In Which I am a Graduate

It’s been one of those long journeys that passes in the blink of an eye, but yesterday I stood in front of a hall of people and shook hands with The Chancellor of Reading before accepting a scroll of paper from him, otherwise known as a degree certificate. Yesterday, I officially graduated from the University of Reading with a Bachelor’s degree of Psychology and Philosophy. It’s a weird feeling—I guess, now it’s really hit me that I’m not going back to Reading for another year, that I’ve finished my work on my undergraduate, and everything I had from that degree is ultimately in the past, reset to zero.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had a good time. There have been many aspects of being a British university student, and one of a joint honours in arguably controversial subjects, that I have not had the time or gall to ever blog about. There have been many ups and downs, of course—but that goes without saying when one spends three years of one’s life in a single place with the same sorts of people.

Eventually, though, I know I have to move. For secondary school, it hit me after five or six years. The feeling is kind of distant from the self, but more as if a knowledge of what needs to be done. I have done a lot of what I needed to at Reading, and experienced so many, but it’s not a town in which I want to spend the rest of my life. Nothing personal, just opinion from having lived around the gossamer spires of Oxford most of my life.

What a feeling it is to be moving on to academia new. Indeed, I would be lying to say that that has been the best thing about graduating when in fact it is such a gratifying feeling to be justly rewarded for three years’ hard work. However, it is good to know that I have something more after graduation.

So, there it is. I am a graduate now. I officially have a degree. (This is where I scream “hire me!” at you. Just kidding!) And the obligatory graduation photo? Oh, go on then. 🙂

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Looking professional in my gown and mortarboard!

Have a blessed weekend.

 

Photo of the Week: Song of the Shield

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(Yes, it’s upsidedown. It’s artistic. :P)

It’s Reading University’s 90th year and we are having some internal celebrations, which is lovely to be part of. Our Chamber Choir has been asked to sing this traditional song found in the archives at the court meeting on the main day of celebration this term. So, we’ve been rehearsing it, and generally chuckling over it.

7 Quick Takes – 6 Types of Assessment

Since it’s been a hectic couple of weeks for me in my third year of uni (at the fabulous University of Reading in the UK), what with this being my dissertation* term and having deadlines Friday, Monday, and Thursday, I thought I’d take the opportunity of the Quick Takes list to describe a bit about the types of assessments I’ve had to do, particularly over this year**.

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7 Quick Takes is hosted at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

~1~

The straight-up essay

This is the assessment I get the most – it covers both Psychology and Philosophy modules, and I suppose, is a good way to tell if someone has done the required reading. There is a difference between Psychology and Philosophy essays – namely, the amount of research reading one does for the essay. Because Psychology encourages the scientific use of background studies, we are required to at least provide one original source.

~2~

The presentation

Leading a seminar and teaching one topic of the module is a type of assessment. Some may think that this is one of the hardest types of assessment to do, but, actually, I’m a big fan of presentations – I seem to have a knack for them, at least. They’re less stressful than essays, and take less time, though still involve the same level of research and interpretation of facts. I enjoy educating others, so this style of assessment helps me do just that.

~3~

The alternative assignment

This is a tricky one to describe, as it depends on the seminar leader or lecturer themselves as to what we end up doing. Most are of working on developing independent research ideas. For instance, the most recent alternative assignment I did required me to raise a project proposal/report – just like that of my dissertation, though with less stress! – on one of the many topics we went through during the term.

~4~

The lab practicals

Psychology all the way! Practicals can range from white-lab-coat conical flask awesomeness (!) to puzzling over statistics for hours on computerised systems. (This has happened to me.) University is a prime for the ‘real world’ – apparently, in some eyes – and practicals help students to expand from the theoretical side of what they’re learning to the working side side.

~5~

The Online Quizzes

These are marked, too, often as a first- and second-year assessment level to encourage background reading for modules that cannot be fully explained in lectures. They consolidate knowledge and prime for exams.

~6~

The non-marked

Often, these are essay plans or little one-page to test for writing skills. Practise, so to speak. So, technically, I’m cheating with this being a type of assessment, but these types of work, called by some ‘formative’, are as crucial to build skills and knowledge towards other assessments. Not as often given out, but as necessary as any other assessment.

~7~

I pray for those with work to or who feel overwhelmed, particularly students. May God’s light guide them to knowledge.

*Of which there is only four weeks left.

**This also counts as a type of assessment, but is ongoing and far more complicated and layered than a simple paragraph will do justice.

Photo of the Week: Nature’s

Back to the days of old when I used to take so many nature photos…back when I consciously had a thought “what should I do for a photo of the day/week?” I guess I’m back, back to my nature roots and the cuteness I find in the world around me 🙂

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This is a cygnet on Reading campus lake. It must be almost a year old now – and yet, it still bears the grey down of the infantile bird. The poor dear had a sibling, but the elements claimed it – and now this one swims around after its parents and still squeaks in alarm. I’ve been watching its progress, and it’s interesting, wondering when it will graduate to become a proper swan (maybe it will be the time when I graduate 😉 ).

Have a good week, everyone. Take the time to see the beauty in the animals and life around you 🙂