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Make do – a reflection in retrospect.


Two weeks ago today was a poster presentation I was so nervous about. There were going to be three assessors. Dr. B handled the lecturing of that aspect of the module and he had told us beforehand how some of us would be “unfortunate” to have him assess their presentation. There and then I decided he would not be one of my assessors (like I could decide who my assessor would be). I knew I had on control over who would assess me, but I resolved Dr. B wouldn’t be one of them. But you never know, so I made sure I knew my stuff in and out, just in case. Anyways, whoever I would be presenting to, I still had to know my stuff well.

Two of my friends were already at the venue for the presentation when I arrived. In a few minutes all three assessors were around. Soon they would be selecting random posters for presentations. My poster was on the wall, and I reminded myself that Dr. B was never going to come to me. I sat facing the wall. Everything was calm, then Dr. B happened. Since everyone would be assessed by two out of three of the assessors, I actually had always known my chances of evading Dr. B were slim. Now, he’s with me – no call-a-friend. One on one. It was in a sense funny and I laughed a bit.imageHe engaged me for like 5, 7 minutes thereabout and that was all. Then I wondered why I was ever sentimental about presenting to Dr. B to start with. Immediately I loved Dr. B for five minutes. He was probably the best I could present to. Even though it was somewhere on the backside of my mind, I had not thought well enough about the possibility of an excellent presentation with Dr. B. I have not gotten any feedback yet, but I feel certain the presentation was excellent. Sometimes, sentiments just toy with our psychology. In that moment when I was alone with my assessor, I made do with all the resources in that microenvironment. I quickly reminded myself Dr. B was my friend. I had met him a few times when I had issues about his modules. He had nicely paid attention and helped. Now he was here standing in front of me. I reminded myself that he wasn’t looking to destroy. It worked.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The kind of forums I love (2)


We had a second Personal Development session last Tuesday.

It was a continuation of the Personal Development discussion session my faculty mates and I had a few weeks ago. It’s central idea was to help everyone identify how they had developed over the past several months. In that first session, as I expected, people had a lot to say. Now, this second session wanted us to identify any developments we had experienced between the first session and the current one. Could we have grown and developed more in the space of just a few weeks? Now, there was a question in the manual I will like to rephrase as “Have you had any opportunity to exercise whatever skills you think you possess, within these past few weeks?”

Yes. I say yes because I have a story to tell to this effect. It all happened within these past few weeks. Here goes:

The school exams time table was unleashed (unleashed and released have two different meanings). My classmates saw it and straightaway decided there was no way it favoured my department. Indeed, the papers for my department were scheduled three days back to back and not one of us loved the idea. We all wanted it changed – if it could be. I personally really did not think the idea would sail through anyways.

You’re probably wondering how the short story in the above paragraph tallies with the subject. Ok, back to story.

In the first discussion session we had, I had claimed to be skilled in written and oral communication. I went as far as saying I could read the body language of my audience and adjust the communication style accordingly. Now, when it fell in my laps to represent my colleagues to make a case to the faculty, I had to put to use what I claimed to possess. Talk is indeed cheap.

With my colleagues right behind me and by my side, I engaged the faculty, and the exams office. It took a letter with very carefully-chosen words, emails, one-on-one meetings with key faculty figures.. lasting about three days, to secure victory. Victory, for lack of a better word. No one lost. We were not fighting a battle.

During the Tuesday Personal Development session, our coordinator analysed the exams timetable situation and pointed to the diplomacy with which the matter was handled on our part as very instrumental in getting us what we wanted. Written and spoken communication.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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It may get ugly before it gets beautiful


Such is what is going on around GCU right now. The frontage of the Saltire centre is a bad mess.

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It used to be one nice fountain with lights that sat there. Now, it is a heap of earth – not exactly nice to behold. If the problem were just about the messy sights, that would be a better take. But no. Grinding noises, tractors moving around, cranes groaning, all add to the situation. For several weeks, reconstruction has been taking place all over campus and whether or not we know it, staff and students have all paid and are still paying for it.

If it were not necessary, then it would be pointless altogether. Is it not not necessary? I think it is. We all know what the picture will be when this whole reconstruction saga ends. It will be a more beautiful campus. For that reason, I choose to not be bothered with the current not-so-nice picture on ground.

To make things more beautiful, you may have to first make them ugly. This fact holds true for many aspects of life.

The pain of childbirth,
The stress of staying up late, studying hard, all for a good degree,
And more..

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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