Ok well here we go - this week our modules included Applying to University (how exciting - even though I have two terms of STEPS left to do - it will be great to know what I have to do when I do it) and Looking back, looking forward. I still have a bit to do as far as the applying to university as I am still not 100% certain on exactly what I want to do yet. However I have a very firm plan to work that out. I am going to spend my time in this term break (while recuperating) spending heaps of time working out what I want - then I will get cracking as far as organising what I have to do. I would also like to see how well I do in maths and biology next term cause it would be no good even trying to get into one of my chosen courses if I am no good at  either of them.

Then once again I have loved the looking back, looking forward module (although I don't think there has been one aspect of this 1st term that I haven't enjoyed). It was really good to see all of the benefits of learning in the article The wider benefits of learning. They included:
  • decreased depression
  • increased good health 
  • more positive attitude
  • reduced crime levels
  • increased social skills
  • increased communication skills
  • increased self-efficacy
Really I think education is very beneficial and I believe that it has such wide and varied positive results because you learn about the bigger picture. You get to see the world from not just your own eyes - you begin to see the world view. This is not just in Essay writing either - I have started to see the whole world differently. It is all very exciting. Plus the fact that you are so busy thinking of your studies and assessments that you don't have time to be indulgent in meaningless self pity.

However I can then totally understand that there are also some negative outcomes of learning. I'm sure we have all had bad experiences in learning - I know that I can certainly name a few from my high school days, therefore it is very important to ensure that what you are studying matches your personality and skill level. And ensure that study and other lifestyle choices are balanced. It would be no good spending 16 hours a day studying and try to juggle family commitments - it just wouldn't work.

I am still very excited about the prospect of university study and lifelong learning, but I realise that I have to include a balanced approach to that and enjoying my family life. We always have the capacity to learn and I love the stories that you here in the media about the 90+ year old people graduating from Uni. We all are learning everyday and some of us don't even know it - when was the last time you found out a little snippet of information that you didn't know or found out how to do something new on the computer or even tried out a new recipe. Most of the time we do not even think of that as learning - but we are. I guess it is just what we do with the newly learned information that counts.

Then again in most jobs that we undertake there is always new improved ways of doing things, and sometimes if you don't keep up with these new improved ways - you just get left behind. You have to embrace change and see it as a benefit to succeed in any aspect of life. Imagine if we refused to indulge in convenience food and still cooked absolutely everything from scratch. We would spend all of each and every day in the kitchen and not much else would get done. But most of us embraced the change  and buy convenience food therefore, making life easier.  

Ok well that is about it today (for now anyway) this afternoon is going to be spent fine tuning my planning activities for Essay writing and getting them all together ready for submission next week (you know I hate to run late on submissions). Then I am going to have a weekend off study and make a couple of very special cards for some very special people.

Have a wonderful day - and always remember that if it's not a wonderful day - make it one!!!!!
talk soon
x joy 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week 11 - the final countdown

Hello and happy Thursday to you, I can't believe how fast these weeks are going? I guess time flies when you are having fun and I can tell you I am having loads of fun!!!!!
This is the second last week (officially) of my very first term at Uni - I can see the light at the end of the tunnel - but I am still enjoying running through the tunnel.
This reminds me of the time that I decided to run through a tunnel up near Bundaberg - called the Bulbunda (I think that is spelt right) anyway - I wanted to walk through it, cause it looked so lovely. But I got the hebby gebbies half way through (there where bats in there) and I ended up running and giggling all the way to the end. And of course my giggles echoed through the tunnel so I am sure it sounded like there where 50 of me (imagine 50 of me hehehe what fun we would have hehehe). Anyway I think I ended up scaring the bats!!!!!!!
So (on with the Uni stuff - and stop getting off track) I am currently just finishing up my Prep skills module 11 and 12. I have already submitted Learning portfolio B which is due tomorrow and I  just need to do some reflecting writing and then I am done. I have completed all modules in my computing and just have my final assessment next week to do. Then I have nearly finished my essay for Essay writing skills. I just need to go back over it and change a couple of things then gather all of the Let's go activities (planning activities) together and submit it for marking. So there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel! 

