Coaching for the PGCLTHE

Later today I will be giving the following presentation, which is an assignment towards my Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching. The event is being filmed as we experiment with possibilities for giving more than text feedback on events..

Once the event is over, I have until 1st April to provide a 1500 write-up, echoing the content in the presentation, but also taking into account questions/responses from the audience, which I anticipate to include most of the LTDU, within which I have my role as Blended Learning Fellow. I will then start work on my conference paper for the Hertfordshire Blended Learning Conference, which will count towards another assignment for the Blended Learning module (which I will be teaching next year). Over the summer I will then complete my portfolio in time for September submission… I can then look out for other personal development courses of interest, including training myself up as a PhD supervisor… I’ve really been enjoying supervising Final Year Projects, so it’s the next natural step, right?

You Only Have One Life: Live It Well

It’s such a pain not having a functional (internet) computer at home, can take a little while to get around to these things, and fit them around the sheer volume of work that is currently coming in! Living by my mantra of if you’re going to do something, do it on time and do it well… keeps getting me more work! Just got to keep believing it’s going to keep coming, although am putting my best foot forward for a full-time post also!

One Life Live
A great event hosted over the weekend at Kensington Olympia! I’ve been looking forward to going to this for months, having pre-purchased my ticket via Psychologies magazine (and then getting special offers from several other RSS feeds I subscribe to – hey, you win some, you lose some!) ages ago!

The event was structured into a number of zones:

  • New careers & Learning
  • Free Time
  • Be Your Own Boss
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Travel & Career Breaks
  • Sustainable Living
  • Life Change
  • Volunteering & Fundraising

I LOVE learning, so I checked out a bit of that, wandered around the ‘be your own boss’, but I’m aware (but haven’t quite read) most of that literature, and of course was checking out the ‘Life Change’ areas, but as always, I gravitate towards the travel and volunteering sections… very inspiring to see the ways in which you can combine travel with so many other things… I may return with specifics of companies, but right now I need to learn how to use WordPress!

As I said, interested in the volunteering section, so put my actions where my feet were, and signed up to do The Big Sleep Out at Winchester Cathedral on 15th May:

An Interview With God

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Just simply wanted to put this up as I found it very inspiring (apologise for the fact that it’s linked to marketing!)!

Life Coaching
Just a bit of an update as today I “felt the fear and did it anyway”… a life-coaching session on the phone! I work out so much by face-to-face communication I wasn’t sure how it would work, but as soon as I got on the phone my brain switched to coaching mode, and off we went! The phone conversation did not go as expected AT ALL, but feedback is that actionable points are definitely there, and that we didn’t JUST go for the easy wins! Looking forward to the next session… and meantime, tonight, I need to ensure I’m ready to give an hour-long lecture on “Media Institutions” at 9am (1st years)… slides are ready, would quite like to do it without much of a script!

Serenergise: Be Inspired

What a weekend!
Brilliant, this afternoon I became a certified life-coach, with one of the few ICF accredited courses in the UK, with the company Serenergise. It’s been a very enlightening course, with support offered at every turn in order to help us achieve our own success! The formal assessment was this afternoon, but continuous assessment has been on-going!

We all passed, with Deborah Kerslake energetically proclaiming that she was proud to send us out as Serenergise trained coaches, and as a part of the certificate presentation, we were all asked to offer each of our co-coachees an indication of what we thought their strengths/gifts were, as observed throughout the course (which lasted over 3 weekends over 3 months).

Bex’s Strengths

  • Warm
  • Intelligent
  • Humorous
  • Generous
  • Hardworking
  • Responsible
  • Fun x 2
  • Committed
  • Has great vision
  • Creative
  • Kind
  • Funny
  • Talented
  • Caring x 3
  • Involving
  • Part of the team
  • Honest
  • Kindness
  • Gentleness
  • Exploratative
  • Loving
  • Open
  • Curious
  • Interested
  • Sweet
  • Diligent
  • Friendly
  • Ambitious
  • Courage: your full participation even when scared

Feel free to add further positive feedback if you know me (as one of my coachees did)! Meantime, I am about to check the train times for my life-coaching session with Debs on Tuesday, and then going to relax (maybe ensuring what I know the week ahead holds!)! Ya-hoooooo!

