I Know I Said No More Uni Talk…

And, I really won’t bring it up any further now, BUT….I made this…because I feel a bit giddy. I got my latest assignment result. And, seriously….I’m much more happy about the feedback that has come with it. It’s just wonderful. I cried. But, the mark is reflective of how wonderful the feedback is. So, I made a silly jokey thing. I love these screenshots of Jim from that short Canadian TV interview in 1981. Jesus Christ, what a beautiful man! So I allowed myself some fun with one. Taking the piss out of myself, ostensibly.

Anyway…the assignment result!

I am genuinely stunned. And you’ll know from previous posts just how much I was dreading having to reflect on my own work and how I feel I am doing so far as a student.

The lesson I take from it? To REALLY SEE my worth! And to SEE that I am doing very well with my study and I will only do better if I continue to apply diligence and persistence and stay the course! Finally, to know when to be hard on myself, and to truly know when I am being TOO hard on myself.

Thanks, Jim! Lol

Love you! ❤️

(As if he’d give two shits to whether I’m doing well or not. Never mind. It’s whether *I* care is the point that matters.)

Time To *REALLY* Knuckle Down, Kid!

I won’t be doing any more of these posts. Not for a while anyway. And by “these posts” – I mean discussing my study – here. What I *will* be posting here, I don’t know. I’ll ponder further in a moment.

Yesterday I submitted assignment number five for the year. The dreaded ‘reflective student progress’ essay. Thank fuck it was only needing to be up to 800 words long. I think I managed to write something objective and positive, with an optimistic outlook – but it really didn’t come easy.

These past few weeks – Covid, recovering from it, working on assignment number four, feeling like I had a real breakthrough with it, being really happy with what I submitted and then the result I got and the HUGE knock that gave me…it was tough!

Then to top that all off and follow it with having to objectively review my own academic progress? It wasn’t easy. My tutor was incredibly encouraging. She commended me on my diligence and told me the fact that I am even still committed to the module and actively studying is more than what most do at this point in this module. That the module has a high dropout rate and the fact that I am still studying speaks volumes (words not verbatim, but general gist).

I don’t want to be another dropout statistic!

The assignment is worth the lowest of all the percentage marks of the module at only 10% – it was important to do in a self-analysis sense, but I am not at all concerned with what kind of mark I got for it. Genuinely.

There is one assignment left, and its submission on September 6th wraps up this module. My study might continue from October, depending on the next module I take and whether I am eligible for student funding again.

In the meantime, I am three weeks behind with study! When I left for the gig at Blenheim Palace, I was a week ahead – just to highlight how far I have fallen behind. From this weekend (30 July), it should be summer break – one week off – but NOT for me! I will have only two weekends off until the final assignment is submitted. The weekend of the SM Edinburgh gigs, and the weekend of Strathaven Balloon Festival (26-28 August). That’s it!

Today begins the “knuckle down” and the final slog! I have a LOT to cram in within the next six weeks – but I am up for the challenge! There’ll be plenty of crises of confidence (can someone with NO confidence HAVE crises of confidence?) but I will spare you any of that talk here.

As a result of how much study I do need to catch up with, I can’t promise much content here on the blog, but I will try and keep things going to some degree.

Anyway, best crack on! Time waits for no man.

Images shared are of my ‘learning journal’. Something it was recommended we keep but I had as yet been keeping. I have started now and can truly see its benefits.

See you around September 7th!

The shadow of my arm when taking the photo of the cover adds to the art, don’t you think?
My handwriting NEVER improves…

A Friend Of Frank

What a difference a week can make, eh?

I tried to shield the blog from it as much as possible, although it didn’t escape unscathed as my mood last weekend was probably at the worst it had been all year – culminating in a complete anxiety attack and me considering chucking in the whole uni thing.

A combination of things, really. My appalling low self-opinion of myself, and my capabilities and the massive comedown from Paris… just all the things I do to myself combined with the PGD (Post Gig Depression). Just how ‘anti’ ME I am. If there happens to be any haters out there visiting this blog right now and are reading these words – TRUST ME – you could not hate me any more than I hate myself. Rest assured!

But this time I battled through it. Sunday and Monday were the worst days. Sunday I was feeling the worst anxiety I have had when approaching an assignment. I looked over the two options I felt I had for my assignment – The Blues or Writing Stories (ie: Creative Writing). I kept dismissing the writing stories topic because I am petrified of it. It was a hard week of study and only towards the end of it did I begin to enjoy it. I really enjoyed the blues week so it had always been the much stronger contender.

Anyway, I can’t go into too much more detail about it but suffice it to say that I was wracked with indecision and felt frozen with anxiety to even begin the assignment.

