Painting a Portrait of Education

October 31, 2014

Here, the subject is obviously neither handsome nor portraying a healthy picture by smoking a cigarette. However, we can see that the artist has articulately applied all the different techniques to depict the subject close to life with even a sparkle in the old man’s eyes! How would you rate this artist? If I could paint education the way this artist sketch this old man, I’m certain that I wouldn’t have any problems getting a good grade!

Here, the subject is obviously neither handsome nor portraying a healthy picture by smoking a cigarette. However, we can see that the artist has articulately applied all the different techniques to depict the subject close to life with even a sparkle in the old man’s eyes! How would you rate this artist? If I could paint education the way this artist sketch this old man, I’m certain that I wouldn’t have any problems getting a good grade!

Over the course of 6 weeks, I’ve been taught how to paint a portrait of education and been tasked with reflective assignments. The mind map with its spaghetti wires is akin to the hair. The abstract with its emotions and clarity is akin to the eyes and eyebrows. The two statements are akin to the mouth. Citations are akin to the ears as we harness the congruity of our thoughts and thought leaders in the field of education. But… what about the nose? Surely, Mona Lisa wouldn’t look pretty without her nose right? Not forgetting the largest organ of the human body … the skin! Oh, where can I find these two organs?

Turns out that these two organs are found in an essay. The skin is our flow of thought; the language and presentation in the essay. The nose is the central theme and/or argument that connect all the other features of the face together. In fact, there was a lecture on academic writing that teaches students how to paint the skin and nose. My confidence is regained!

Students were given the liberty to do their mock exams whenever they’re ready but must submit it by a stipulated deadline. Before opening the mock exam questions, I was wondering if it will turn out the way I anticipated. When I saw the questions, I was pretty happy as there were two portraits (i.e. questions) that I know I should have no problems painting (i.e. answering). However, painting two pretty portraits in 3 hours is a challenge! Quickly, I prepared my palette of facts, littered with different colours of views and citations; at times mixing different colours to get a whiter or darker shade. Read the rest of this entry »


The two words that completely changed my life

October 30, 2014

wordsWords are ever present in our lives. From the first successful ‘mama’ that rewarded us with ‘oohs‘ and ‘aaws’, even applause, they follow us wherever we go. And words have power. They earn us smiles and hugs, create expectations or reap tears.

Then there are those words that shake our very foundation. They bring us insight, turn our worlds upside down and sometimes touch our very soul. At times they have such an impact on our lives that we are changed forever. They can come from parents, spouses, siblings or friends. We cross paths with them in the books we read. Sometimes they are from a teacher or mentor. And at other times, as it was in my case, from an almost complete stranger.

Read the rest of this entry »


Better done than perfect! Studying in the gaps…

October 24, 2014

Oh, did the academic year start again already?! Yikes… I must have missed the memo… or it could have something to do with my mushy postpartum brain.

A week before the school year began again, our little boy made his entrance into the world and he’s now a month old.  We’re vaguely ‘emerging’ from that postpartum haze and hubby has been waiting on me hand and foot, becoming quite the Jamie Oliver, and being a total star champ A+ support.

I’ve spoken before on this blog about how much I appreciate the flexibility of the UoL programme, and that couldn’t be more so the case than now. Now that I’m a brand new Mum, with all the uncertainty that entails, to know that I can just chip away at whatever I can manage, and defer whatever I can’t, is a real relief!

Read the rest of this entry »


My Degree, And Things I Always Wanted To Do

October 17, 2014

What next?It has been a nice, long autumn here in Pittsburgh with ever so much to share with you.  Jelly Bean and I are so happy to be blogging about our experiences. Just a few days ago my credentials arrived in the mail from the University of London International Programmes. For me, it signaled time to think carefully about what happens after completing a degree, and what my next steps will be. I suppose it depends on your goals, which might include professional objectives or personal fulfillment. For me it is both. Getting the paperwork acknowledging your success is quite satisfying, but it also underlines the question about how to proceed after finishing the degree. Should I concentrate on postgraduate credentials or concentrate on professional or personal opportunities? For me, it is a combination of all those things. To paraphrase Rodgers and Hammerstein, the beginning is a very good place to start.