I must say that I am pleased that this term is over in one respect - although I am sad to be finishing but my health has taken a turn for the worse these last few days and I am well and truly ready for my next operation (booked for 15th June) I have so much swelling - it is very uncomfortable.

Ok well I had planned on getting my reflective writing done but I have waffled on so long that the little people of Smithville will be home any second now. And I haven't got anything ready for afternoon tea - so I am going to hop up and go pop a batch of pikelets on for them. So I will be back shortly to reflect.
talk soon
x joy 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday here again already

Hello and happy Friday to you!
So tell me - who put the clocks on fast forward - cause I am sure that someone has.

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 These days are just going too darn quick!!!!! I feel like I wake up in the morning and before I know it - it is time for bed again. And I know that I am getting the most out of the days cause I fall into bed and sleep deeply until morning. Who ever is guilty can you kindly turn the clocks back to slow motion for a couple of days - PLEASE!!!!!! Just so I can feel like I can catch up a bit.

I have had a busy week as you can tell. I did and submitted my spreadsheet assessment on Wednesday ( I think it was Wednesday anyway - all my days are a blur hehe) and was very pleased with how that went. I really enjoyed working in Excel and when you enjoy something - it never feels like hard work. I will look forward to my results for that.

Then yesterday I got my results back for my annotated bibliography (you know the one - that I stressed about when I first started it) well I go a HD for that YIPPEE!!! Happy girl again. That came back really quickly - I wasn't expecting that back for ages yet.

Yesterday was also spent doing my prep skills mod 10 which is critical thinking. Actually thinking about that I don't think I have uploaded my blog post for the reflections that I did during this module - so I had better pull my finger put and upload it. I have now also completed all the sections of my Learning Portfolio B which is due next week. I just have to gather my extra oral preparation files together to submit with it.

Then today apart from the 3 million phone calls that I answered (hehehe yes maybe an exaggeration perhaps it was more like 10) but if felt like 3 million especially because I have been working on my research essay for EWU and everytime I got right into it - the phone rang. But hey I should be counting my blessings and thinking how fortunate I am that so many people wanted to talk to me. I would be very sad if no-one ever rang!!!!!!
So I am up to activity 4-7 in my essay so only 8 more activities to do to get this essay done. I am going to be working on it over the weekend to at least get me up to 4-10 before next week. I hope that I can keep up the standard of my previous submissions for essay writing.  

Ok well I am going to keep going although it is nearly time to start cooking dinner for the masses (well for 4 people actually hehe)
have a great weekend if I don't get back before it is over
talk soon
x joy 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week Ten

Hello and happy Tuesday to you
OMG where is the time going - can you believe it is week 10 already?
I caught up on my week 9 activities yesterday and here I am ready and raring to go in week 10.
I ended up not being very well after my big weekend  - which I knew would happen. So I am trying to take things easy to keep swelling down to a minimum. Usually lying down helps but at the moment it is ok when I lye down but  the second my feet hit the floor the swelling returns - ahhhh the fun. Anyway enough of the moaning.

This week I have my Computing Skills assessment 3 due which is a test on our spreadsheet skills. I completed the practise assessment HATS yesterday and instead of taking me two hours it took me 188 minutes hehehe (yes I was timing - to see how I went). I just couldn't get some of the Auto fills and Auto sums to work - so I need to hit the revision books before I under take the real deal. I am intending to do the assessment tomorrow. I hate the idea of being late and by now (if you are a frequent visitor) you know that I like to upload and submit assessments early. I would seriously panic if I hadn't done it by the due date. So tomorrow I will lock the doors, take the telephone off the hook and be 'uncontactable' for the time it takes to complete the test. Wish me luck!!!

Then in Essay writing I am continuing to work on my research essay which is ticking along nicely - yesterday I did my concept/cluster map up on the computer for something different. I think it looks good! Prep skills this week is Critical Thinking so that should be interesting. I have already completed my Information Literacy skills quizzes so I don't have to worry about those. 

