Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I'm back

I'm back from Berlin...and am now in Norwich! I haven't had a chance to update my blog...as social networking sites have been blocked on the COT computer system! I'm in discussions to try and get my access unblocked! I'm here in Norwich...as I'm speaking to the new 3 year full-time students tomorrow morning at 9am!

Berlin and the ENOTHE event was brilliant. I have come away with lots of thoughts and ideas about how UK students can get more involved in European developments...maybe through the agenda of the student conference? Next year is the "European Year of Creativity and Innovation"....what a fantastic topic for a group of OTs to tackle!? I'm also going to explore the possibility of exchanges and update the programme leads of the various UK OT programmes on the work of ENOTHE, via a newsletter the COT education team distribute plus the various meetings I attend. Watch this space! The next ENOTHE, same time next year is
in Northern Spain.....so food for thought.

Interestingly, one of the main discussions of the event or at least the main point I have taken away is the debate around Occupation, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and how they relate to each other. My first MSc module is now underway...and I need to read an article from Ann Wilcock on these very subjects....so I'm sitting in my Travelodge considering if "Occupation and Health: Are they one and the Same?" To contrast my article reading...I have included some pictures from Berlin - the programme included a bus tour on our way to the social evening. I'm quite pleased my picture came out through the bus window! If you want to see more - I'm putting together an album on my Facebook profile...and on the Facebook group "Occupational Therapy Students: Get Connected. (Photography is one of my main leisure occupations!)

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

I'm in Berlin till Sunday!

I'm packed and reading for Berlin! I'm attending an event put on by the "European Network for Occupational Therapists in Higher Education" (often known as ENOTHE). The first day is all about Occupational Science...which I'm looking forward to getting to grips with again.

I will be separated from my computer until Sunday evening....but I will use pen and paper to capture my reflections and will post a BIG message when I'm back.

I'm taking my camera..and will also add an album to the Facebook group "Occupational Therapy Students: Get Connected".

Watch this space....!

Back from Derby

I typed a nice long piece last night...and when I clicked "publish post" my computer decided the Internet connection wasn't working! So I'm back today at least...and I'm physically just back from visiting the 1st year students in Derby. I did my session in a lovely big lecture theatre...on what appears to be a very modern campus. Just before my session, I was able to listen to Joan Howarth, one of the lecturers, explain about the Blackboard system the students use at Derby. I don't think these things were invented when I was a student!!! I've just logged into my University of Salford blackboard...and managed to leave a message on the "social wiki" and in the discussion forum...virtual coffee shop! To top that...I have also used Skype for the first time! I have spoken to my personal tutor, Angela Hook...after a few technical issues with my microphone! I'm now going to use Skype to speak to my brother...as you get the added bonus of webcam - so I can check the weather in Somerset!

Friday, 19 September 2008

My UK Tour!

I'm typing this from a computer room somewhere at Oxford Brookes University! I've just met the 1st year students...and I'm about to have lunch with the 2nd years! I'm disappointed I forgot to take a picture of the 1st years Although it probably comes as a totally odd request, I wanted to include various pictures here and on the Facebook group! If any of the Oxford Brookes students read this...and want to organise a group photo...I will include it in my collection! You never know where it might appear next?!?!?

Its been great having a few moments to check my work email...at least I know there aren't 100's waiting for me on Monday!

I was in Plymouth yesterday, meeting the new final year students - photo's to follow! I don't often get to speak to students at this stage of their studies - but I thought it worked well combining student focused information - with new graduate stuff as well??
Better go....2nd years are waiting!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

On you marks..get set...

I'm pretty much all set for my forthcoming trips to meet students. I've just got enough time on Monday to finish off emails and complete my PowerPoint presentation. The memory sticks arrived this week...so I've got more boxes to accomodate around my desk! These memory sticks will be send to all the students who set up their BAOT student membership. The technology has moved on since last year....so for the same price...we have managed to get a bigger memory stick, therefore should accomodate even more assignments!

I'm having problems getting my internal microphone to work on my computer...so I'm still unable to Skype! Plus I ordered a funky laptop bag online - selected "next day delivery" and it didn't turn up the next day! So a few more things to sort before I'm totally ready for my first module.

Might treat myself to some nice stationary tomorrow!! You cannot beat a nice folder or notepad when you start to study something. I'm been given so good time managment tips from colleagues - like actually putting study time in my Outlook Calendar, so its more official and fixed like a meeting. Another tip was having a regular night of study, so that friends get used to me being busy on a Tuesday for example. If anyone has some good study tips it would great to hear them?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

I'm back

I've been a bad blogger...and haven't post anything for a little while. I've been preoccupied researching Laptop computers! After much debate and hesitation over MB and GB's...I'm typing this on my new (Cherry Red) laptop!
It is soooo much quicker than my previous computer...and it still hasn't sunk in I can actually unplug is computer from the mains supply and it will still work (something my old computer hadn't been able to do for about 3 years!). I'm beginning to feel ready for the start of my 1st MSc module on the 29th....just need to master Skype next!

My "UK tour" of University visits really kicks off next week....with a trip to Plymouth and Oxford.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A busy day

Tuesday was action packed!

I head off down the road (in the pouring rain) to visit the new intake of pre-registration MSc/PGdip students at London South Bank University. It was great to finally get to use the new leaflets and postcards...instead of seeing them in the boxes around my desk! Hope the students I met in the session didn't think it was too strange when I asked to take their picture!

I'm always impressed at the range of previous degree students on the 2 year accelerated programmes have completed. I wonder what brought them into the profession? I "discovered" OT when I was 13 and was fairly focused on becoming one right from that point....so I think its easy to say I'm a bit usual! The College puts a lot of focus on OT week at the beginning on November to try and raise the profile of the profession - I think it would be fantastic if a soap like Eastenders used an OT in a plot!

After my visit to LSBU.....and a quick check of my emails....myself and quite a number of colleague headed out for some lunch to officially say "Goodbye" to Romana, Enquiry Co-ordinator. She is leaving COT to do some exciting travelling....and will certainly be missed.

After work, I headed off to Viniopolis for my wine tasting exam! It was held under full exam conditions...which really took me back to doing my GCSE's!!!! There were a few horrible questions...even the tutor said he was surprised to find! What will be - will be! I'll know if I have passed in a couple of weeks. One thing is for sure...I will never look at a wine list in the same way again...and it takes me double the time to pick when in the shop now!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Welcome to the New Academic Year...08/09!

I've got my first University (also known as Higher Education Institution...or HEI) visit tomorrow - to London South Bank University. I think this group of students might be the first to kick off the academic year....I certainly haven't come across another OT programme that starts so early in September. I'm meeting the tutor at 9.10am...so I've enough time to pop into COT on Borough High street, to pick up my memory stick and the leaflets...before "power walking" down the road to London South Bank Uni.

I'm going to take my camera.....I wonder if they will mind having their photo taken?!?....I would be great to include them on here!

Watch this space re: photo!