Seems from my last post that I put the '2010 Goals' page up on around 29 May, about 6 weeks ago. How am I getting along with them?
Well, to be honest, I've had to modify some of them as they proved to be a bit unrealistic, but that's OK. It's better to lower one's sights and enjoy a feeling of accomplishing something reasonable than to fail to meet a series of overly high goals. It looks unlikely I'll get much Japanese done before we go, but last week one of my Japanese classmates asked to do a language exchange with me, so I'll have some motivation anyway. I plan to ask my Korean classmate to do the same soon too.
I had to delete a couple of things on the list including taking the intermediate TOP (test of proficiency in Mandarin) exam as there isn't a test available to me before we leave, sadly. Still, I can take it in the UK some time later on if I'm still interested then. I'll meet my first target fine as my assessments have gone really smoothly this term so far and I must remember to get my marks for June on Monday and put that on the list.
As far as the reading goals go, I've finished 3 of the books I was part way through and have made significant forward movement on another 2, plus got my Bible reading back on schedule and read and returned my two library books before the due date. That's going very well and is easy and pleasant to do.
Needlework goals I'm also moving forward with. Since setting that list up, I finished a cross stitch that had been hanging around for a bit and have today started making it up into a cushion cover, although I'm not sure how well that's going to work out after all. I also finally got a needlecase made up out of a piece of hardanger stitchery I'd completed some months ago. I often drag my heels with finishing things into the final items, then seem to have a big push to get a load of them done. I remember the early days of my Sew in Love blog featured a number of those 'hanging around' projects being finished up.=) Anyway, things are moving forward and I've also made a good start on another gift for a local friend.
I've also made a start on some of the things for after we get home - mostly the making of enquiries and looking things up on-line, but it means that the way ahead is clearer. It seems increasingly unlikely that there'll be any teaching work for me as Sheffield seems well supplied with Chinese tuition, but I don't really mind that. I've been in touch with a decent looking office work agency instead - one that does positions with languages too. I don't want a permanent full-time job, but it's likely that the positions they fill involving languages will come back to them for temps at some point and I might fit the bill for them.=)
So, goals for the next fortnight are to get the cushion cover finished, finish Xie Jiemei's hardanger mat, finish at least one more book and get on well with the Japanese learning. As my hubby is away for most of the next two weeks, I'll have a bit more freedom to set my own schedule and am hoping to get a bit of progress with my Chinese grammar book and other things done in his absence.
Anyway, we'll see how it goes.
In the meantime, life remains busy. I could only post 4 days in a row (or thereabouts) at the beginning of June as it was the school's holiday week and I had time to do lots of blog organisation and posting. I set up 2 new blogs that week and got them at least looking how I wanted to. The art one is still rather devoid of regular content, but I don't really expect to be able to make any serious progress on art work until next year. I need to temp for the first few months of being home to make sure there's enough money coming in as Sir can have to wait up to 3 months for his money to come in. After that, and when we know what the future of the government funding bodies is with all the big cuts that are being made at the moment, I can start thinking about things like signing up for Open College of Arts drawing and painting courses and taking formal viola lessons as well.
I've been having a good look at what's available in Sheffield where we're moving and, although Sheffield College only does A Levels as part of a full-time programme and that mostly for 16-19 year olds, they do have one evening programme in - joy of joys - chemistry! Why does that make me happy? Simply because I underachieved BIG style during my A Level time and totally failed chemistry. Part of the reason was that I simply lost interest and got frustrated with it, but a bigger part was that, up to just before then, everything had been so easy that I'd never had to work hard and so had never learned how to work. I'd got a B grade for my GCSE simply by showing up and doing the exam - I don't think I revised a word! At most I may have flicked through my own notebook, but nothing else. I suppose I thought A Level would be the same.
The other reason was that we were the first lot of students to take the GCSE exams and, whilst those results were generally fine (I could have done better on some, but didn't for the reason above - I didn't have the discipline to work when I needed to), the real crunch came two years later when we did our A Levels. Many of the results were terrible. Having said that, I deserved to fail A Level Chemistry and have always felt I needed to make up for having fluffed that. If all goes according to plan, I want to get at least a C at AS Level soon, preferably a B. However, the new government wants to scrap AS Levels and the course next year is on the one evening per week I can't attend, but who knows what might work out? I'm thinking positively and will be revising the GCSE material over the next year or so. I remember my old headteacher comforting me on failing one of my chemistry tests by saying he once only get 10% for one of his and he later went on to get a PhD in chemistry!!! I don't plan to follow in his footsteps, but a good AS pass would boost my ego, I feel.=)
Oh, and I still struggle to make myself work consistently. It still tends to go in fits and starts, but at least things are moving in the right direction and I'm being a lot more systematic and 'loyal' about my language classes now than I was on my year abroad here 12 years ago. I'm going to be ordering a book on overcoming procrastination for potential high achievers to be sent to my Mother-in-Law's in Germany to read whilst we're there in early September.
I've also found a great looking organic and wholefood wholesalers who do cash and carry to the public in Sheffield. So, buying in bulk will be us! I've had so many ideas on dishes to make and what I'm going to cook ahead and freeze that I'm having to write them down in order to not risk forgetting them! I'm SO much looking forward to having a 'proper' kitchen again, with a grill, an oven and enough room to work properly without running out of counter space and banging my head on things! We seem to have only about 5 different meals here over and over again too, so I'm even getting sick of pasta and tomato sauce dishes. I tantalised myself yesterday by looking at the Tesco on-line shopping site!!
<-Yes, this really is all the kitchen work space I have at the mo! You can just see the start of the fridge on the far left and the wall with a cooking implement hanging rack thingy on the right. I'm over half way up the whole extractor fan height-wise too!! "It's not foreigner sized", as one local visitor rightly said!!
OK, enough of my wittering on for now. 'Til next time....
Finishing up some older projects
5 weeks ago