Things didn’t improve on Monday. I emailed my tutor in a cry for help. I explained all that was going on. A prompt reply with reassurance was the first step. A phone call followed the next day. That helped further.

I made a start on Tuesday. It all still felt so overwhelming but I was tackling it head on. Trying to look at it positively. Reassured by words from good friends. A good day of progress on Wednesday. A tutor session on Wednesday evening. More headway on Thursday. Inspiration from Graeme Thomson at the Mitchell Library on Thursday night. A lot more headway on Friday – all of this, slowly but surely lifted the weight and the clouds to now where I can clearly see and breathe, more relaxed yet still focused. Still apprehensive about the assignment – but at a point where if I really DO get a crap mark from it, it wasn’t through lack of trying!

ANYWAY! Short story is, as the week has progressed well and my mood has lifted day by day. We are halfway through the course, so I guess that was the time to have that massive ‘crisis of (no) confidence’ point nearly every student goes through.

I was smart enough to cry for help. To contact my tutor, instead of just trying to be this person who lets the blackness, anxiety and pressure overwhelm them.

Last night I had some fun. I won TWO Scrabble games – one pretty resoundingly – and just allowed myself to properly relax for the first time in … more than two weeks.

Frank’s hot pal.

Frank Gallagher posted this photo of Jim with the words “Sent ma pal some swag. He seems to be enjoying it.” It’s a nice pic. In an exercise in fun and frivolity and letting my hair down, I left a comment…

“Hey, your pal is hot – can I have his number?” with a couple of cheeky grinning winking emojis. Ah, why not? It’s not as if I am confessing anything new that NOBODY knows! Lol. I’m sure even that hermit guy they made that film about knows that I am a bit ‘gone’ on His Kerrness.

Frank is always up for a fun response anyway…and he didn’t disappoint… “Aye. How much you got $$$$”

Serious note…don’t I wish I could actually TALK to this man for longer than a constrained two minute window in the middle of a meet and greet? I guess I can just keep on wishing with that one…oh, well.

And…that smile! I wish that was for me too. I’ll pretend it is. “Good job on getting that assignment done, Larrrrrelllllle – you can do anything you put your mind to. Nae danger. Dinnae fash yersel!”

Fake it til you make it…

Distinctly Average

I want to believe I have SOME ability or aptitude for SOMETHING. I think I take a knock to any minor degree of confidence I have in myself SSSOOO hard that I end up giving up. I have GOT TO STOP this from happening!

I really do think it is why I “fell” so hard for Jim. I’ll run over old ground, I know….I’m sorry! But that thing of him making – what felt like to me at least – such a show of what I had done…it gave me a sense of worth that I don’t think I had ever felt in my life. Or if I ever felt it before then, not for a very long time until then.

Where is this post going?

Around lunchtime today I got the result of my first assignment. And I am no doubt being overly analytical and overly critical of my result. I scored a 60. By no means a fail. It is what is deemed a “clear pass”. And I got myself tied up in knots because I couldn’t open the file with my tutor’s detailed assessment notes and comments on my submitted assignment, all I could see was the file of the official grade. So I saw my grade and could see no feedback.

I take things like this so badly. I’m just not strong like I need to be. I take it all so personally and so deeply. I then get too emotional. Cry my heart out and wallow in all the negative aspects and concern myself with what I have got wrong and don’t see this assignment grade as a positive start with natural room for growth, but as “Oh, I knew I’d be AVERAGE. I am not understanding the questions properly, or I am not replying and answering in the way that is required. God, WILL I EVER GET THIS?!”

I got a lower mark for my answer on Elizabeth I than I did for my answer for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and a more detailed feedback on Elizabeth too.

I was pretty adamant about what topics I wanted to work on for my second assignment but my result is making me rethink. I am having a rethink because I felt that the topics I have enjoyed the most should be the ones I work with for my assignment. But is that the best line of approach? Should it be what I have enjoyed learning most? Or should it be what I feel best at responding to?

I spent the afternoon allowing myself to wallow in self-pity. To let myself feel disappointed with myself, but give myself a right talking to tomorrow! View my result again and actually see it for what it is – a very fine first attempt! Not a fail! Not a bare pass! But a CLEAR PASS! And not the bottom end of a clear pass either! (Clear pass rate is 55-69)

I will learn. I will PASS better – next time. NOT “fail better” – PASS better, by learning from my own “failures”.

Illustration of how appalling my hand writing is and how riddled with typographical errors it is. Made all the worse when I am trying to write quickly by taking notes. This is my writing on a good day!