Read the rest of this entry »


A New Academic Year: Some New Ways, Some New Hopes!

October 15, 2014

Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.A new academic year has begun. It has been a month for me now since I began classes at my institution and it has been great getting back to my studies after a somewhat boring summer.

The results of the past year and the first experience have taught me a lot. I have registered for four modules and this time around I have two modules which need to be studied on my own: Sociological theory and analysis, and Population and society. I cannot take regular classes for these at my teaching institution, however I will be provided with guidance by my teacher. I am taking classes for Elements of social and applied psychology and Social research methods. I have plans to study in a very organised manner – hopefully preventing the procrastination monster from dragging me down with it. And I believe I have learnt this art already by finishing up with four chapters per module. Especially considering these chapters are quite lengthy!

Since the results 2013/2014, I have realized what it takes to produce excellent grades. Putting in a little extra effort can take one to another level. Dedicating a lot of time to research and preparing answers allowed me to perform well. And therefore I aim to brush up on those techniques and use them wisely. Studying two modules without a proper supervision or regular tests and reinforcement will be a whole new experience. (Though I hope I don’t take of advantage of that). I believe this will allow me to set up my study patterns more effectively. Having no regular classes at college will actually leave me with more time to devote to reading and research.

This time I will experience the true essence of studying through this programme – self studying. I hope to achieve better!

Best wishes to everyone around the globe for 2014/2015.

Sundus

Sundus is studying for the BSc Sociology in Pakistan with support from Roots College International. The BSc Sociology is not available to new students from 2014, however you can still study for a Diploma for Graduates in Sociology.


Tears and Sanitation

October 13, 2014

Children drink water at the Protection of Civilians site in South Sudan.

Children drink water at the Protection of Civilians site in South Sudan.

Hello all. I hope everyone else was as pleased with their exam results as I was. Logistical issues as alluded to in a previous post notwithstanding, I passed all three of my exams and even, dare I say it, did quite well. With that in hand and my interest in the subject continuing to grow, I’ve decided to switch to the full MSc in Public Health (general stream), rather than just doing the PG Cert. Quite a big decision, not least financially, but I’m happy that it’s something I enjoy and will benefit me in my career. A career which, (unsurprisingly) has taken me back to South Sudan.

After nine months away I cannot say I like what they’ve done with the place since I was last here – an ongoing war coupled with severe food insecurity and multiple ethnic massacres – however I am honestly happy to be back. I am now working at one of the Protection of Civilians sites, which I can truly say must be one of the worst places in the entire world for the estimated 40,000 people living in it. Severe flooding coupled with a dearth of latrines and a lack of knowledge about disease and proper hygiene practices means that water and sanitation is the big issue here at the moment, and I could write a lot about it. However, I wanted to write about the one very small aspect of sanitation that I am involved in, and that is burials.

A woman with her baby moves through a flooded area of the Protection of Civilians site.

A woman with her baby moves through a flooded area of the Protection of Civilians site.

Read the rest of this entry »


Reading Between the Lines

October 7, 2014

Roald Dahl booksI first discovered Roald Dahl in the library of my primary school. It was not a library with shelves and shelves of books, looking all impressive, and promising an adventure for a seven-year-old. I remembered it as a rather modest one: it did not amass a vast array of books though it had been around for very long. Yet, it was there where I acquired the love for reading.

Roald Dahl was one of those amongst the library’s collections. Quite like any child, I took to him almost instantly. I remembered that I wanted to be transformed into all of his characters all at once. Matilda’s intelligence was something I grew covetous of; and to live the rest of my life as a mouse like the boy in The Witches was one of my childhood daydreams. The most absurd idea that I had, was the wish that I were an orphan so that the BFG (the big friendly giant) could come and take me away to his land.

I managed to grow out of these strange fantasies, fortunately.

However, Roald Dahl did not leave me─he left an ineffaceable imprint on my life. His works retained their places as delectable reads which I revisit time and again. They are like comfort food─nostalgic and assuring with their familiarity.

Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,692 other followers

%d bloggers like this: