Saturday, 17 September 2011

My 50th Blog!

It is almost a year since I wrote my first blog and here I am writing my 50th! Back in September 2010 I hardly knew what a blog was.  There was a call for volunteer blog writers and I decided to give it a go for two reasons:

1: I wanted to keep my writing muscle exercised.  I had submitted my last piece of written work in June 2010 and my next would not be submitted until December.

2: I would be paid for four hours work a month to write four blogs – later reduced to two due to the university –wide budget cuts.

As  such an extra mature student, I thought no one  would be interested in reading my blog with people  wanting to read about much more exciting student activities than those I get up to! I would be quite safe to practice my blogging pretty much in private. 

My first blog started thus:

“Well this is a first! I have heard of blogs but never figured out how to do one.  I am still terrified of the Ipod Ian gave me last Christmas and as for twitter… My son Jack thinks it is hilarious and can’t figure out why I just want a mobile that is just a mobile, not a camera, computer or anything else.  However I am determined to move into the 21st century so here goes….

I have been staggered to discover  that I have had visitors to my blog from all over the world – so thank you visitors – you are keeping me in a job!

I have also been surprised at how much I have enjoyed writing it. I have found it an excellent discipline and actually thoroughly enjoyed it.   I was so worried at the thought of writing my first one until I gave myself quite a severe talking to that went something like this:

“Now Alice – no-one is about to die.  It is not going to be marked.  It is only 200 words.  Just be yourself”.
So I took a deep breath and began – and here I am 50 blogs later and too many words to count!!
It has been fun getting to know the other bloggers both personally and through their blogs.  We all work together either at events or on the enquiry unit and the blogs reflect the individuality, quirkiness and humour of the individuals.  Now several them have just graduated and will be leaving to start their new careers.  I am sad to see them go but look forward to welcoming the newbies. We all send our blogs by email to Uzma who checks then and uploads them.  She writes lovely encouraging responses that I don’t dare miss a submission date!  I threatened to stop writing them after I got to number 50 but she wouldn’t let me! So for making me feel so guilty for even raising the issue, I am enclosing a picture of her in her Theme Your Team competition outfit.  Her team beat us into second place with their amazing Uz-man (Pacman) Theme.

Clearing finally closed at midday on Friday.  I was surprised how incredible that felt.  One minute we were taking calls from people still trying to find a place, the next we were telling them we were closed.  It has been an incredibly busy ten weeks and to give you some idea of the number of applications we completed, there are four lever arch files full of the single sheet file copies for people with a surname beginning with “A”. Now our queries include requests for information about applications for next year, accommodation, timetables and registration.

Over the weekend students will be moving into their accommodation and getting ready to enjoy Freshers’ Week where all sorts of wonderful activities are planned around everyone’s course induction days.  As a continuing student I will not start until the following week so I will be in the Enquiry Unit. I started back in my Counselling placement this week.  I was last there in June and worried that I would be terribly rusty. I had two new clients to meet who are booked for six sessions each.  After four sessions I will review the work with my client and we have the option of continuing for up to three more sets of six sessions.  This is quite a luxury to be able to offer up to 24 sessions  in these times as most organisations can offer six sessions in total. After finishing the sessions on Thursday I realised just how much I had missed this work over the summer and how ready I am to get back to it.  However I am very pleased that I chose to take the break from it while I worked in fulltime in clearing because I would have been far too tired to offer my clients any quality work.

I will finish my 50th blog with some lovely news.  You may recall that my beloved Valerie Vespa was stolen in July and I have been grieving ever since, but getting very fit riding my bicycle, running for buses,  and walking miles.  Valerie has never been found and so today we bought her big sister.  Kate helped me to name her Priscilla Lexie Piaggio.  She is gorgeous – a real retro design 125cc silver coloured scooter.  Valerie was only 50cc and I always felt like I was sitting on a sewing machine after my big black 400cc Honda.  I vowed I would never have another scooter that small.  Priscilla feels more like a real bike and sounds far less like a high pitched hairdryer.  After taking her for a test drive I returned to the scooter shop with a huge grin on my face stating to him-at home and the dealer “I am in lurve!”

We are collecting her on Tuesday – I can’t wait!

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