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January 17, 2006

Personal Tutors

There's a view in the University that Personal Tutors are the cornerstone of the Student Welfare System.

Isn't "welfare" the U.S. name for the dole/social security/income support or whatever it is called these days? Many people are too proud to go on welfare. Isn't there a stigma?

Why is there a stigma about welfare? I suppose it's a device to ration take up. There just isn't enough for everyone to get something, so it's useful to dissuade people from applying. Being patronised puts some people off.

Might it not have the opposite effect on others?

Being patronised is all about talking to someone about a problem who's convinced that they know best for you and you know nothing. But then what happens when a new problem arises? Having being persuaded that you know nothing and are helpless in the face of adversity, there's nothing you can do but go back for more instruction.

So while some are put off, others develop helplessness and dependency.

November 11, 2005


Talking about Warwick Skills Certificate Session 4

There's no doubt in my mind about the usefulness of team working skills and the session did provide a good introduction. When I was an proper undergraduate, 30 years ago, there was no formal attempts at building team-working skills and the results were dire.

Of course just because there is a course on something doesn't mean that people learn too much about it. You only become proficient in a skill by actually practicing it. Education is really just an introduction to practice, a way of shortening the time you must spend as an apprentice. It's a way of learning from other people's insights and experiences to cut the time it takes to reach proficiency.

On return from the session I attempted a fragment of teamwork. No more than a partial success at best, which I put it down to using the telephone. It's not much use except for the simplest of messages. Using the telephone for anything complicated usually leads to chaos. Anything agreed orally is just not worth the paper it's not written down on.

I shouldn't be surprised that the Adair's test shows me as a Doer/Achiever first and a Thinker second. I need to be aware of my weaknesses when it comes to Leadership, let alone Caring.

April 27, 2005

27 words

Inside the word limit by 27 words and given in almost 120 seconds before the deadline!

As essays go, I'm not very proud of it. I suppose it does fairly represent my grasp of the subject. I should have focused on the conclusion much earlier. Then I could have had, err, a better grasp of what it was.

April 23, 2005

I wish I'd looked where I was going

Essay 1. 3000 words done 2000 to go and 4 days to go. 10 marks off for being under-weight 5% penalty for every day of delay. But a "get out clause" – I can give up and take the exam instead.

Essay 2. 3000 words done, 2000 to go and 4 days to go. Same penalties. No get out clause. But at least the words are flowing on this one. Unfortunately they aren't really the right words.

It's important to get the context clear before going into the specifics, but there has to be a lot more specifics than I have in my head. Now if only I'd written a synopsis a few weeks ago I would have had more time to get down to some specifics relating to the particular twist of the question.

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