More Academic Networking

OK, a new site (or is it new, well, it’s new to me!) has appeared on my horizon: Discovered it through Facebook, when I saw Martin (Polley, my PhD supervisor) had signed up to it. Wonder why it didn’t appear when I Googled “academic social networking”, obviously doesn’t have great SEO – have to teach them some tricks! The site looks like it could add some real value, as it has listed all departments even within the University of Winchester where I work (a small university), not just American Universities. Can list your publications, significant conference papers, research interests, upload your CV. Think it has real value-added potential!

Life Coaching
OK, maybe a blog should be about a single subject, but I just wanted to put a bit of info on tonight. This week has been extremely busy, the lowlight of which was my laptop breaking, so I’m borrowing another computer to write this (so excuse the image, created with Paint, rather than PhotoShop!). Still deciding on a new one, but in the meantime, tomorrow have my final weekend of the current course of life-coaching (it’s going to be a lifelong learning skill, but have found it useful already in teaching!)

Check out:
On other matters, I’ve been doing life coaching with Bex (see and it’s been really helpful. I’ve now got a second blog where I talk solely about my PhD, which came out of one of our sessions, and I am thinking more positively and being more organised. You should give it a go!”

I didn’t know Westlife could be so profound…

Westlife Lyrics: “What I Want is What I’ve got”

All that I want in my life,
is the feeling of peace,
deep within me truly

I took a chance,
I let go,
I promised myself,
that it wouldn’t scare me,
Miracles appear i know,
Now i can see it show,
Cause i,

Found out what i dreamt of,
and i looked it up,
At this very moment,
what i want is what i’ve got,
Found out what was missing,
and i looked it up,
And at this very moment,
what i want is what i’ve got,

Life is too short to hold back,
I won’t live in the past,

being lonely now i know,
This is the time of my life,
Yes i’m sure,
what i want is what i’ve got……

Job Centre Experience

Things went from humbling to comic. Gill’s circumstances did not fit any of the boxes on the official’s computer screen. And if she defied classification she could not exist. “Tell me what your job was and I’ll do a job search for you,” said the official. “Operations director for a Footsie plc,” said Gill. “It’s not coming up with anything. What about ‘area manager’?” “Yes,” sighed my friend, by this time a broken woman, “area manager will do.” (The Times, 30 December 2008)

Gill, felt strongly enough about the process to write to Harriet Harman, but has not received a reply. “I amuse myself thinking, what if it had been her? If they did a job search for her – Cabinet minister or secretary of state – they’d probably come up with cabinet maker or office secretary.

It’s good to laugh in times of distress, and this article, which my mum has just sent me in the post, did that! Having taken voluntary redundancy in December 2006, I chose to go travelling, in the full expectation that (as always before), I would be able to get a job on my return, and preferably this time, it would be a more fulfilling job. On return from round-the-world travels, I was then offered the summer season to work with Oak Hall, which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

On returning back to the UK, I found I’d walked right slap-back into the middle of the credit crunch and things were going to be be maybe a little different, so, in order to ensure the continuity of my National Insurance coverage (why was I worried about that, I’d not paid them for the previous 2 years), I “signed on”. Fully expecting, as my friends had, to be offered 13 weeks in which to find an appropriate professional job, utilising my academic experience and web skills, I was told that as I hadn’t been in that kind of field recently, I would have to go for ANYTHING, even though on my first job application I’d received an interview and had been the second choice for the role! The experience was one of the least favourite experiences of my life, but I decided that if I was going to have to apply for work simply to pay the bills, then I should at least look to do so in an area where I had friends – Winchester! 

