I can, upon occasion, hark on a bit about gratitude and appreciation. Recently though, a colleague and friend inspired me with her gratitude journal for this year. I pride myself on regularly voicing my thanks to others when they have said or done something that I am grateful for but actively sitting down and considering what I have to be grateful for over the duration of a year… that’s a different story altogether. So I have taken a page out of someone else’s book and written this – more personal – post.
January saw my return to my Scouting roots through my volunteering as a Leader for 3rd Edgware Beavers and Cubs. I have since met and been inspired by other members and had the privilege of mentoring other – less experienced – Leaders.
In the beginning of February, I had the opportunity to travel to Oxford – a wonderful, cultural, experience. Thereafter I was privileged to attend the Women’s Leadership Programme and Personal Branding seminars run by Bianca Miller-Cole.
3 years of work – including achieving my Bronze and Silver Awards – culminated in my Brunel Plus Gold Award interview this month… and I nailed it! Feedback is always valuable – and when you take it on board and apply it – incredibly useful. Therefore, this month, I was not only grateful to pass my final interview, but to receive guidance for my continued improvement in terms of my interview style.
I was really fortunate to spend much quality time with my immediate and extended family – in London and in Manchester – during the holidays from University. Academia and Work Experience are important for one’s future, but nurturing one’s roots is equally as important (in other ways) to help them blossom.
In May, I sat the final examinations of my second year at University. Months of hard work finally paid off in spades and an intoxicating sense of achievement!
I am so privileged to have a husband who knows when to leave me to my revision notes and when to whisk me away. In an effort to help me balance a healthy lifestyle and maintain our tradition of one date night per week, Avi tempted me with theatre shows including Chicago The Musical, A Little Princess, and Hamilton.￼
June saw the beginning stages of my dissertation preparations and a wonderful Honeymoon! Having never been to the States prior to this trip, it was a more-than-magical experience.
July is remembered by two major events; results day (I achieved a First in the last academic year) and a collaboration project with Dr Audrey Tang. Dr Tang and I produced a series of motivational calendars for the year 2019 and have since sold dozens of prints and raised funds for the children’s mental health charity ‘Place2Be’ (if you would like to purchase a calendar, you can on the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindful-Motivations-Kitchen-Calendar/dp/B07J178TP4 ).
Education, practice, and experience are by no means limited to the confines of a lecture hall. Therefore, in the last month before I returned to University, we attended more theatre shows including The King and I and Little Shop of Horrors.
With the start of another academic year, I attended a new series of Mindfulness classes and Public Speaking classes; run by Dr Audrey Tang. In our personal lives, we bred our pet hedgehog – Pocahontas – and we were privileged to watch the baby – Junior – grow into a full fledged hog before sending him to his new home.
In October I started working as a Teaching Assistant, gaining valuable experience before embarking on my School’s Direct course next year. I am fortunate enough to be working in the same school in which I completed my GCSEs (hence the ‘then and now’ photo below).
A very exciting month! My teaching application and dissertation proposal were accepted in November. In addition, my Scout group raised funds and donations for local charities. I am grateful to know how much help our fundraiser has brought to many members of our local community.
My Ethics Request was accepted this month – the last hurdle before I could really get to work on my dissertation! In addition, I was privileged to engage in Work Experience at Fearnhill School. This gave me an insight into the workings of yet another school; I particularly enjoyed supporting children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. And finally, December has ended in a much needed (and deserved) New York & Miami holiday (for which I am immensely grateful)!
All in all, 2018 has been a great year – with more ups than downs by far! I am so grateful for every opportunity that has been offered to me and every achievement I have gained. Each one of these experiences has contributed towards making me who I am today and developing that person into the New Year. Roll on 2019!