Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, new start, Nanny College and Children, Assignments, Practical Skills, Making Friends, Christmas and Friends, Festive Food, Resolutions, Realistic Expectations and Positivity

New Year, new start. That's not to say a new start as in I've had a bad year, because I haven't. It's a new start because I haven't really posted at all since I started at Nanny College. Life has been so busy, and so hectic, and I've been working so hard at trying to get all my work done and make friends at the same time, that I've neglected all my writing outlets. I've barely written any letters since I began in September, my diary still lies open at an entry from 6 months ago, and the evidence of my blog is clear.

Even though I haven't written about it, I've had an amazing few months. Nanny college has been non-stop, and intense, and I've loved it all. I've had an incredible placement with a year 1 class. The staff there have been beyond helpful, showing patience and thoughtfulness, and helping me to grow in confidence. when I first started, I was terrified. I doubted everything I did and worried about using my initiative or doing anything without checking it first. But the staff were so friendly and encouraging, and I felt really comfortable and confident by the end. The children melted my heart everyday that I went in. They made me laugh, and smile, and sometimes I felt like crying when I knew there were problems in their lives that I could never even begin to solve. And yet even when I worried about them, I knew that by being there, by listening to them, and reading with them, and loving them, I was helping. One of the best things about working with children is that you are reminded each and every day that everybody deserves to be loved. Especially children. And if you're anything like me, you won't be able to help loving them. Of course, the downside is that your heart will break for every one of them, every time they have a problem. Your heart will break every time you leave them, and you wonder if they will grow up to be as amazing as they could be, or whether life will break them. Your heart will ache for every child you care for. But that pain is worth it, to know that you love them.

Sorry, got a bit corny and sentimental there! But I do mean every word. And that has, perhaps, been the best part of my first term. My placement has been a roaring success, and I received lovely appraisals. Other than that, I handed in my first 2 assignments. I know, compared to other people's university courses, 2 assignments doesn't seem like much. But these are beefy assignments which tie up more than just a module of the course. They're designed to be 80% independent study, and research, combined with practical aspects from our placements which make up primary research - although they have to be backed up with the secondary research, as we were constantly reminded! But that's okay, because I think it was helpful to be reminded to find sources and references to back up our inferences. I don't know how I've done in the assignments yet, but I'm expecting to get the results of the 2 of them over the next 3 weeks. I think I've done okay, though. As long as I've passed them both. I'm more confident about one of them than the other. But I've avoided thinking about them, as there's nothing I can do at this point. I did as well as I could, and hopefully that's enough for now. At least once I get them back there'll be criticism so I can understand how to do better next time.

The only other lesson I've had work to hand in for really has been practical skills. I got full marks for hand-washing homework, which was nice, and I've got a few more pieces of work to do for that - nappy changing, topping and tailing, and bottles. I love practical skills - it's my favourite subject. The teacher is really lovely, she always starts the lessons by discussing how we're all doing at the time, with placement, and work, and anything else we want to talk about.

I've made friends. Boy, do I feel like a child saying that. But it's true. Things have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with my housemates - we've had a few issues, but we've also had some fun together, too. But I've become really comfortable with some girls up the road. They're second-years, and really fun. I feel like I don't have to put on a face for them, I can be me and that's okay. I've missed them over Christmas, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again when I get back to Bath. I've also got to know a few girls from my year, with whom I'll be living next year. They're all very sweet, and I think we will at least live tolerably together next year, if not fairly happily.

Some photos from my first term in Bath...

 ...With 2 of my future housemates at the Roman Baths...

 ...A second-year from 4 doors up...

 ...And one of the other second-years from 4 doors up...

 ... And the snow"Nanny" we made together!...

 ...A visit to Thornbury to stay with SW, a close friend and future housemate...

...And my friend's beautiful baby boy! He's 4 weeks in this photo, and my heart was utterly melted! I could hardly bear to part with him, I was so attached. Plus, my friend seemed to get at least a bit of a break, I think - she not only trusted me to be the only person who'd ever held her baby and been with him whilst she was out of the room, but she said he was less grumpy than normal with us! He had a huge thing for curtains, too...

