Posts tagged learning new things
There have been lots of things going on around here of late, which has been great but has meant that I’ve not had the chance to write about them!
KESS GRADschools: in June I directed three GRADschools for the KESS programme. Directing is a bit strange; on some programmes, despite being front-and-centre for a lot of time it can feel like you’re a bit removed from the group. I’ve talked to other people about directing in the past, and of course this can vary wildly, but I’ve heard other people say similar. I didn’t get that a lot on the KESS GRADschools so far; what makes them really interesting is how personal they can feel. With smaller cohorts you can really get to know people a little more – and at the very least get to know everyone’s name. I’m facilitating on another KESS GRADschool next week, so am hoping that the weather improves!
Viva Survivor: I was in Manchester yesterday to deliver a Viva Survivor workshop; it’s two years since I did the first one, and I can’t believe that it has been that long, or quite how many I’ve done since that first one. It was doing Viva Survivor that I really started to feel confident with my facilitation style, and it’s been a motivator for lots of other ideas and opportunities since then. Including…
Viva Survivors: …this one! The Viva Survivors Podcast is going well; with so much work for KESS and then a short holiday, it was tough to stay on top of editing new material to put out. But last week I was able to upload two new podcasts, interviews with Dr Jennifer Cromwell and Dr Julia Collins. I’m conducting more interviews in the near future, and always on the look out for more people to talk to, so please get in touch! And follow @VivaSurvivors on Twitter (and me too).
New Ideas, New Challenges: August is going to be a quiet month in terms of going out and delivering workshops; I kind of expect that now, it’s part of working in the kind of area that I do. So, a month long holiday, right? WRONG! I’ll be working on new resources, a couple of projects that I have started, working even more to try and make Viva Survivors a really valuable resource for PhD candidates, and I’ll probably end up doing some odd jobs around the house as well.
OK, so in and amongst all that I might find time to take a day off…
Quick thought: afternoon off
Because sometimes you need to. Right? I’m going to work my socks off this morning and then sit in cafes reading all afternoon. It’s a particular itch that I find needs scratching every now and then. And at the same time it feels wrong: the hours between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday – those are for WORK.
Well. Not today. Today I am not trying to maintain my work/life balance, but to redress my interesting/boring balance. I don’t like the graph so I’m changing the axes! I’m taking my Kindle, a few books on visual thinking and a stack of drawing paper, and making a tour of my favourite cafes. Is it work? Is it relaxation? Does it matter, so long as it is beneficial?
The 29th of February doesn’t come around very often: it seems like today is the perfect, unusual day to start something!
Over the last two years I’ve facilitated Viva Survivor workshops to hundreds of PhD candidates. It’s the workshop that I am asked most often to deliver, and one that I really enjoy delivering as well. I was recently asked to help someone prepare for their viva – and this spurred me into action on something that I’ve been thinking about for some time: providing 1-to-1 viva coaching for PhD candidates.
You can find details about it on the 1-to-1 Viva Coaching page but in a typical 1-to-1 prep session I will cover:
- what the viva is for
- practical preparations for your thesis
- regulations to check and materials to take in to the viva
- good frameworks for answering questions and engaging with your examiners
- common questions that come up in the viva
I’ll be using Skype and some other online tools to facilitate these sessions – they worked really well in the sessions that I ran recently. Take a look at the 1-to-1 Viva Coaching page for more details, or please send me an email to ask me more about it!
I’ll have some other interesting news to share soon: watch this space!
In this post: what I have been up to and what I have planned
The blog has been quiet for a few months. I had a busy time on the run up to Christmas; as soon as work things had finished my wife and I switched gears into spending lots of time with family and friends. All of that was lovely of course, but it is only now that the New Year has arrived can I reflect on what happened last year, and what I’m planning for this year.
So what are the highlights?
In this post: this and that, what I’ve been doing and what’s coming up.
I do wonder some times where the time goes. You turn your back to do some work and the next thing you know another week and a half has gone by. Good intentions of blogging regularly fall by the wayside! However, I have had more than a few things that I have been working on since the last post; I’m definitely committed to my programme of small projects. More >
Quick thought: on the Domino Project, and how it’s impacted me so far.
A couple of months ago I came across Poke the Box whilst browsing the Kindle store. I don’t remember if I was looking for Seth Godin books in particular, or if other searches had delivered his name up the list. I’ve mentioned Poke the Box a few times since I read it, but thought I would just take ten minutes to be enthusiastic about it and the Domino Project.
Quick thought: whetting different appetites!
I had no specific plan to cook all of the meals in our house yesterday, it just turned out that way. As the day went on it just seemed like a really enjoyable thing to do. I like cooking, and while I’m no cordon bleu (timings are mostly what get me, surprise, surprise, I’m a skills trainer) I’m more than capable of making tasty dinners. After making breakfast yesterday (ham and cheese omelettes) I had decided that I was going to cook dinner, a cottage pie. Along the way I made a quick lunch for us both, as Mrs R was working on her Masters application. More >
Quick thought: what I’m thinking about. (by definition I suppose!)
We’re coming up to the end of the business year, which is when I start thinking about how I’ve been doing work-wise. Overall, I’m quite happy with what has happened in the last year: more clients, more opportunities – and not just doing the same things but for different people. I’m doing different things to what I was doing this time last year, and for more people. By doing new things I’ve increased my value, and also I feel more comfortable and confident in what I’m doing.
So, this coming year equals more of the same? Absolutely not! More >