Whilst thumbing through new books piled high on my left, a cup of tea to my right, and soothing Classical Christmas carols playing (controversial I know, but I like to shake things up) I wonder where to begin. How to best start organising my brain into “study mode” so I can give myself a jump start a few weeks prior to returning to the books after four years of making my way in the world with the skills and knowledge I gleaned first time round.
On the 22nd August term begins at the University of Aberdeen for those studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, and as of today I am registered and enrolled; “sign, sealed, delivered, I’m yours” student life, for one more year (though never say never). I fell out of love with tertiary education at the end of my undergraduate studies, and told myself I would only go back to university if I was willing and able to immerse myself fully and without naive distraction. I always thought that I would enjoy working in the teaching profession, musing over primary and secondary, but I was right to take a few years to let life play out, to see if the inclination towards teaching grew to an invested interest and chosen career path, and it has.
So, where to begin? How best to give myself a leg up and hit the ground running?
Well, I decided to start studies calm and stress free, the idea being that I can channel this forward at the year unfolds. I have started reading through the first of a number of compulsory texts making little notes to myself as I go, yellow sticky labels at the ready so that I don’t need to write on the pages (in-case I want to sell them on second-hand at the end of the year…yes, I’m thinking ahead). I have two coloured pens at the ready for highlighting and drawing little clouds around headings, and I guess I’ll just keep it this simple for now; read, annotate, reflect, repeat.
And start a blog! Six months or so ago I started my first blog project which I share with one of my oldest friends and we express a little creativity online from time to time to keep our brains and our hearts open to the world around us. After a few positive comments from unexpected places I thought it might be interesting to create a new space for writing, one that pays particular attention to my thought and experiences during the academic year ahead. So here we are, a little work in progress and no doubt a terrible temptation for procrastination but c’est la vie, I’m going to get started.