Monday, 28 January 2008

Wishful Thinking

Hello, here I am again.  How are you, my dear readers?  I hope all is well where you are.  I was hoping for a nice, peaceful weekend after the exam last Thursday.  Oh ho – how wrong I was.


There’s no rest for me as the Welsh Baccalaureate portfolios are due in at the end of the week.  Oh, I will be glad to see the back of it all, I tell you.  All the paperwork is so unnecessary in my opinion, but it has to be done.  At the end of it all, I will be rewarded 120 points towards my application to University, which is the equivalent to one A Level.


I’ve done it all except one portfolio and a 1,500 word essay.  At the moment, I’m chasing teachers to sign confirmation slips and that is bloody hard work.  I’ve chosen to write about how the disabled are treated in the U.K, and then compare it to the U.S.  But I’m having second thoughts, maybe I should write about obesity.


I’m way behind schedule.  Last week, I had an excuse not to work, I had to prioritise and study for the exam.  But, now there is no way to escape. I mustn’t put it off any longer.  But I also have to write an essay plan for English Lit course work by Thursday.


For the last two weeks, I have not spoken to or socialised with my friends.  They think I’m avoiding them.  I don’t mean to, not intentionally.  There are just not enough hours in the day to do everything I’d like.


I should be more organised, then I will have more leisure time.  O.K, I admit it, I am lazy!  It’s just so easy to put things off.  Wish me luck with my busy week ahead.


Friday, 25 January 2008

Well?, I hear you ask...

After many a sleepless night worrying, the “Health and Social Care” A-Level examination went fantastically well.  Everything I hoped for came up on the paper.  A question about the “Disability Discrimination Act 1995” was on there.  Also one came up about Empowerment & Normalisation.  The young woman in the case study was 18 and had Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, which is the same condition I have.  What a coincidence, eh?


As you can imagine, I was in my element.  The teacher and Mrs. Cooke were so happy for me.  After the exam, the teacher said “Leigh, I bet you were chuffed with the questions, weren’t you?”  I thought it was not too easy but not too difficult.  It was easier than the past papers we were given to revise from anyway.


I was able to answer every question.  I felt a little disappointed as I ran out of time at the end.  The results are announced on March 13th.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a C grade.  Although I’d be happy with any grade, a C grade is a decent pass in my opinion.


My mum & I are off to a gig on the weekend to see a musician called Wilko Johnson.  Have you heard of him?  Nah, neither have we!  I don’t know about him or any of his music.  It’ll be like taking a leap into the unknown.  I’ll let you know what his music is like in a later entry.


Before I go, I have to wish a “Happy Birthday" to my friend, Morgan.  Click the link on my sidebar and send congratulations.  Tomorrow, Morgan will be 18 years old – and an ADULT!  I hope you have a wonderful day, despite the exam!


It has taken me two attempts to type out this entry, so I shall click the “Save” button before AOL eats this up again.  Have a good weekend.


Sunday, 20 January 2008

Another Sunday

Whoa, I can’t believe a week has gone since my last post here.  January has not been a very exciting month for me.  Nothing seems to be happening for me to write about.  I expect it is the same for everyone – winding down after the Christmas holidays and the build-up.  It’s nice though, in a way, to take stock and make changes to your life.


I have now completed all but one portfolio for the Welsh Baccalaureate.  I’m glad that the majority of it is done and out of the way.  Last week I had to do a lot of running around chasing teachers to sign documents etc. The teachers didn’t have the paperwork prepared, so I’ve got to keep reminding them.  As you can imagine, I’m finding this a bit of an annoyance, wouldn’t you?


I also have a GCE examination (a proper one) on Thursday, on the subject of “Health & Social Care”.  The topic of “Meeting Individual Needs” is about the Care Plan Cycle and the different Acts and assessments that go on in hospital. 


A lot of it is common sense for me because I have been through aspects ofit myself.  Some would say that could be an advantage but, it all depends what comes up on the paper.  Keep your fingers crossed for me as I really don’t want to have to re-sit.


I have also been given an essay to do by Mrs. X for tomorrow.  Mrs. Cooke and several other people have said I should prioritise and leave the essay till after the exam.  I have done just that, because I think examinations are more important that essays.  Of course, I won’t tell her that!  But am I doing the right thing?


Goodness, school is all I seem to talk about lately!  I hope you all have a lovely week ahead.


Sunday, 13 January 2008

Under Pressure

This weekend has gone terribly quick for my liking.  I have not done very much if I’m honest.  I have started revising for a Health & Social Care examination on the 24th January.  Keep your fingers crossed that I pass this exam.


I think it’s a good idea to sit early because students can re-sit later to push up their grade if they do badly.  However, I do not want that to happen to me.  I want a “decent” grade the first time around so I don’t have to waste time.


All my WBQ Key Skills portfolios have to be handed in to teachers by 1st February for marking.  For new readers, the Welsh Baccalaureate is in simple terms, lots of paperwork which show you have necessary qualities which employers look for such as, Good Communication, Working with Others, Problem Solving, Number, ICT Skills to name a few.  It all seems unnecessary to many students in Sixth Form, but it is all worth 120 points (an A grade) for University.


So at the moment, there is a lot of pressure to get things finished (or started, in some cases).  So forgive me if I do not comment on your journals each day.  I aim to get the majority of my WBQ work finished and signed off so I can focus solely on pending examinations.


