An 18-year-old with 24 years experience…

August 19, 2014

Entry to the University of London LLB programme @ 41 was a watershed event for me last year, and the six following months… a roller coaster ride. From sleepy beginnings (The snakes and ladders of study) through wake-up moments (A Journey to the Centre of the Mind) it has been pulsating, right up to the finishing line.

The last time I ran this race was two decades back during my Chartered Accountancy Finals. Those were different days though. In early 20s, youthful potential energy was in abundance. Devoid of any serious responsibility, life was relatively uncomplicated. In short, those were days when the heart thumped more in anticipation of love and life rather than apprehension of failure and fear..!

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To the future!

August 15, 2014

This happens to be the final page of my travel(b)logue, which is what I referred to my blogs as in my first post… On completion of my study, I set off for some adventure-packed fun. Launching myself off the platform and flying down the zipline was somewhat like my study experience over the past four years – a journey, from bracing myself to embracing the world!

Hema Thakur ziplining

So here’s to the ‘long and short’ of my trip with the programmes (spellcheck hasn’t got used to this word yet). I’ve expanded the word ‘trip’ itself, to incorporate some of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from it.

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Post #1: In which we meet this blog’s narrator and catch up on events in the MA Education

August 12, 2014

I think I might be a man.

Turns out that I’m completely without that well-known female quality of being able to successfully multi-task, so that instead of juggling writing this blog, catching up on a dubiously thick stack of reading and preparing for the new school year I have instead been in a state of stall for the last week when I’ve been able to do nothing more academic than watch re-runs of Frasier.

I’ve had to impose discipline on myself so I’ve come into work and I’m writing to you sitting at my desk in my classroom. Should you like to picture the scene you might like to know that it’s freezing cold in here, a testament to the fierce air-con that’s keeping the oppressive heat outside at bay. I live in Romania – which is a land of all sorts of extremes, not least in its literal interpretation of a cold winter and a hot summer. The students aren’t back yet – they won’t be back for at least another week – and the school seems very quiet and altogether too ‘grown-up’ without them.

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Transition Time!

August 8, 2014

What a week we have had here in Pittsburgh! Jelly Bean, my collie dog, and I have accomplished a lot. We spent some time digging over and planting three new flowerbeds, began a creative project, and finished our ‘spring’ cleaning that got sadly, sadly behind when concentrating on exams and some professional projects.  This week we also finally finished two big, lingering work projects. (Yes, we – she is a very good co-pilot for long stretches at my desk.)  Having professional and personal projects like this is a great thing right now.  While it is sinking, albeit slowly, into my brain that I actually completed the degree, I have not quite figured out what to do with the time devoted to study. There was a celebration and a few tears of relief and joy when grades were released but nothing like the sense of satisfaction that came with the invitation to our graduation ceremony in the spring.

Rainbow in stormy skyIt feels like transition time, and perfectly timed too with the lovely feeling of spring ripening into summer, not that it is always a process without drama.  This week we had an incredible summer storm. In just a few hours, we had three inches of rain. A building on our street was struck by lightning, streets were closed from flash flooding, people were rescued from floating vehicles, and our garden room flooded impressively. Although Jelly Bean is normally quite brave during thunder and lightning storms, she felt better sitting in my lap as we watched this one from her favorite window seat.   In an almost Shakespearean way, like our own personal ‘Tempest’, the storm arrived along with my decision to pursue new professional opportunities and set new academic goals.

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A Freshman’s First Experience With The MA Education Distance Learning

August 7, 2014

Worried Bernard

Worried Bernard!

Although learning is a continuous process over our entire lifespan, it’s been some time since I’ve had formal training.  Being a business consultant and more recently, a business management teacher in an IB World School, I’m pretty nervous being a student.  I mean, the tables are turned on me now!  Moreover, it’s distance learning.  Doubts on its effectiveness clouded my mind.  So, why did I sign up in the first place?  From a business perspective, it’s branding and the value of the product won me over.  The University of London and the Institute of Education reputations in the global education industry is second to none as far as I’m concerned.  Decision made – I must endure all hardships and whatever the course throws at me. Read the rest of this entry »


Am I a loser…?

July 31, 2014

Lc WPCheck the fridge… Sit and read half a page of a new book… Browse internet… Make another coffee… Browse… Start organising iTunes library again… Watch a TV show… Next episode… Browse… Think about going to the shop… Check the fridge…

What’s wrong with me?

My whole morning has passed by jumping from one meaningless task to another. Yesterday I had all these great plans of how I was going to use my day off and I literally don’t know what to do with myself – I’m wasting the day away; I’m 32 and not getting any younger; what have I accomplished so far? Am I a success yet (what is success)? What do I want to be when I grow up? Who’s Justin Beiber? Am I a loser… Read the rest of this entry »


one for sorrow, two for joy (i)…

July 30, 2014

Pierro della Francesca - Nativity

Pierro della Francesca – Nativity

There’s a dinner party game that any Psychology majors will already be familiar with; it runs as follows & couldn’t be simpler if you tried…

You ask your unsuspecting friend/s to quite quickly (without too much navel gazing) to name their three favourite animals; now if you have never played this before I might suggest you read no further and do exactly as I have asked you… perhaps even write them down so there is no last minute temptation to ever so slightly alter the outcome (as if you would!!!). Read the rest of this entry »


Self-Introduction – Bernard Seah

July 29, 2014

Bernard Seah - Photo (2 inch) 20110811Hi everyone,

I’m a new student at the University of London studying the MA Education at the Institute of Education. Currently, I’m a Business Management teacher at an IB World School in Beijing, China since 2011.

Prior to my teaching career, I was in the ICT industry. Dealing with parents and students is very different from dealing with clients. Presenting to and teaching students is very different from presenting to clients. So, that’s one of the reasons why I signed up for the MA Education course. Read the rest of this entry »


Summer Reading Surprises

July 26, 2014

tennessee williams beachIt is such a lovely summer here in Pennsylvania. Jelly Bean and I are enjoying some long, lovely summer days.  Her favorite way to spend the day is lolling in the grass, playing in the lawn sprinklers. When evening comes, the fireflies mesmerize her.  Because of her chronic medical condition, we dedicate a lot of our playtime to these pursuits as well as lounging in the shade and reading.  There is nothing like relaxing in the garden with Jelly Bean and a good book.  My summer reading list is quite interesting, perhaps even eclectic, and a bit surprising. Read the rest of this entry »


Colours of the Prism

July 11, 2014

Rainbow coming out bookOne of the things that makes literature beautiful is its ability to bring out our multifaceted humanity. It functions like a prism that reflects the many colours of the rainbow when a beam of white light passes through it.

However, this ‘rainbow’ is not all about beauty; neither is it infallible. It has its vulnerabilities, the little pockmarks that blemish an otherwise beautiful face. And I think that it is not only at its most vulnerable, but also at its most interesting stage, when the intricacies of human relationships and of humanity surface.

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