So that is what week 10 is going to look like for me. So I need to go and get cracking now and get into it. You have a great day.
talk soon
x joy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Running behind still

Hello and happy Saturday to you,
I am still behind in this weeks study and I must say not feeling crash hot either so I am trying to do things slow and steady. You see it is our local show here this weekend and originally I had promised to be the head steward of the pavilion but as my health is not that great I had to pull out. Although I had still offered to do any jobs that I could undertake sitting down. So yesterday was spent sitting helping with judging and writing out the winners certificates. (hehehe prior knowledge of who won - but I am sworn to secrecy hehe don't try and bribe  me either - although by the time you read this - you will know anyway). But today I am in pain and my bits and pieces are very swollen and uncomfortable. I had planned on taking it easy today and resting up in order to do to the show tomorrow with the boys, but they are very excited and really want to go today and tomorrow - hmmmmmm. So the plans have been changed and I am going to go for a couple of hours today then go for a couple of hours tomorrow. I intend on taking my very comfy chair and finding a little spot to sit and watch the activities. That way the boys can come and go and have fun with their friends (luckily we live in the country and it is very safe).

So that also cuts down on my study time - so I can imagine a few late nights are going to be on the agenda for the next few nights. So this morning I have completed all of the reading for my PSU and I just have to go back over the module and do my reflective writing components which is why I am here, so here we go:
Learning Activity 9-1 and 9-2 - I am actually comfortable with exams and assignments, I understand that we need to undertake assessments of some form  to check our understanding of what we have learnt. I also feel that it is another important step to learning as sometimes things just don't sink in and the idea of an exam makes you want to study that little bit harder to insure that you have taken all the information in that is necessary.  I had actually never thought about the adrenaline side of examines and had never thought about the need to release some of this before an exam - I am certainly going to remember that idea. I also love the idea about not having to use references and bibliographies in exams (although I wonder if it is included in some) and really doing exams gives a different perspective of information that is learn (in closed book exams anyway) as you have to recall the information rather than gather it. I don't think I have a preference to either although I will say that the increased stress involved with an exam is a little more intense. I am comfortable in receiving and accepting constructive feedback as well - as I feel we sometimes cannot see what is right in  front of us - so it is very valuable. I try and never take feedback personally as life in general is a huge learning ground. 

As for the ten common pitfalls of revision - I can proudly say that I am not guilty of all of them hehehe although I am guilty of a few. I never leave revision until the last minute - I try and do revision at the beginning of each new week of everything that I have previously studied (only fairly quick revision but it seems to work - most of the time) but I am guilty of putting off revision (and study) that's the old procrastinator in me, showing it's ugly head hehehe. And although I don't usually find revision boring - I do tend to day dream and my mind wonders off with the fairies regularly.
 La la la

Opps back to it. I do also like the over learning idea as I had never actually thought of it before but it makes a lot of sense.

Learning Journal activity 9-3, 9-4 and 9-5: I love the revision strategies discussed on pages 313 - 316 and will incorporate several into my routine of study on a regular basis. Some I already do but there are a few that I will include. I like to make notes but until the last module never had organised notes- but now I will make them organised and colourful and interactive. As I tend to be a more of a right sided brain person - I think adding colour and images to my notes will work for me. I am definitely a creative person therefore  using more colour and vibrancy will enhance my learning.  Also making sure I don't leave anything to the last minute - I don't like doing that with anything in life - the more preparation time that you have - the better the outcome. I am also going to have a go at recording myself with any difficult revision - I think that is a splendid idea.

Another couple of things that I like are drawing up timetables to revise and practising using old exams or made up questions. I like this last idea as I do find when I am on a time limit I tend to stress more - so again practise will help there. I am finding that almost every module of study in Prep Skills for University contains ideas and strategies that would be useful on a personal level as well as for study. I truly belief that I am growing with all of this new and exciting information. Also chunking and writing things out by hand seem appealing to me. Studying to music has always been beneficial to me (particularly because it blocks out any back ground noises) and usually I have to ensure that the music contains no lyrics as anyone who knows me well knows, that I always end up singing along. Therefore the Mozart effect is one I will try.  

Oh boy this will be along post - maybe you should have a morning tea break - go get a cuppa and a sandwich to keep you sustenance up before I get going again.

Activity 9-6, 9-7and 9-9: The four main stages of the memory process are linked to a tree for me as the words start with the letters TRER (I know it's not the actual spelling of tree but it links for me ok) T is for taking in information, the 1st R is for Retaining information, E is for Encoding information and the 2nd R is for Recalling information. And I have a beautiful tree image that is conjured up when I think of the thinking process.

