All entries for Friday 30 September 2005

September 30, 2005

This week…

…has been a little different! The learning process is completely new to me but I have a really good feeling about it. I'm going to take it slowly this weekend and process my feelings about this week and plan for the next.

It's weird being sans notes. I associate learning with taking notes. Indeed, the best way of learning (for me) is to make notes. I like the distinction between 'learning' and 'learning how to learn'...

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn; the one who has learned how to adapt and change; the one who has realized that no knowledge is secure, that only the process of seeking knowledge gives a basis for security. Changingness, a reliance on process rather than upon static knowledge, is the only thing that makes any sense as a goal for education in the modern world.
Carl Rogers

The above is mercilessly ripped from the EEE website. Forgive me for not using the Harvard System :-P

Time management is the buzz-word and Iím going to take a more structured approach to it rather than just using my diary. A week planner is a fantastic idea. Saturday will be my planning day as Sunday is written off with rugby matches (and rugby planning). EEE and OLRFC are separate parts of my life at the moment. They've got their own spots in my diary which shouldn't change throughout the year so that should be sorted.

It's easy to ask lots of questions about the course and what will happen but I think that it is better for me to slow down and go with it. I feel that on this stream it is better to do that than to over-analyse at the start. So the plan for the weekend:

  • Relax (and most importantly spend some quality time with the wife)
  • Focus my mind on what is required of me for this module
  • Plan for the following week

Mental preparation is just as essential as time planning. It's important to think about what will be required so that it doesn't all come as a big surprise when you're into the time you've allocated to it.


Team Work

The EEE stream have just completed a team building exercise this morning. I took the lead in this exercise because I didn't feel anyone was going to say anything at all.

I don't want to be the person to lead in every situation. I'm quite happy taking a back seat but I don't want to feel like i'm expected to lead the team every time. What do I mean by 'expected'? Like no one else is going to step up to the mark. I enjoy leading but only tend to do so when the situation requires it and it seemed to me like the situation required it today. There's still a little nervousness around but i'm confident that will dissapate as we process this week and begin some work on Monday.

I find myself annoyed with myself because I didn't 'lead' this group as I normally would have done. I am typically an 'ask questions and get everyone involved' person but today I was more directive than I would ordinarily be. I understand that different leadership styles are required in different situations but if I were to do the session again I would do it in a different way. I suppose I was lost in the moment a little and didn't take a step back and think about it a little. A lesson learned.

As I may have mentioned above, it was very enjoyable, and despite the dodgy design, our giraffe came in at 2.17m partly due to a fabulously realistic tail. To be honest, the design sucked and we needed to spend a little more time working on it before we launched in. It reminded me of Prof Bob Johnston (WBS) who was my SOM lecturer last year:

6 Ps: Proper Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance

I'm sure that it is a well known phrase but it really hit home with me today. I'm not sure what we're going to do when the robust design module comes around.

Paul was right in saying that everyone sould grasp the opportunity when it comes along, in a similar way to doing presentations. I would really encourage everyone to have a go at doing things you're not confident with. At the beginning of my ug degree I detested giving presentations but after forcing myself to do it time after time (and working out what worked and what didn't) i'm more confident and am willing to give it a whirl (technical term btw) at any time. That doesn't mean that i'm any good at it (haha!). It's about conquering a fear of not getting it right all the time. And if you know you're not perfect then how can anyone improve without doing?

I'll probably post more on this next week after my thoughts have had time to simmer.


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