I've had a nice Christmas. It's been so, so good to see my family again! Everybody else from College (foreign students aside) went home at least once, if not multiple times, in the past 4 months. But I didn't. I didn't miss my family, and I'm glad to have saved the money. But I was very happy to come back and see them all. It's been a quiet Christmas, but very sweet. And of course, I got to see my friends from the area again. I saw BM and her new baby boy!! I was sure it was a girl, but it's a boy, and I'm so glad, and he is a beautiful baby boy, absolutely stunning! The wife and I went round for a few hours the other week, and I held that cutie for a loong time! It was a lovely catch-up with BM, and so amazing to see that, though tired, she is very happy with her baby boy. I also saw EH and she is doing well at the moment, still with her boyfriend and happier with her housemates than the last time I spoke to her, when she was having trouble with one in particular. And I saw the wife, who was as darling as always. We caught up nicely, and talked for a long, long time. I miss her so much. I miss the days when we were actively in each others' lives, all the time. I know life can't stay the same, and i enjoy my life as it is now. But I do wish that the wife and I could see each other more often.

I have baked some. We had Christmas on the street, between 3 houses of nanny students. I made profiteroles, cheesecake and chocolate cake; and I helped peeling and chopping vegetables and sorted out the chicken. That's right, the vegetarian basted, stuffed and put the chicken in the oven. and we had a brilliant meal. And then since I've been at my parents' house, I've made gingerbread nannies, and the pieces for a gingerbread house, and truffles which were really pretty! I have pictures of the truffles, and I will do a post really soon with pictures of them and the gingerbread house - once it's no longer flat-packed! I will also then tell you all about Postsecret with the wife.

So - a good year on the whole. I've made friends, kept friends, started my course which felt like it was never going to happen! I've learnt about living with others, and how to care for my own house. I've learnt to budget, and I've started eating healthily. It's been a busy year, and I've enjoyed it. It's had its downsides, of course, but I would not give this year away at all. With regards to last year's resolutions - I do get out of the house every 2 days at least; I eat lots of fruit and veg every day; and I'm more honest about my feelings with people. I don't exercise very much, but I haven't really had time. And my bedtime was really good, right up until this Christmas period. My writing pretty much vanished completely, but hopefully I can bring that back. And I read lots of new books at the start of the year, but that has waned in the last 4 months.

so - the new year's resolutions. I want to progress from last year's, so I want to base it on those. But life is different now, as I am at Nanny College, so I need to take that into account. and of course, there are different issues to life which I want to prioritise, like my time management, and my health since I have gained a lot of weight which has left me feeling sluggish and tired...

  • Exercise twice every week
  • Eat 4 fruit/veg everyday
  • Get to bed by 11:30 pm at least 5 nights a week
  • Lose 3 pounds a month
  • Write in my diary at least twice a week
  • Respond to letters within a week of receiving them
  • Write at least 3 blog entries per month
  • Start and complete at least one crafty project a month outside of lessons (knitting/sewing/arty)
  • Read at least 1 new, unread book a month
  • Clean one room in the house per week
  • Change my bed once per week
  • Save £10 from my weekly budget every week
  • Work at least 1 babysitting job per month
  • Find out my blood type
  • Create a youtube video
  • Read my Bible at least once a week
  • have a picnic
  • play 10 children's games
  • learn to make chocolate
I'm feeling positive about these. I realise, as I did last year, that I probably won't achieve them all; but they give me a good aim, and a good focus. I feel I can start things freshly this way. And each one has a timer to it, so even if I don't achieve it one week, or one month, I can achieve it for the next month. In that sense, it feels realistic. We'll see. I also want to set a wacky goal, one for each month. Just something silly, or crazy, or somehow selfish, that I want to accomplish, a different one every month. So twelve crazy ideas. I'll get back to you later with what they are. That'll be, 'later when I've figured out what they are'.

I'm going to go and glue my gingerbread house together, as best I can. Looking forward to a new year of blogging!

Love love xx

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