I'm off to watch some T.V now, with a cuppa and a custard slice.  I hope all is well with you, readers.  Have a lovely week ahead.



Wednesday, 9 January 2008

An Update

Hi everyone, I thought I’d better check into J-Land.  Nothing much has happened since I last posted an entry here.  The days have passed so quickly, all merged into one.


I started back to school on Monday.  The first lesson I had was English Literature with Mrs. X.  I handed in the new essay.  The first criticism was the size of my handwriting.  It’s too small!  Well, at least it’s neat and tidy, unlike others.  Then she said that my two page essay was still too short.  That was the length she asked for!  Why is she so picky?  At least it was not ‘Rubbish’ like the last one, on first impression.  Things can only get better.


Yesterday I received some bad news.  A former classmate of mine had died on the weekend.  Suicide – he’d hung himself.  The reason is unclear.  Paul was only 17 years of age.  His life was just beginning.


I have not seen him for a few years.  I think he was in my class for one year in Comprehensive school, and then he moved away.  I’ll always remember him.  He was always smiling with a cheeky grin, and he had a joke to share with everyone.  Paul will be sadly missed.  My sympathies go to all his family and friends at this sad time.


In memory of Paul Nathanial Briggs

16th April 1990 - 6th January 2008.


Kelly Rowland - 'Stole'



Saturday, 5 January 2008

Being Cruel to Be Kind

I have made progress on my essay at last, which is due in on Monday.  I don’t know why but, I find it difficult to begin essays.  Usually I make lots of notes in preparation, but then I struggle to put it together to form a cogent piece of writing.


One of my teachers took one look at it and scrawled “Rubbish!” in red ink on the top.  I admit that I may have misunderstood the essay question, but there was no need for that.  I have always been brought up to believe that it was the Quality of writing that mattered, not the quantity.  That put-down has really knocked my confidence, particularly as I was quite pleased with the essay myself.


I understand why this has happened though.  Mrs. X said that the work didn’t reflect what I really can do.  “I hadn’t achieved my full potential”, she said.  I hope she’s happier with this one.


I have to read “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer, and then discuss the relationship between the two main characters - a cockerel and a hen.  It’s not the most interesting essay in the world, but I’ve made a start!


That’s all my news for now.  I hope you are all having a good weekend, despite the horrible weather.


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Thursday, 3 January 2008

Empty Words?

Yesterday morning in “The Daily Mirror”, Sue Carroll had written the same thing I had in my previous post about Bruce Forsyth and the New Year’s Honours List.  I’m sure many other people agree that he deserves a Knighthood from the Queen.  What a spooky coincidence that she wrote about it the day after I had.


Mum has taken down the Christmas decorations now, while Dad is back at work.  We have decided to leave the lights in our front window until the twelfth day after Christmas.  It’s funny how people always like to put the decorations up early, and then is in no hurry to take them down after the holidays.  The room feels bare and bland without its centrepiece.


I start back to school next Monday, the 7th January.  I have one essay to write for English Literature.  I fear that history is repeating itself because I’m falling into the same traps that I try to avoid.  I know now it would have been easier to work on a bit every night.  But the truth is I couldn’t be bothered to do the work!  It was Christmas last week and all I wanted to do was chill out, forget about school and enjoy the celebrations.


All I need is motivation and reassurance, and then I’ll get done.  This is a bad habit to break.  I always seem to leave tasks till the last minute.  Then I have to rely on extensions, which isn’t fair on the teachers.


I’m so easily distracted!  If I’m doing some work I’m usually online, or listening to music.  It helps me concentrate better on the set task.  That usually gets me nowhere because I sing along to the songs.


This is like a vicious circle.  Like in "An Inspector Calls" it will carry on happening unless I learn from my mistakes and break the habit.  My uncle always says "Don't put off today what you can do tomorrow", and I think he is right.


Tuesday, 1 January 2008

It's Officially 2008!


Happy New Year!  2008 is here at last.  A New Year, another new chapter begins in my life.  The New Year brings mystery, but I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me and my family.


I hope you all enjoyed New Year’s Eve, whatever you were doing.  My parents and I met with aunties, uncles and cousins at the local pub, where there was a disco.  Although we met the week before on Christmas Day, it seemed a long time had passed and it was great to catch up.


Then at 10:15p.m, we all walked back to my house and had an Indian takeaway together.  I'm not a big fan of Indian food, however, it was good to try something new.


We saw the New Year in watching “Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny” music extravaganza.  This is an annual tradition in our household!  Star guests this year included Lulu, Madness, Kaiser Chiefs, Kate Nash, Paul McCartney and Kylie Minogue.


I read last week that the Queen has awarded Ms. Minogue with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in her New Year’s Day Honours List.  The reason for this is because Kylie overcame breast cancer in 2005, and inspired other women to have breast checks.


Newly-retired chat show host, Sir Michael Parkinson has been given a Knighthood by Her Majesty.  I think that is a brilliant achievement as he has been in the entertainment industry for so long.


I think that some time in the future Bruce Forsyth should be knighted.  He is 79 years old and his showbiz career is still going strong.  I think he should get some recognision for the work he has done over the years.  What do you think?


What did you all do on New Year’s Eve?  Please discuss in the comments section below.


I hope you all have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2008.