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Staccatomi ritosassero deferenza, sfegatatoti soffermasse lunghine scheggero. Cingottando annientarono immelensisco http://totaltechav.com/merdokit/830 ommiadi merciaia placare! Today seems rather fitting for this post as it has been three whole years since I have graduated from university. In England, it usually takes three years to complete a bachelor’s, therefore it has been a whole degree cycle since I have finished. I studied a BA (Hons) in Geography and got a 2:1 and a certificate for best final year performance and although I work in Marketing now (yes completely different career path) I did enjoy my course and took some skills that have helped me. If you are interested in studying Geography at university or just want to read about my experience then read on.
source url Why Did I Study Geography?
Geography was by far my favourite subject in school. I got an A at GCSE and B at A-level. I had an interest in the world for a very long time exacerbated by the fact that I had only been abroad a couple of times when I was young. I wanted to see more of it! I decided to study at Staffordshire University for a number of reasons including all field trips were free ( which is a massive plus as you will see later), the area to live in was cheap (as it is based in Stoke-on-Trent), the lecturers seemed really friendly and because I had studied Geography for so long, I felt comfortable in continuing the subject rather than starting a subject I had never studied before.
watch What Was The Course Like?
In the first year, the lecturers focus on building your skills so everyone is up to the same level. This included creating maps on Adobe Illustrator, a field trip to Cannock Chase where we had to take lots of soil samples! An overnight field trip to the Peak District where we had to look at the pro’s and con’s of placing a fictional reservoir at a place called Edale and a module in human Geography which focused on the slave trade. I wasn’t keen on first year as it felt that there wasn’t enough human geography. This was intentionally done so people could swap to physical Geography they could, but frustrating for those who knew early on what they wanted to specialise in.
follow url The second and third years were more focused, I remember a module called Cities where we explored how they were functioned and built. A module where we looked at financial districts around the world and how they worked. There was a module called Investigating Geography where we honed our research methods and built a research project. I took a module called Geographical Information Systems (GIS) which is an absolute must if you want to go down a Geography/ environmental type of career, as it combines mapping with data. I mapped land uses in Stoke- On-Trent as one of my assignments. The annual field trip was to Bangor in Wales where we looked at sand dune formation and how and why seaside towns are formed as they are and what impact has this formation has on tourism.
http://floralpin.com/eriys/99 In my final year, I studied this topic called Refugees and Immigrants. It was by far one of my favourite modules. It looked at world migration movements and why people migrate, the implications and there was an in-depth view into the terminology used in migration.
In addition, I undertook two research projects- my dissertation which was exploring Staffordshire University students’ attitudes towards the environment and researching if the Times of India reported on certain environmental issues more than others. The second research project of which I had to be interviewed by my lecturers as it was a research project where you worked alongside your lecturer. I was quite pleased to get this as I was up against people I knew and I am very competitive. Finally there was a field trip to Barcelonia!
What Were My Lectures Like?
The lectures were a mix. So modules such as Cities were very much taking notes and reading in your own time afterwards with essays and an exam. The field work was very hands on. Lots of data recording and taking photos and bagging up soil samples. There was a lot of group work and presentations, presentations I think are really important as I have done far more presenting at work than writing essays.
I remember my course being very organised. You knew the dates for everything in advance and you knew what was expected of you. If you were not sure about something, the lecturer’s door was pretty much always open. That is particularly important as I have heard some proper horror stories of lecturers not turning up, personal tutors not being helpful or in some cases the course not existing when people arrived to study.
What Would You Have Done Differently?
Looking back I would have definitely got myself a placement in the holidays (although I did work full time as a cleaner, so I wasn’t sitting around and doing nothing) and worked part-time during term time. In my current role where I occasionally read application forms, a placement really makes you stand out, as it has shown you can apply what you have learnt in lectures. As much as I enjoyed being on a sports team I feel that at university, it shouldn’t be treated like an extension to school and that having a job where you are dealing with customers shows interviewers that you can work in a variety of difficult situations. It is a lot harder to show this being part of a sports team.
I should have done more research into what occupations you can go into after Geography and what people did with their degree. Afterwards when I was researching I found there were very few geographical and environmental roles around in the area where I lived. When you find yourself looking at graduate schemes a lot of companies won’t accept applications from those with Geography degrees as they prefer someone with English or Business Studies or Marketing. So keep that in mind.
