I’m back I promise!

My sincerest apologies readers! I knew it had been a while since I last blogged but I honestly did not think it had been nearly two months! That is simply not acceptable and I am going to make a firm effort to post at least once a week. The reason behind my absence is my teaching course. I’m about six weeks into it now and I’ve finally settled into a form of routine. We all know I’m all about routine which is why, unfortunately, this blog has suffered from my neglect. But as I’ve said, no more! I want this blog to reflect my current thoughts and interests, so expect more reviews on beauty products (I have a load to share) and historical and teaching interests.

Just a quick run through on everything that’s happened since I last blogged:

  • I started my teaching course in Peterlee so my confidence in driving has greatly improved, I’ve made lots of new friends and I’m thoroughly enjoying being a trainee magpie (ideas not physical stealing of course)
  • I turned 22! And yes I did spend the majority of the day singing that Taylor Swift song. I also spent the morning on a WWI walk around a local cemetery, despite having been horrendously ill the whole weekend with a bug (I’d been sent home from school I was that ill).
  • As you might have guessed from how I spent my birthday, I’ve taken full advantage of being home by signing up for lots of different historical talks. It’s amazing once you start looking how many free talks there are in the area! So far I’ve been to a variety of talks from the Tudors to WWI. I’ve got quite a few lined up over the next month or so, and I’ll probably mention them in future posts.
  • My social life has picked up thanks to my course. The fact that I’m home also helps as I’m catching up with all my school friends as well.
  • I’ve also got a couple of trips lined up over the remainder of the year (isn’t that a scary thought – 2014 has flown by!). The first of which is in a couple of weeks to visit my uni friends in Liverpool for a mini girlie reunion.
Miss Nichol-WIlson - check out my teacher face!

Miss Nichol-Wilson – check out my teacher face!

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Maths, mud, graduation, Rubgy Sevens and everything in between!

Oh my days has it really been that long since I last blogged?! Where has the time gone?! I know I’ve been rather silent in my blogging lately but I’ve barely had a day to myself! I’m going to try to keep this post rather short but seeing as it’s been a while, I may ramble a tad. But then if you’re a regular reader you’ll already know to expect that!

  • First off I have passed both my skills tests and all going well I start my course on the 1st September! I am so excited and relieved that everything is finally pulling together nicely. I passed my first skills test (literacy) the day after my uni results were published and then had the maths test the following week. Both were booked for 8am so I had no time in the morning to worry myself over the tests. Best of luck to everyone else who is either sitting these tests or waiting for exam results! My only honest advice is be realistically positive about it and that things happen for a reason. I honestly believe that I am were I am through a combination of determination, perseverance and fate.
  • I completed the Pretty Muddy 5k event in Gosforth Park with my cousins three days before graduation. I was warned by my mum that I was not allowed to get any visible bruises, in other words ‘don’t spoil the graduation photos with bruises’. I came back incredibly muddy (the bath as soon as I got in the house was heaven) but with no injuries, and the same went for my cousins. We sure did kick cancer’s ass that day.
  • Graduation was fantastic. The sun was shining and everyone had a marvellous day. I stayed at my friend’s house and we had a right laugh celebrating all our hard work. Unfortunately my dad couldn’t be with me that day, but I’m hoping that next year, all going well, he’ll be with me in person, as well as my mum and stepdad who attended with me this year. Bless ’em they travelled to Liverpool and back in one day because of the dogs. It was a long day for me and an even longer one for them! Made worse by a two-hour delay on the M6. All that aside, we had a fantastic day, one that I hope to never forget!
  • Only a couple of days after graduation and I was travelling up to Edinburgh with one of my best friends to attended the Commonwealth Rugby Sevens Finals. We stayed in a lovely hotel in Edinburgh and commuted to Glasgow to save money. We both had a cracking time and I think I’ve found my sporting buddy! The atmosphere was amazing, both teams got cheered on regardless (although the Scotland v England match was tense) and it was one of the greatest evenings yet. I’ve always preferred rugby over most sports and I was so pleased to have gotten tickets, especially once we got in the arena and saw how brilliant the view was from our seats. Right at the top, in between the try posts. We had to race through Glasgow city to catch the last train back to Edinburgh (otherwise we had to buy new tickets) but we¬† made it and had our evening meal at 1.30am! Chips and curry sauce has never felt so satisfying. I’m currently saving up to visit my aunt in Australia in time for the Commonwealth games over there.