Moving my sign-on process to Winchester was a much pleasanter experience, so they are not all like this! With another interview in the pipeline, and having done some freelance web work (see web-project) in the meantime, the parameters were changed, and 13 weeks were accordingly awarded! With further web-work offered this week, I’ve officially been signed-off for this week, with the expectation that I’ll need to go through the rapid reclaim process when this short-term project expires. With another web project agreed, and other possibilities in the pipe-line from the temping agencies, hopefully I won’t need to go through the process again, but I will as necessary, and it’s good life-experience to aid in the setting up of my business as a life-coach, for which I will be trained by March 2009.

The Challenge of Daily Bible Readings

OK, it was a resolution I made last summer, challenged by Alastair McKenna to try and read the Bible more regularly. On my RTW travels, this didn’t really happen, but I had lots of time out to think and check out God’s creation. Once I hooked up with Oak Hall for this summer, again with Alastair on my first trip, I decided I’d go for the ‘Bible in a Year’ option. I tried using one of the plans where you jump around the Bible, combined with my study Bible, but I got bogged down. There’s plenty of those kind of options on Amazon. Whilst at the Manor (Oak Hall), someone left ‘The Message‘ in my pigeon hole in August, and I challenged myself to read one chapter per day (more if I wished), and about 95% of the time this is happening, so I’m slowly getting there… result!

Online Helps
I’ve found it quite helpful to have some daily readings come in.

Seeds of the Kingdom
Written by staff from Ellel Ministries, this short daily devotional provides a verse or 2 from the Bible, and then a commentary, which is usually quite a thought-provoking but practical focus for the day, plus a brief prayer.

What did they say today about New Year’s Resolutions?
But what would happen if all believers approached the New Year with a different question and asked God what were His plans for them? And then we spent some time with God waiting on Him so that we could listen to His still small voice? We would then have fresh vision for the year ahead – and if it is vision from Him then we wouldn\’t run out of soulish energy in no time at all, but we would discover His sustaining power, enabling us to press on toward the goal He has put before us.

Word Live
Written by Scripture Union whose aim is “Using the Bible to inspire children, young people and adults to know God.”I got rather overwhelmed by this as it seemed quite long, but this is designed to offer options, rather than necessarily working your way through the whole-thing, and offers a multi-media engagement with the Bible:

  • Read the translation you prefer
  • Listen to music and podcasts
  • Meditate with images and video
  • Dig deeper into further Bible study
  • Use WordLive on the move, whenever and wherever

What did they say today to welcome in the New Year?
A poem by Samuel Johnson: 1709–1794 to highlight that a new year is always an opportunity for a fresh start. Our God is a God of new beginnings.
Almighty God,
by whose mercy my life has been
yet prolonged to another year,
grant that thy mercy may not be in vain.

Let not my years be multiplied to increase my guilt,
but as age advances,
let me become more pure in my thoughts, more regular in my desires, and more obedient to thy laws.
Let not the cares of the world distract me, nor the evils of age overwhelm me. But continue and increase thy loving kindness towards me,
and when thou shalt call me hence,
receive me to everlasting happiness,
for the sake of Jesus Christ,
our Lord.

E-WordA short Bible passage arrives in your inbox each morning, with further information available online if you so choose to click through (for a variety of translations and languages). The aim of E-Word is to set up a good daily habit and understand God’s plan for your life. Also included in your e-mail message is a Christian Thought for the Day, words of wisdom from Charles H. Spurgeon, and a short Sermon Snippet. The on-line edition also includes direct access links to today’s most popular on-line devotionals in text and audio formats.

What was Spurgeon’s thought for the day today?
“I believe we must either go forward, or we must fall. The rule is in Christian life, if we do not bring forth fruit unto the Lord our God, we shall lose even our leaves, and stand like a winter’s tree, bare and withered.”

All of them have subscription options so they arrive as a little prompt in your inbox. I’m sure there’s lots of others, but these are the ones I’ve used!