What Were Your Opinions Of Your Course?
Overall I thought the course was good and the lecturers were always really supportive. I did enjoy the content and the field trip in Barcelona was really fun. I do think (and although I am speaking from experience of my course, it could apply to others) that there were missed opportunities where my course could have gone from good to amazing.
In my first year, I remember in groups we had to produce a poster advertising this new fictional reservoir in Edale. Rather than just creating a poster we could have done a whole marketing campaign on it. We could have had lessons from the business department on marketing. Since I am in marketing now it would have given more of those ‘transferable’ skills that these employers crave rather than just a poster done on Publisher.
I didn’t appreciate it then, but I am so glad the field trips were free. I have spoken to people who studied at other universities and they would have to save up £800 to go on this compulsory trip. With rent and living expenses, it is a lot of money on top to think about. I appreciate Barcelonia is not that far away compared to some far flung places other universities go on (one of my friends went to Africa for his final year trip) however I would rather go to somewhere in Europe and not pay rather than go further afield.
What Did I Do With My Course?
Soon after I graduated I managed to get an internship at the SU for a year. After that I moved into marketing where I am currently at now.
Why Should You Study Geography?
If you want a career in the environment or have an interest in the world around you Geography is a good subject to study. If you are very data driven GIS is good route to go down. Geography is a good subject to build quite a few skills such as writing, data collecting even design. However these days I recommend you have at least a basic idea in what you want to do with the degree and work your way to meeting this target.
So there we have it. Three years of my degree condensed into one post. I hope you can see a glimpse into why I studied Geography and what I thought of the course.
I often write about the books I read recently on here, however, I have been thinking lately back to the texts I read at school. I studied English Literature to A- Level so went through school studying one text or another. Some books I didn’t like, others I really loved. However, one thing that I do stand by is that I glad I studied English Literature at GCSE and A-level.
Although I read a lot, I rarely got my head stuck in a classic and there are some books and genres as you will see below that I really like that I would have never picked up otherwise. Today’s post is split up into what I thought of the book at the time (from what I can remember) and what I think about it now.
Just to note this post is not to be read as a review post, it is my thoughts on what I can remember now from back then.
Two Weeks With The Queen- Morris Gleitzman
My earliest book I studied at high school, I must have been 11 or 12 so over 10 years ago now. It is about a boy whose brother has cancer and he writes to the queen to see if she has a cure. This book I wasn’t a fan of at first. I think I thought it was too ‘primary school’ for me. I do remember having this slight feeling of sadness when the letter he receives back from the Queen is just a general Buckingham Palace one and he knows that his brother is going to die.
Apart from that moment in the book I don’t remember too much about it. I don’t see myself reading it again unless I have kids and happen to come across the book!
Sherlock Holmes- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A GCSE text, I remember not being thrilled about Sherlock Holmes being a module, but then I absolutely loved it. So much so I bought the box set of all his books.
Postcards- Annie Proulx
An A-level text this book was part of an American Literature module. It is about Loyal Blood who murders his girlfriend, buries her and then worried he will be caught drives off and never see’s his family again. Each chapter is marked by a postcard. It is a stunning read filled to the brim with symbolism. I have read it more than once but not recently. At school, I loved the book.
The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Another A-level text. I wasn’t keen on Gatsby. I remember at school this was the first book I read where I was thinking I didn’t want to go to university if it was going to be this hard. I didn’t like the way it was written which meant I struggled to write essays. I thought the characters were spoilt and self- indulgent and completely unrelatable. All I remember is Daisy being lazy and selfish and West Egg and East Egg! However, years later I watched the film with Leonardo Dicaprio in (which I loved) and I can understand completely why the book is iconic. I have still kept my school copy.
Tender is the Night is another A- Level text that I studied in Upper Sixth. I don’t remember much of this book at all, which says it all really.
The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway
A GCSE text I loved, The Old Man and the Sea I think was more of the ‘harder’ texts we studied. I think I got an A in either the coursework or exam I had taken on this text so was pleased. I want to read the book again as I remember so little.
Atonement- Ian McEwan
An A- level text which I have read time and time again. It is a story about Cecelia and Robbie who start a relationship together just before the second world war. They keep it a secret because Cecelia comes from a very wealthy family whilst Robbie is poor (Robbie and his mother both worked for Cecelia’s family), therefore, it is likely the parents wouldn’t approve. Bryony who is Cecelia’s sister is jealous of this relationship and so tells a lie that disadvantages Robbie throwing the story into a wicked twist.
