Catch up with Gavin's story now...
1.“Now it's time to sit down and start learning."
Hello and thanks for reading my blog! I wouldn't class myself as your average blogger, as I don't really claim to be any good at this sort of thing. Whilst making the decision to start a blog, I have read a couple of the blogs that have been submitted on this site, and found some to be really interesting and witty.
The reason that I'm starting to do this blog is because, out there, I'm sure that there is someone that has the same or similar circumstances to me, that might just benefit from my experiences and take that plunge to better themselves by going into further education. So let me introduce myself... My name is Gavin Dell, I've recently taken on the role of National Service Manager at a Medical devices company and I'm married, with a 3yr old son and another child (a girl) that is due in approx. 7 weeks.
As you can imagine, time is essential to me, as I work long hours and, if I'm not working, I like to spend time just being a dad - doing crazy things with my son, like playing football in the house with my lad whilst being told off by my wife and basically driving mom mad! I have possibly the worst approach possible to my studies, but somehow it just works, so let me explain:
When studying with RDI they give you approximately 3 months to complete two modules. In the ideal world this is easy and if you really manage your time I believe that is more than enough time. However, I'm the kind of guy that likes to kick back and relax a little. In fact, I have a simplistic view to time management, if it's urgent, I'll do it now, if it's not.... Well, there is always tomorrow - A nightmare approach right?? I know, but I just can't help it!
So, I've had a look at what my next 2 assignments are, and they are on 'HR management' and 'Business decision making', both interesting subjects. I've given the material a quick look over and I think that I will enjoy the decision making module more than the HR one. That's basically as far as my studying has gone this period over the last 2 months... However, now I am entering the stress period, with only 4 weeks left until I meet the deadline. This is when I start to panic a little and start to beat myself up over why I didn't prioritise my workload and do little bite-size chunks of studying, telling myself "now it's time to sit down and start learning". This is basically how I've ended up doing this blog, as the option of writing it now seems like more fun than having to start getting my head into those books.
That is basically how my studies are going: I put them off until the very end and then cram everything in at the very last minute... I tend to study through the night until early hours of the morning (usually 3am or 4am) working on assignments, and get them done literally at the last moment of the deadline. I'm not bragging here, people, this is just a necessity, as I always manage to put myself under undue stress and pressure. I think that by telling you this, I'm hoping you will realise that if you are determined to do your studies and complete your assignments, it doesn't matter how you approach it. Whether you are super organised and strict with yourself to military proficiency, or pretty relaxed until the last few weeks until you enter a blind panic, if you set your mind to it, then this course can be done.
So stick with me, whilst I take you through my crazy study schedule that I will be entering in the next few weeks - welcome aboard folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Fasten your seat belts!
2. Flexible learning at its best
So I'm back to do my 2nd blog post... I've had a good 3 months or so away from my studies and I've concentrated mainly on my family, as my wife gave birth to our beautiful little baby girl Alexa Gina-Rae. So we are now officially a 2:2 family and it has taken some real getting used to, especially as my son started Nursery the same month she was born - On top of that, work is really busy at the moment, as part of the company I work for is being sold in the next few weeks so there is plenty of work that needs to be done before 'Go-Live'.
So why have I titled this blog 'Flexible learning at its best'?? Well with all the changes in my family life and my work life, something had to give - however this came about a little by accident. So let me explain... My baby was born at the beginning of September, so I just couldn't make the August deadline. Therefore leading up to the August deadline I started to panic a little and decided to speak to the RDI Student Support Team; I tried to appeal to their kind human nature so that they could take pity on me and my situation and try and help me out with the fact that I was going to miss this deadline. They were very friendly and helpful and they started to look into it, only to be told that I didn't actually complete my 'intent to submit form' so I didn't actually have any assignments to complete for the August deadline - RESULT!!
This absolutely came about by accident, however it made me realise that this style of e-learning really suits me as I was then able to relax and start planning for the new arrival. I've had a great (yet stressful) few months, but now I'm back with a vengeance! I'm ready to complete my next two modules - the intent to submit forms have been completed this time around and I've started going through the modules. I've already booked a couple days off work this month, as I'm a real night-owl when it comes to studying for this course and my manager is really supportive in this respect. Also, my newborn baby has given me lots of training to help me stay up through the night and get some studying done (albeit between nappy changes and bottle feeds).
I'm pleased with my progress so far, although I'm a little disappointed that I feel like I'm 3 months behind where I should be, but I think I've got the Family, Work, Study Balance right and it was necessary to take the time out. Once I complete these next two modules I will have passed the half way mark for my HND, so I should be motivated to carry on regardless as the finish line is coming into sight.
I think that I'm going to coin a phrase that I will be using to sign off from these blogs in future, and it's going to be:
Live, Work, Study and enjoy!! (I might give this a little more thought before the next blog).