All entries for October 2005

October 31, 2005

Communicating Online

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

I went to Casey and Rob's Graduate School Course on Saturday Web-publishing for Postgraduates and even though it meant getting up for 10am on a Saturday morning it was well worth it!

What happened?

Casey spent the first hour and a bit talking and demonstrating how to write for the web with some very useful handouts. The hardest bit was making us describe our research in 50 words to 'our friend's mother', which involved lots of crossing out and starting again. I felt so sorry for the Science students who had so many acroynyms to explain to us before they got past their titles!

Rob O'Toole finished off the session showing us the various technologies that Warwick offers to Postgraduates, such as ePortfolios and of course, these blogs.

The most useful part of the session was the discussion on consideration of audience – Rob demonstrated that Google highly-rated University webpages, so it was important to maintain the 'correct' image on the web – i.e professional on an ePortfolio if you want potential employers to take you seriously.

What did I get out of it?

apart from the free tea, coffee, water and biscuits (very important for a early Saturday morning)

  1. Ideas for developing my ePortfolio for the wider world
  2. A new desire to write on my blog
  3. Rethinks on the webpages and external websites I maintain.

Unfortunately, I still waffle on my blog…


Research

My prelimary title for my research is:

An investigation into the use of online resources to encourage PDP and reflective learning in Universities

October 28, 2005

More Rev bloggers!

Writing about web page http://www.livejournal.com/users/micrognome/

I've just persuaded the lovely Kelly from Aberdeen Revelation that she wanted a blog, so here is her first entry. As you can see, she has a good body, but needs some love…

My life in a graph!

Writing about Life sucks and then some more from [TBA]

Well, seeing as Thor's done this – I thought I'd do it to! It's not too bad to look at – although it's not accurate.

I think my friends and family score went down as my Mum died two years ago and 3/4 of my grandparents have died…so it reckons that I have no family. That's not quite true though as although a lot of my family are in Cardiff, my aunty and cousins are only 20 minutes away from campus, so I see them regularly.

Finance-wise looks amazing, probably because I said I was working – and it didn't matter if I was a temp or not and they didn't ask how many days a week I have a job for! In real terms, I've got less money to spend that when I was an undergraduate and waitressing in Pizza Hut…hmmm…somedays I really miss that time in my life!

Spirit life – looks good – probably because I'm Christian and the questions kept asking about faith and morality…yet another reason why it's great to be Christian.

This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
8.9
Mind:
8.7
Body:
8.2
Spirit:
9.2
Friends/Family:
5.3
Love:
7.7
Finance:
9.4
Take the Rate My Life Quiz


October 06, 2005

Usability…?

Writing about web page http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designmistakes.html

Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005
I agree with what is said about usability, but surely a website that doesn't look as dull and text-heavy as that will make it more visitor-friendly and therefore more useable?

Me and Research

I went to my first day's lectures yesterday and already have an assignment to do.

1500 word written report:
'Describe the extent to which your own research interests reflect or derive from your personal/lifestyle experiences and/or your social position and state how the research which you do might be influenced by the 'values' that you carry'

My problem is that I can see too many links between myself and what I want to research! No idea how I can fit it all into 1500 words…


October 04, 2005

Bangor Rev road trip

Writing about web page http://www.rev.org.uk

Despite yesterday's mammoth blog entry I didn't mention my Revelation weekend trip to Bangor (the one in North Wales not Northern Ireland), so here goes:

Travelling This didn't start too well as I had forgotten that I had parked in University House car park instead of Westwood and therefore didn't have any change to get out. I did test the entrance/exit system by putting my unpaid for ticket into the machine (I was trying to leave after 6pm so I thought it might be free), unfortunately for me, and the queue of cars behind me, it wasn't, so I had to reverse out and ring Thor to bring some money to get me out. I was giving Thor (plus Rich and Nikki) a lift to Bangor as well so didn't feel too bad about ringing him!

Tea We got to Bangor at 11pm after stopping at Keele Services for KFC (a tradition for Revelation road trips) and meeting Kelly (from Aberdeen Revelation) at the station.

Warning Do not try and drive around Bangor to find a parking space with 5 people, luggage and a saxophone in a car with a 1.2 engine – the hills are far too steep so you may end up rolling backwards!

Singing We spend most of Saturday learning songs ready for the concert on Saturday evening. I can't really remember much about it as I was so tired, but photos of the concert will be on the National Rev website soon.

Sunday We were performing at the Church where we had been sleeping and rehearsing so went to their morning service. It's a bit difficult to describe as it was quite different to all the other churches I have visited. Highlights include: the length (3 hours), the free worship (member of congregation starts singing a song – everyone joins in – then music group join in), Jess falling asleep and snoring during the service.


October 03, 2005

Structure, Sociology and Sense

I did intend to go to bed about half hour ago so I'd be wide awake and lively for Societies Fayre tomorrow, but decided my brain was too active to fall asleep.

Feeling a bit lost at the moment, I love structure, but at the moment I've got so many things going round in my head that I can't structure anything to make any sense – arghhh!

Ok…this is my first blog entry on this blog – I'd prefer it to be more to the point and less waffle, but looking at the rest of the blog entries tonight I think I can make an exception. If you are reading this and thinking 'woah – too much text' be thankful that this is not the "test" entry that everyone seems to do on their first entry – it's as if people expect the Warwick Blog technology to work for everyone else, but not for them!

Right – so first entry – this is me. I'm Alison – and I've just joined the Sociology department as a postgrad research student. It's still surreal at the moment and I'm not quite sure what I've let myself in for – after 4 years of Computer Science full of maths, logic and programming to sociology with seminars and essays. Bit of a change!!

It's been really amusing this week seeing the faces of those I do and don't know, when I tell them what I'm doing. The reaction ranges from complete disbelief and horror to the congratulatory smiles with the unsaid look of 'well, don't know why you did computer science in the first place?!'

In some ways I'm quite flattered that people see me first as a geek but I've also been quite shocked by how weird I feel being back in Uni doing a subject where people enjoy having pointless, small-talk conversations and want to look at you when they talk to you.

I had my induction day on Wednesday. As you would expect it was pretty boring, especially for those of us who had been at Warwick for our undergraduate degrees! There's not much to report except that there was a big handout given out explaining how to register online for modules, and a lot of other bits of paper handed out, with loads to read, not used to that!

I had my first seminar on Thursday – that was scary.
It was philosophy and social theory so I thought I'd throw myself in the deep end. I've always desperately avoided philosophy and had vowed, many years ago, to never do philosophy (although I had also vowed never to become a Christian, but didn't stick to that either) so I succumbed, deciding that it would actually be a sensible thing to do (like becoming Christian) so 9am, Thursday morning, I was in a small room with 10 other people – arghh!

It was plugged, on the induction day, as a 'free-for-all, anyone welcome, whatever academic background' course so I thought it would be ok. Then within 5 minutes the 'what do you do?' discussion became a 'evolution vs creation' discussion (cringe), everything I had tried to avoid just happened.

Although, after the initial panic of 'what the heck am I doing here?' and 'please don't ask me to talk about anything complicated' had gone away I discovered that I was enjoying myself and spend two hours listening to what was being said and things actually making more sense in my head. I didn't say anything, but it was a really good feeling to be in an academic setting for 2 hours and not being bored, but feeling quite excited about the subject!

Really should go to sleep now – apologies for anyone trying to follow my chatter. There's lots more I could say about my first week (the seminar, in particular), but that's enough to get my blog started!


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