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My only link to postgraduate learning

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Online providers have developed, and potentially stumbled if AI interferers. For now, I cannot see anything less than human engagement from a tutor/tutors, and fellow students as a motivation to stay the course. That said, I can totally see how the trials and tribulations over six months or more to get a dissertation out of me from a tutor could have been dealt with over a weekend by Chat.AI. It was a case of de-scrambling my multiple, mass ideas and references from soup to a spaghetti with coherent lines of argument. 

Meanwhile, if you Google 'Lewes District Council' you will find where and what I've been at for the last 9 months. I've learnt that for all my love of digital nothing beats a piece of paper through the letterbox, and a conversation tipped to listening to the resident with a problem, complaint or an idea. 

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Long time no see!

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For over ten years I have posted here consistently. And now I've missed a month, nearly two! What could possibly have been happening.

Well, out of online learning and into social media is the answer. I now spend a good 30 hours a week creating and managing social media for The Western Front Association, The Association of Green Councillors, The Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust and Life Drawing at Charleston.

Things have taken a switch at the regional swimming club (Sussex Champions for the last 5 years). Before I came to the OU in 2010 I was working 22 hours a week, most days of the week and galas. I'm not quite back at that level but the hours are running at 13-15 hours with galas again. Its a joy to be working with the swimmers, with me back with what we used to call 'Mini Squad' our young competitive swimmers ages 9-11. 

That and a year of visiting woods across Sussex has filled a gallery with photos and videos of trees in various states of undress. I have joined Friends of Lewes and go out with Lewes Urban Arboretum to mulch hedges, and I have also joined Friends of Markstakes Common where were grub out brambles, bracken and saplings in selected spots. 

All this and I am a busy Green Town Councillor working on planning, audit and grants - and working on our own campaigns for elections in May 2023 while helping nearby districts, such as Maresfield where the Greens were declared the winners with  61% of the vote last night.

That and I do put in around 6 hours of painting a week! This is working up life drawings I have done at the monthly sessions I have been attending at Charleston Farmhouse since November 2016.

So, a busy life and I love it.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Raimondas Lapinskas, Monday, 3 Oct 2022, 03:40)
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An 'ancient' hornbeam on Markstakes Common - it has a girth of 400cm and all the hallmarks of its 'ancient' status.

(The above is a so-called 'ancient' hornbeam - ancient because of its features rather than the girth specifically: hollowing runk and branches, fallen dead wood, dead branches, holes and water in pockets, lichens and mosses)

I'm an elected Green Town Councillor and will be standing for the District. As well as being, thinking and studying all things green I'll be going out 'door knocking' ahead of elections next May ... and I'm also doing social media for the Association of Green Councillors. It would appear that more desire to spend a good deal of time online is becoming an occupation rather than a hobby. 

Me in front of a drawing exercise - a life drawing first executed drawing 'blind' with the non-dominant hand (my left)

(Me in front of a drawing exercise some years ago - a life drawing first executed drawing 'blind' with the non-dominant hand (my left))

I teach social media, I do social media. I balance it out with life drawing and painting, teaching and coaching swimming, and long walks with the dog (looking a trees!) 

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Jessica Shier, Saturday, 30 July 2022, 09:53)
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Life Goes On ... what about you?

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Did Covid take the wind out of your sails? Physiological or psychologically? Just a matter of timing, circumstances or health? Have you reassessed? Personally, I could never go back to full-time work, even before the pandemic a 4 day week job and some additional freelance work was enough - variety matters. These days a 3 day week, or 2 job shares and some freelance bits and pieces suits me. Lockdown has shown me categorically that I am ill-suited to an office job, that I am content in my own company for much of the time - getting on with a thing, with moments of intense activity during the week and month. Project work.

What about you?

Has reading, thinking and writing up ideas got you?

Have other matters taken priority?

I lost a sister in April. More so than my parents dying (it happens to all of us eventually, it has to) I felt gutted, turned inside out and determined to live in a different way and at a different pace. I am doing what I dearly wish all my siblings had found a way to keep doing: art. I would have been my sister's salvation; it is what our late mother gave us - teaching us to draw and paint long before we could read or write, establishing our skills and interests many years ahead of our peers.

The dry weather has helped create a semi-permanent studio/workshop. Attending life drawing classes since November 2016 I have finally thought about working some of these in paint; watercolour for now, though there are pastels, acrylics and oils waiting to be deployed once I have a more permanent set up. 

And if someone is going to pay me to do a thing, then I volunteer. I teach and coach swimming anyway but will be working with primary school kids outdoors on a nature reserve and have taken on some social media tasks for the Green Party.

Busy in a way I like.

I'd study for a Masters in Fine Art if I had the money. Had I taken my late mother's advice I would have done this 20 years ago. I'm a year through the PGCE she said I'd find handy to have. Then again, this is the person who tried to persuade me to return to school, four A'Levels completed, to add science qualifications and become a doctor ... 

We are all influenced and persuaded one way or another. 

Who have you influencers been? Parent? Grandparent? Hero? 

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Jessica Shier, Saturday, 30 July 2022, 16:45)
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