This is a strategy that I am going to use for better memory. Linking items to visual aides using mnemonics, pyramids and patterns. Actually I love all the ideas given. I don't think there are any that would not be useful or beneficial.

Activity 9-8 is going to be interesting - I am going to monitor my memory difficulties for 3 days and then work out strategies to improve them. I will keep you posted on the results.

Ok well that is module 9 completed apart from the Learning portfolio B activities, so I had better get onto that and then think about taking the boys to the show. I do believe I will need a few doses of pain killers before I move though as things are aching. So much for me resting up and putting my feet up for awhile - hmmmmm. Wish me luck - I am supposed to be attending a 40th birthday party tonight as well - so I am not sure how I will go. I think I will just make an appearance and then head for my bed.

Have a great day
talk soon
x joy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Week 9 is buzzing along

Hello, happy Thursday to you.
 I hope you are having a happy, happy day cause I sure am!!!!!!
 It's one of those - 'I love life' kinda days here today.
 Actually don't ask me why, cause really when I think about it - it is a cold rainy day and I am running behind in my studies. So I should be feeling pretty ho hum but No Siree I am happy, happy Joy Joy (ha ha ha a work colleague used to call me that years ago and I hated it but it seems appropriate now hehehehe - actually maybe it was cause I didn't really like her that was the real problem hehehe - she was one of those false airs and graces type).

Ok enough of the waffle - you want to know about the study -  right? cause that's why you are here. Well I am so far behind that I feel like I have stepped back in time and I am really still in April not May. hehehe actually things aren't too bad but I do need to pull out my finger and get cracking on the books. I have finished and submitted my annotated bibliography - I really enjoyed doing it in the end after all my fluffing around. It is a great way to make sure that resources are exactly what you want to use for your study. But that is as far as I have gotten in Essay Writing. I have done up to activity 4-3 but need to get going and look at my graphic organisers for the essay.

Computing is heaps of fun this week - I am loving it. We are working with Excel this week and doing spreadsheets, graphs and pie charts
 OOOOHHHH EEEEEE I love em!!!!!

I can imagine that you will be seeing spreadsheets, charts and graphs everywhere in my house from now on. One with the 'kids to do jobs' on it. one with 'the budget' on it, one with 'the holiday planning' on it, one with. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  ahhhhh the list is endless and they look soooo good. So neat and organised and pretty!!!!!! But - you knew there had to be a but didn't you - I still have my optional extra activities to do. I know, I know - it says optional activities but I like to do everything that is given to me - practise makes perfect and I want to do any extra practise that I get the opportunity to do - as it makes the info stick in this old brain a lot better. Then I still have Skills activity (not optional) 4-3 to do.

Then we get to Prep and I haven't even gone there yet this week - ohhhhh dear!!!!!! That's not good - is it? You'd better pull your finger out - I hear you say - You'd better stop waffling on here on blog land - I hear you say!!!! Yes Yes Yes I know - but I want to tell you about my lovely week as well. So I will be quick.

My lovely hubby is on days off this week and he is being a busy boy doing all sorts of bits and pieces on the house. He has painted all the front of the house and is in the process of painting the steps (half way there - but it's raining today). It is lovely having him home and the house looks great. Then last night I went to a Resourceful Adolescent Program at the boy's school - hoping to get some hints about the dreaded teenage years - it was great. Then on Tuesday night for dinner and yesterday afternoon for afternoon tea, I got to catch up with the lovely Robyn from CQU. Do you remember me telling you about Robyn - she is the Outreach Program Officer who I met when I went on the Uni camp with my son. She featured in my Hero's Journey as my mentor. She lit the spark on study for me. It was lovely to catch up - although I am sure that I  talked way too much (surprise surprise. hehehe).

Anyway the good fun will be over for an hour or so today - as we have a meeting with the BANK - I never feel happy when I leave those meetings when you see how much money they are making from us - grrrrrrr! Perhaps I could do a spreadsheet on that! But then the fun will be on again tonight when I pop along to the local bingo for a little play (see I haven't forgotten Paula). Ok well I had better go and see if I can achieve something before the day gets lost.
I hope you have a good day 
talk soon
x joy