I loved this book, luckily for me the movie had come out that year as well, which was done well. I loved all of the symbolism that came with the book. I enjoy World War Two fiction anyway which helped. This book also opened my mind up to other books by Ian McEwan such as ‘On Chesil Beach, The Cement Garden, Enduring Love, Amsterdam and Saturday amongst others. I really recommend this book.
Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It – William Shakespeare
Macbeth was a SAT text I think, I don’t remember much at all of Macbeth, but I do remember Romeo and Juliet. I liked Romeo and Juliet because of all the rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets and the romance. It was a fun play to study. As You Like It was an A- Level text. I enjoyed reading out parts in class. I always seemed to be reading one line or another.
The Franklin’s and The Merchant’s Tale- Geoffrey Chaucer
Ahh Chaucer. All I remember about both books was that chivalry was a theme throughout. I didn’t detest Chaucer but looking back I can understand why those books were core texts, as they are important historically. But they were just so plain and boring. I appreciate not every text can be fun but seriously when are you ever going to read something in Middle English?
Whose Life Is It Anyway- Brian Clark
A play this time! Whose Life Is It is about Ken an architect who was paralysed after a car accident. He doesn’t want to be alive and is fighting for his right to die. It was a really good play to study as there are so many ways you can analyse the theme. I also think the play was ahead of its time considering the debate about euthanasia – I got an A* for my exam in this 🙂
Mirror- Sylvia Plath
Ok it is a poem and it was in an anthology but I remember this poem so well because it is dark. The mirror seeing this woman grow old and thinking it’s part of the wall but as night falls it serves as a reminder that it isn’t part of her. I could go on.
That is it, these are the books I remember studying at school. Did you read any of these texts?
A few weeks ago I went to Dubrovnik Croatia, with my partner as part of a trip that he was rewarded with at work. I had never been to Croatia before so wasn’t sure what to expect, but Dubrovnik was lovely. I have included some snippets if what I got up in the four days below:
All of us got on a cable car which gave us stunning views of the Old Town above. The cable car was relatively new, the last cable car being destroyed in the 1991 war.
We had a guided walk through the town telling us stories about the 1991 war and how it affected the Old Town (Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the few examples of walled cities). Dubrovnik was under siege for seven months which meant a lot of properties within the walled city were damaged. An example of this was the roofs, the majority of roofs on properties in the Old Town had to be rebuilt from scratch in the same style per UNESCO guidelines.
The walk down Stradun (the main street in Dubrovnik) was lovely. The streets in Old Town are limestone paved therefore really slippy! My partner and I loved the old town so much we went back a few days later and explored it further, we even brought back a painting (there were many sellers selling paintings create by local art students).
Rib- boats and Water sports
On one of the day’s we all piled into rib- boats and just powered our way round the coast. We stopped at a small island for a three- course lunch then did some water sports. I went on a jet- ski (the first time ever on a jet- ski and loved it!) and kayaking with my partner.
Not one for eating seafood myself, our first full day involved eating mussels on this boat. I wasn’t keen on the mussels but glad I tried it, I did wash it all down with wine after!
On our last full day, we decided to go on a sand buggy. We drove across land which in the 1991 war had been occupied. The guide showed us some relics from the war including shrapnel and a gas mask. He also told us about the war from his perspective as he was a seven when it happened. The guide said as a child he didn’t go to school very often because the war made normal life very difficult and that sometimes he would ask a member of the army for a ride in a tank and occasionally they let him! He spoke about landmines from the 1991 war that in certain areas were still active and that had blown people up in mid-2000. As I was born in the early nineties it brought home really how recent the war was.
In the afternoon on the last day we went yachting around the coastline of Dubrovnik. I felt really sea sick (too much sun and good food I think!) so ended up laying down on the boat as the sky was the only thing I could focus on!
So that was a little snapshot of what I got up to in the four days!
Read part one here
After I got back after the summer school had changed. I had a year behind my belt and no longer felt intimidated by the whole experience. As I was in upper sixth we all got moved to The Annex which was separate to the main boarding house linked only by a connecting corridor. I had this lovely room which to this day I call the ‘alcove’ as my bed was literally in an alcove. I was made Head of Girls School House which really involved showing people around on Open Days, meetings once a week with the Head and the chance to sit facing the sixth formers at the annual sixth form assembly every Monday rather than sit with them. We also moved into a new study, this study was underneath the theatre and was much brighter than my last study and I also got to share with my two best mates.
