Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Sign Of The Times

It’s hard for me to imagine that one (academic) year has passed already. It’s even harder for me to imagine that by this time next year I will be finishing my education at Wakefield College.

I doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that I was getting paid peanuts working in a job I had no interest in. This, however, has made me want to excel all that much more. There is no way on Earth that I am going to let myself, if I can help it, fall into that routine again.

There have been a lot of ups and downs over this year. Mostly ups I’m please to report. Looking back over the year I can see that my assignments have all had their pleasures and disappointments.

I can definitely see progress in my work as I have progressed in this short time and my grades have reflected this. I started this course with no skills whatsoever. And the grades showed this with the first assignment.

Criticism/feedback is what I have needed for a long time and is helping shape me into a more positive person. The skills that I am picking up on are more social and ethical above all else. Some of the assignments I have undertaken have really tested my endurance but with determination I have proved to myself that I am capable of doing the work presented to me.

Our latest assignment, A7: Rasterised, has been the most pleasurable out of all the assignments this year. I think that many people on the course feel the same way or will do when the look back.

I was able to produce a better production schedule, and to stick with it, than previously. I think this was helped by the way in which I had set goals in my previous assignment evaluations. This helped my work flow considerably and proved a lot more beneficial to my mental health.

Each time I hand a piece of work in for submission I start to feel a little more confident. With less stress I was able to switch on and off when it came time to work; and when it came time to relax.

This hasn’t always been the case, in life generally. I have spent my time in the past floating around never letting it touch me and as a result it had made me quite lazy. This course has given me a much needed kick up the back-side and made me put effort into something I want to do as a career.

Hopefully with these skills I am developing I can broaden my horizons in the sea of employment and choose what I want to do rather than be left with what most do not.

With the second year brings more responsibilities, mostly revolving around my self management learning plan (SMLP). This, I am sure, will be a goal I should be able to achieve. One thing that does worry me is the bulk of the last half of the second year. This will be assessed as a group and will put copious amounts of pressure on people to act accordingly. This could be quite good for myself, if I were to take a more managerial position, and could prove quite useful when an employer looks at my curriculum vitae.

I have been in employment in the past where people have no skills in group work. All it takes is one person to fall out of sync and then the whole machine breaks down. This could be catastrophic for, not just one, but several people. Worrying about this at the present time though is nothing to get worked up about.

With the A7 assignment out of the way, providing there will be no referral feedback, I am going to try and branch out to find work in this industry I am learning about. Well, depending on the financial and economic climate. I have a few web sites to build for a few clients I have managed to round up and one CD album, which ties in nicely with the assignment just gone. I know, with the social skills I have accumulated, that I can rely on sound constructive feedback using the likes of Das Forum and other social networking devices. This will keep me in-check with work loads and such ready for when I need to return to college.

Looking towards the future I think there are definite goals to set myself, some to brush up on and some to try and excel at. Some of the goals I can set myself are:

  • To attain at least half my marks merit or above;
  • to try, where possible, to help people along the way and to ask for help if I need to;
  • to do a lot more preparation work for any activity I will be undertaking;
  • to learn a new language, possibly Ruby on Rails, depending on what is required; and
  • to be more in depth on my time sheets.

These goals are my personal goals and if I am to succeed in excelling in any of these I will need to put in the effort. Unfortunately I will not be able to really measure these until the time is upon or passed me.
I am sure I will be able to achieve these and any failings will only contradict what I have written here.

I am looking forward to next year and the challenges that I will be facing along with everyone on the course. I think, as I have said before, that working along side like minded people is both encouraging and inspiring and helps me to grow as a person by developing my work ethics and social skills.

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