So that’s the big bulk of my summer ‘holidays’ so far. I only get two days off a week so most of the time is spent catching up on paperwork and family. I’m enjoying my summer stint a lot and I can’t wait to attend summer school in two weeks time as a final preparation before my course properly begins. I hope to at least try to post every couple of weeks with updates etc.

The obligatory motor board toss

What’s occurring

It may only be Thursday but this week has been brilliant! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you’ll already know why I can’t stop grinning. Here’s one of the reasons:

 

Woop!

I did it! All my worrying about dropping down a grade was apparently unnecessary! If you regularly read this blog then you were probably sick to death of me harping on about missing out on a first if my dissertation and exams went to pot. I would still have been delighted with a 2.1, it is a fantastic grade, but I finished second year on a first and the majority of my assessments were coming back within the first bracket as well. I really wanted my overall grade to truly represent all the hard work I’ve consistently put in over the three years. I think part of that comes from slacking off a bit during year 12 (As level), which resulted in a mixed bag of grades that I loathe putting down on job applications because frankly I slipped up academically for one year and I dislike the way it looks on paper. Call me all kinds, but that year taught me some valuable lessons which I have grafted to correct. And it’s worked!

So yeah, long story short, I shall be graduating in a few weeks with a First Class Honours in History with Theology! I hope everyone else is equally as happy with their results.

My other bit of excellent news is that I am only one step away from completing all my requirements to begin my teaching course in September. Admittedly its the most daunting one as well – the dreaded numeracy skills test! I passed my literacy skills test on Wednesday, the day after I got my uni results. I was really nervous for the test because it is the luck of the draw for which spellings and tasks you get. I’d highly recommend doing the government practice tests online before you sit the test because it is slightly different to some of the apps and books (but still use them because you can’t revise too much for these tests!).

This week I became ‘Tawny Owl’. That’s right, I’ve joined the Brownie unit I assisted on the Starquest trip in May and that’s my name within the unit. I’m looking forward to this new challenge, I’ve never worked with this age group before and it’s another chapter in my Girl Guiding experience. Straight after Brownies I now assist with a Guide unit which I have been loosely connected with since I became a Ranger. I’m looking forward to continuing with my Guiding commitments now that I’m home.

My final bit of news is that I start work next week. I’m back in Tourist Information and I know it’s going to be an excellent eight weeks!

What’s occurring

What a busy week this has been so far! It’s not at all what I was expecting it to be like either.

  • I had a fantastic weekend at home, although if you follow me on twitter you may have noticed that my train journey to Newcastle was anything but smooth. It was lovely to see my family again and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit home. On Saturday I went to the Train to Teach roadshow which my grandparents had read about in the local paper. I’ve been receiving emails from Teach since last spring, yet not once had I heard about this event. I strongly recommend that if you are considering becoming a teacher, you have a look on their website here and try to attend one of their roadshows. Seriously it ended up being the best thing I did. I’m going to do a separate post on this though once I can confirm certain news through the dreaded system that is UCAS.
  • It was wonderful to be able to get some cuddles with my dogs as well. Marvin has grown so much in the two months we’ve had them! Both Mabel and Marvin have really come out of their shells – they can be such characters (and little toerags). I walked them quite a few times and I can’t wait to be at home properly as I know I’ll be taking over some of the walking duties. It’s so peaceful – when I’m not worrying about where the dogs have run off (honestly the slightest movement and they are off! Marvin chased a doggie bag down the beach yesterday…). I’m also a dab-hand at cleaning the dogs up after a walk since our field has turned into a mud bath (but at least we can see the field underneath, unlike some unfortunate areas of the UK).
  • Trains featured a great deal for me this past week (again tied up with Saturday) but thankfully only Friday went a bit botched. Everything else has been fantastic – I even got free coffee in Transpennine First Class! Trust me, that is a major achievement.
  • However, I now seriously need to get back into studying mode. My dissertation research has been placed on the back-burner for too long now. From now on it has to be properly prioritised!
  • Another thing that I have to get back into is my running. Part of the reason for this neglect is simply because my uni timetable keeps getting affected by strikes. I have no objection to the university striking, as it is a valid upset, but I do object to them constantly choosing a two-hour slot which affects my lectures. Every single strike this month has affected my timetable in some way. If this continues, I will make a comment to the admin – third year is the most important in the undergrad degree! My running has been affected by this because it disrupts my usual timetable and gym times. I’ll be hitting the pavement/treadmill again very soon.