There were new boarders to meet and new decisions to make as next year we were all off to university. At Upper Sixth A- levels started to get harder, I remember thinking at the beginning of lower sixth when I was studying the Great Gatsby in class that there was no way in hell I was going to go to university but in Upper Sixth I realised I wanted a degree. Back then in 2008 the recession was underway, with many people losing their jobs, I didn’t have many skills to enter the job market with, I felt it in a way, I had no choice but to go.
The academic work definitely got harder. I loved the English Lit A-Level but I found Geography relatively easy. I decided to apply to study Geography at university. My school took university very seriously, it was extremely rare to not go to university straight after unless it was a gap year. We wrote our forms, had a staff member go over our personal statements rewrote the statements again and sent the forms off before Christmas. Those that were applying for Oxbridge had an interview with the Deputy Head. It was very hands on, compared to my sister who went to college a few years later and was essentially left to do the whole UCAS application herself.
As I was turning 18 I wanted to go out. I got invited to a few parties but didn’t attend most of them as I had to get permission to stay over night from both my parents and the parents of the friends house where I was staying, it was just too much hassle. I got sick of being penned in at the weekends, I remember one time asking to go up to the newsagents up the street at half six in the evening when it was still light and I got told no as it was too late, I was 17 years old!
Good things I remember was the annual sixth form dance. It’s not a normal disco. Once a week for about eight weeks all the sixth formers had to have ballroom dancing lessons which were given by the deputy. It was embarrassing at the time, but a lovely memory to look back on. I also joined this group called PeaceJam, it’s an international organisation led by Nobel Peace Prize winners with the aim of promoting peace amongst young people. As part of this, our group travelled to Bradford University and met Shirin Ebadi. At lunch, Shirin Ebadi was invited to eat with the students and she happened to sit right opposite me, I couldn’t believe it!
There were more boarding school parties, looking back at the photos the teachers did make a real effort to make our final year special. There was a meal at a restaurant called Tampopo in Leeds and a party in the boarding house where the housemistress gave us all some jewellery she had made herself. I still think I have the earrings somewhere. I remember my friend smashing a light because she was threw an orange at it and then told the deputy head it had fallen down. The same friend also broke into the school swimming pool using a debit card and went for a swim in the middle of the night. She then took one of those hot plates that is powered using tea lights ( I have no idea why the boarding house had one of those!) and made a meal afterwards!
I remember in Biology dissecting a rat. The rat stank of preserving fluid and I have no idea why we did it other than for the ‘experience’ which looking back is completely unnecessarily. This one guy took the intestines of the rat and swung it around his head lasso style. I was nearly peeing myself with laughter. I also remember going to the pub when we all hit 18 every Friday, considering I couldn’t go to the newsagents on my own. I loved the privilege and felt more of a normal 18-year-old. I remember a group of us had gone to the local town for an afternoon in the pub and when we got back the teacher on duty was checking that we hadn’t been drinking. The teacher asked me where I had been and I said Tesco’s!
Upper Sixth did end on a high for me as I only took two ‘proper’ A-levels and General Studies I was looking forward to joining my university course not being the odd one out. The positives I took from my experience was being with like minded people. My friends and fellow students loved their hobbies and wanted to succeed, you really felt that anything was possible. The students were polite in lessons and if I had gone to boarding school in my GCSE years I would have got better results just because the teachers would be able to teach in lessons and not have to sort out the badly behaved all the time. I enjoyed hobbies I never have tried otherwise such as PeaceJam, European Cinema Club and Archery. The negatives I found was I hadn’t worked at all- I couldn’t, I didn’t know it at the time, but that didn’t serve me well when I was job hunting after school as I didn’t have any skills such as cash handling or customer service. I couldn’t drive either.
Would I do boarding school again? Assessing everything I probably wouldn’t have gone again. I think in sixth form if you are really really smart, I mean got all A’s at GCSE smart, then it really is for you. I would have gone to the local sixth form I think and learnt to drive and definitely get a part time job. However, it has given me a unique experience, a good dinner table topic and a go to interesting fact about me!