Friday, 20 May 2011

Panic mode once again!

I am sitting here doing my breathing – breathe in and slowly out, wiggle toes and drop those shoulders.

Yes, it’s panic mode for me once again in the run down to the final day of college on 1st June.  I have one piece of work to finish and a whole new piece to start so it will be head down all weekend.  I hope the weather is terrible so I am not tempted to go out and sit in the sunshine!

I have a real dilemma about my options for next year.  It will be my final year and option 1 is to do a full dissertation of 12-15,000 words alongside the usual case discussions, skills practice and clinical placement.  The problem for me is that I do not have anything that I passionately want to research.  We have to submit a research proposal by June 1st as our final piece of work.  If I do not submit and pass it, I cannot proceed to year three.  I am feeling so tired I cannot think up anything that really interests me and I think that to be stuck doing ‘just anything’ for the whole of next year is a daunting prospect .

Option 2 is to take the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy module.  We have more teaching hours, with a visiting specialist lecturer, more sills practice, more essays to write but do not have the long research dissertation.  Instead we have an 8000 word personal development essay.  This option was offered for the first time this year so we are still waiting for the first batch of third years to complete it.  On this option we have to do 100 clinical hours - 50 pure CBT, and 50 integrative counselling instead of only 80 for the option 1.

I was dead set on doing option 2 but now I am starting to wobble again.  I feel like I need the whole summer to consolidate my learning from this year and to think freshly about what to do but if I have to begin the next academic year by writing a whole new research proposal, I may run out of time to get everything done because the proposal has to be submitted to the ethics committee for approval.

Anyway that all seems so minor compared to other things going on.  Him at home will be even more at home by the end of today.  Government cuts mean that he is being made redundant after more than 20 years working firstly as a teacher and then with the local council, providing e-learning assistance to schools, teachers and local government.  The whole e-learning resources centre is being shut down which seems pretty crazy when there is so much reliance on e-learning.  He’s threatening to wander around the streets in his dressing gown and slippers looking miserable so I shall have to occupy him as my assistant researcher and chief cook and bottle washer!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


It feels like I’m coming up for air, taking time out to write this blog! So much seems to have happened since my last.
There was all the madness of the Royal Wedding.  I was hypnotically drawn to the television that morning and could not go off on our weekend away until I had seen THE DRESS!  It all seemed so bizarre with people camping out for days, the pomp and pageantry, the continuous recapping, reviewing and highlights.  I thought back to the craziness of Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.  I had been in England for three years, arriving a year after the 1977 Royal Jubilee silliness.  Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister.  I had just discovered I was pregnant and was feeling very queasy.  I spent the day glued to the television, fascinated by all the fuss and dazzled by THAT dress! The following year my Jack was born in February, the Falklands War was fought in April – June and Prince William was born.  Almost 30 years later, William is married and my Jack has just announced that he and his girlfriend Lou are planning to marry next year.  I don’t think we will be at Westminster Abbey though …  and I don’t do hats!
Still trying to make sense of the whole royalty thing, I was stunned to wake up a few mornings later to the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.  It took me straight back to memories of the day forever known as 9/11.  Working as a midwife, that morning I was in Kings College Hospital ultrasound department waiting with my pregnant client for her unborn baby to be scanned.  As the events unfolded, I sat with all the others in stunned silence, trying to make sense of what we were seeing on the television above our heads. 
Swirling thoughts went through my head accompanied by a sort of numbness.  Jack and his then girlfriend were in New York travelling around after finishing work with Camp America.  I hoped they were safe.  I was meant to be reassuring my nervous client and I wondered about the effect of such news on her and her baby.  I could not make sense of it all – it was too big, too far away, too much. I later managed to contact Jack who told me they had been at the base of the twin towers the day before 9/11 but had decided the $7 fee to go to the top was too expensive.  They had gone to the top of the New York State building instead then had flown out to San Francisco.
I am glad Bin Laden is gone although I am not alone in wanting the answers to so many questions.  Should/could he have been captured and put on trial? Did the US do the right thing in not involving/informing Pakistan? What will happen now? I felt relieved that Obama presented the news in such a dignified, measured way (imagine how Bush would have done it!) but was concerned that he had to alter the story so much. I wonder if we will ever know the truth about what really happened, however I have no desire whatsoever to see gory photos of his corpse.
…and the weather is glorious!  What a beautiful spring! I’m finding it hard to keep my energy up to get through the last bits of my second year.  I just feel really drained and tired as do all the students I speak to.  I battled away with my course work over Easter but did not get very far and it was only when I put it aside and took a good break over the Royal Wedding Bank Holiday it began to flow again.  I am wildly jealous of those people who manage to bash out an essay in a few hours but I am very pleased I managed to write my last one in one weekend.  That is a first!  Now I have only two more to get in by 1st June – Hurrah!!