"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce


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Sunday, 20 September 2015

ONCE UPON A DREAM; College Daze

Autumn is a time for reflection and dreaming up the future...
It's early evening on a beautiful autumn day, as the equinox fast approaches.  The sun has been shining on the newly turning leaves and all the pretty autumn colours are just beginning to show.  There is a chill in the air as I type this so I'm burning a Yankee Cinnamon Sticks candle to create a cosy atmosphere and sipping on creamy white hot chocolate to warm up a bit.  I feel the cold far too easily due to my thyroid illness so flickering candle flames and spicy autumnal scents help to keep the chill at bay. 

This afternoon I went shopping with my mum. We really enjoy going shopping together and today was no exception, even though we had a completely different set of shopping goals. Mum wanted to buy some new lounge-wear for when she's relaxing around the house and I was on a mission for college supplies.

I have a pile of old work from the first three levels of my Psychotherapy training, which was just sitting in a heap in my study.  It looked untidy and I just can't concentrate or write in a mess - I need to be tidy and organized so I can think straight. Although this work is from previous levels of study, I might still need to refer back to it at some point, so I can't just throw it away, or archive it like old published work.  I need to have easy access to it, but in a tidy, organized fashion.  

So I wanted to get some sort of storage sorted out and I found some very pretty magazine files with a delicate butterfly design.  It looks feminine and elegant and I've spent a happy hour sifting, sorting and filing all my academic work to date, in order and sequence, so that I can find what I want without too much drama - there's nothing worse than being in the middle of a vital essay that counts towards your final grade and not being able to locate the written piece you need; it just adds to the stress.  Hopefully, now all my old work is in a butterfly file, I won't have this problem.

I also bought some note-books; some in camouflage print to match the binders I got a few weeks ago, and some in a pink tartan design that I love!  The camouflage ones are for college, but the pink tartan is for my own personal journaling and for dreaming up new writing ideas on the page.  WHSmiths have currently got some brilliant offers on, so I took advantage of those, even buying a set of 20 coloured ink ballpoint pens for when I'm keeping track of my current deadlines and academic assignments. This will be easier if each publisher I write for has their own colour, and collage work a different colour.  It will help me to keep things organized at a glance.  I almost bought next year's dairy too, as they have some really beautiful ones in, but I'm making myself wait for that - it is still a bit early for diary shopping!

Another thing I've been doing this week is purchasing the text books I need for this next academic year.  Wow, I'd forgotten how expensive 'required texts' are (not to mention dry as sticks to read)! Thank goodness for Amazon because the student book shops in my home town (I live in a city with two Universities) were twice as expensive.   

That's the thing about academic books as opposed to commercially published ones - because they are 'required texts' they tend to be on the pricey side, simply because students have to have them for their course.  It's a bit of a scam really and while I usually love purchasing books, my working class upbringing struggles to accommodate this type of elitist-based academic shopping list. I can think of better things to spend my money on to be honest.

My first class was last week and it did not go well.  I'm not sure about the new tutor as he is very full on, with an intense stare, and I think he was trying to scare us all a bit, laying the pressure on us at a very early stage in the course - day one! I appreciate his passion for his subject, but all of us in class have real jobs to maintain and simply cannot make the course the 'center of everything' as he seems to expect, so most of us will fall somewhat short of his expectations in that respect, especially those who have kids to juggle too.  I'm certainly not prepared to put the course ahead of my writing career, but I think once we get into the syllabus, it will be easier to assimilate the course work into my writing day, as I have for the previous three levels.

So it was a pretty fraught first lesson - we didn't really learn anything, other than what a task-master he is clearly going to be.  This might not be a bad thing, as we are at the stage now where we will need to begin working up our voluntary hours in clinical practice.  This means that we will be training with real people who have real problems, in GP surgery's and clinics, so we have to be ready to perform to a high standard of clinical practice.  But it still sucks to be brow-beaten in the very first class!

I have quite a bit of academic reading to do before next class, but for tonight I'm going to put away my new stationery (yay!), shelve the textbooks (boooo!) and settle down to watch BBC2 Special Forces, before taking Philippa Gregory's new novel, The Taming of the Queen, up to bed with me to read. That sounds like a nice plan...and I do deserve a wee rest after all that shopping :-)

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