Learning

A Level results – a guide for parents

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The past seventy-two hours has been consumed with discussions, media and posts about A-level results.

Tip-top advice for any A-level student who need to know what to expect next with their achieved results.

But what about us parents? The world seems to discard the anguish and anticipation of what we go through during the lead up and on the day of that all important Thursday during August.

My Wednesday nights sleep was disturbed several times as I lay awake hoping that my son will pass his exams. A last minute change of university meant that he was holding out for clearing at a local university. images

I did advise him back in October 2013 to select one university close to home in case he had a change of heart about moving away. As usual, he didn’t listen to me so was left declining all his places and taking his chances in clearing.

I drove him to Sixth Form at 8.00am on Thursday morning and even before we got through the front door I could feel myself getting emotional. I knew I had to keep it together in case the news wasn’t good. Nothing prepares you for that roller-coaster of emotions, it was more nerve-wracking than two months prior when I was waiting to open my results for my Masters degree.

My son’s results were superb but he was a grade away from his first choice of university course. Being adamant that he would resit I left him with his friends and advised him to not completely disregard other courses or universities in the area.

Later in the day he informs me that his chosen university has an even better course that he is interested in and he has the grades to hopefully be offered a place through clearing.

Being laid-back he decides to wait a day to contact them. This is the part that I struggle with. I’m one of these that will get onto things straight away and not chance anything. He’s eighteen though, it’s his future and his life so I had to bite my tongue and offer support when he needed it.

He was offered a place on the course the next day and I was over the moon. The relief I felt was immense as I struggle with anyone having control over members of my family – and yes I know it’s not really strangers having control, but it felt like it.

Again though as a parent you are just thrust into the support role which you have to learn as you go along. Only being able to do so much and hope that your children make the right choices, work hard and succeed in life.

It’s all about the students, quite rightly so but nobody ever asks the parent how they are holding up throughout the stress and strain of exams. For good parents it affects us too so if you’re a young person going through this too – spare a thought for mum and dad.

Paper or laptop? : Challenge 20 on 20.06.13

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When faced with this choice, I reserve the right to make a choice.

I use both devices and each one for a specific purpose which the other would struggle to fulfil.

Bizarrely when I would write essays in rough by hand when I was studying for my degree. I have absolutely no idea why. But yes, each 3,000 words was carefully scribed by hand first and then typed up on a laptop.

Luckily I don’t have to write essays anymore and the result being that my hands are out of practice somewhat. Writing minutes at work is as manual as I get these days. Although it’s just as well, wearing the less than sexy wrist support when the carpel tunnel syndrome flares up is not a fashion item I wish to wear by choice.notepaper and pen

You do get out of practice with writing though. As a teenager I would spend hours writing letters to my various pen-friends worldwide.

Being a stationery geek, I loved writing on coloured, decorated notepaper and if it had matching envelopes I was in “stationery heaven”.

Nice handwriting pens also make the process of writing such a luxury too. One of my boys has gel pens which I would’ve just adored as a teen. I really am starting to sound quite nerdy now.

Nowadays moleskin notebooks are one of my luxury items which I carry around all of the time. Packed with snippets of conversations, ideas or any other notes that I need to keep, it certainly comes in handy and is less cumbersome than carrying a laptop around.

On the flip side to that, my laptop and ipad are the indulgences which I would prefer to not be without. I couldn’t write scripts by hand. When writing a scene I can hear the characters in my head and there is something magical about hearing the keys tapping on the keyboard as those words are being spoken.photo

Should I be concerned that I have just confessed to hearing voices in my head?

The applications and programmes that come with technology make life simple. What would I do with Microsoft Outlook? If I need husband to go to a parents meeting that I can’t attend I just send him a calendar request and voila. And if he declines, or sets it to tentative I can create a task to kick his backside in approximately an hours time.

And there is colour coding too! There goes the geek in me again.

I won’t even start on the ipad. Watching TV on the go – genius!

So which do you prefer? Please vote on the poll below. Thanks for reading.

This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com’s blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of June – I’VE CAUGHT UP….
old typewriter

10k numero uno

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This year after starting to crack the pavements in a bid to get fit, and lose the last bit of weight that is refusing to budge from my post-10 year pregnancy belly, I set myself a challenge.

Springtime would boast three 10k races for me, and why not combine them for a spot of fundraising for the kid’s sports team.

I never do things by halves.

So, the first of my 10ks happened last Sunday. If I didn’t have people sponsoring me already I may have snuggled back up to hubs’ protecting armpit, as I could hear the rain on the roof as I lay in my nice, snug bed. At stupid o’clock on a Sunday morning I rose from my pit and started getting prepared for the first race.

Nerves were kicking in too. Always have and always will give myself a hard time over anything I do, and today was no exception! What if I fall over again in the road, what if a runner trips me up, what if I get lost, what if I come last……what if what if what if…….

Small bowl of cornflakes and a berrocca and I was ready to go. Accompanied by my supportive teenager who was very sweet when I told him he should go back to bed, he replied “there’s no one else to support you”…. Bless him!! So off we go.

On arrival I check in, get my number 319, ankle tag so I now resemble a “tagged offender” and a quick hide of the ipod. No ipods and earphones allowed in the race. Me being a rebel need to hear how many miles I have raced and at what pace so I mischievously place mine under the visable jacket with the headphones sneaked under my head sweat band. In my own silly way I was being a rebel, I am a grown up and if I want to run with music on I damn well will (but no one please shout at me if you do see me nice race marshallJ).

The race was great. Apart from misjudging the amount of layers I needed, given that it didn’t rain and it was warm I had to de-layer whilst trying to run. Then just after the 5k mark I saw other child with husband at the side of the road cheering me on. Trying hard not to cry I bravely ran past them and sped up a little (trying to impress the hubs with my newly found athleticism and also wasn’t sure if I was the last runner).

The first race ended with a time of 55.35 minutes which I was ecstatic with, given that I was running at 59 minutes in my training runs. I was buzzing too, got round the course in one go and I wasn’t last. Hurrah for the fat girl!

Next race in a months time.