Calling all cards, Calling all cards, Calling all cards. My brothers will agree that we siblings probably still need counselling to deal with hearing ‘those words’ or that saying, but that’s a blog entry for another day. Tonight I’m blogging about the past two weeks that have been choc-a-block full!

This week is varsity holiday, so strictly speaking I don’t need to go to campus at all. Beauty of an academic job. However, I signed up for a tutorial course that I’m attending tomorrow…Frankly I’m not sure why I volunteer for these courses. Well ….that’s not completely true – I do know that I volunteer because I have a insatiable desire to learn, so I grab any opportunity that arises that can potentially offer me additional knowledge. But what I really don’t know is why in heavens name I sign up for EVERYTHING, even when I suspect it might be too much. Another thing I probably need counselling for!

Be that as it may, I thrive on a busy schedule. So like, since my last blog these are the highlights:

SAATCA Auditing conference in PTA was amazing. Did you know that a Quality Manual will no longer be mandatory with the new ISO9001:2015? Like really! OMW. After attending the conference and getting a feel for the new standards, I’m completely loving it already. There’s a clause (Clause 4) on Context of Organisation. That’s just so practical. Also, the fact that one now needs to think about risk in everything your organisation does is in my opinion definitely a great improvement.

Got back from PTA and the students wrote exams. I’m still marking but I think they did quite well in general. That is unusual for midterm exams. Traditionally the student hash it – big time. Hey, but I’m happy that so far it’s looking so fine.

I read the novel “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn – and what a mind job that book was! Finished it in 2 days. I can’t decide if I love it or hate it.

Then I finished my proposal corrections – WHoooop WHOOOP! gave them to Prof! Moving forward. I wanna get on with this doctorate thing. Want to start doing my doctoral research already and be a doctor already. However besides the corrections, I had a very interesting meeting with one of Prof’s friends. His colleague from a University in Austria. On my Prof’s recommendation we had a discussion about my proposal and it turns out this Austrian Prof’s student is doing something similar. Interesting indeed. Prof Hilmer and Prof Moll then met the day after my meeting and there are a couple of options that they discussed – ways for us to collaborate. I’m not going to say any more on the topic except #watch this space 🙂

Lastly my side line research continues. So I’m sure everyone who has chatted to me recently knows that I really, really want to be a Professor. So first I must become a doctor, and after that I must do research and I must publish. With this motivation (besides the fact that I am genuinely curious), I am doing research on Blackboard – where it all started last year. Initially I was only going to gather data from the lecturers, however my students encountered problems and I decided to ask the students to help gather data on Blackboard from a student perspective as well. The incentive for them is that they can use this data for their own semester projects. But of course the benefit for me is I will use the student data in conjunction with the lecturer data and write a more comprehensive report on the usefulness of Blackboard. I’m very excited about this project – I have a suspicion that this is just going to be a pilot study of a more in-depth research project. Just thinking about it gets me excited.

For the lecturers’ data I used Google Forms to conduct a survey. What an amazing tool! Google annoys me mostly, just because they monopolise everything. However, Google Forms is the niftiest coolest toy that I have discovered in months. It comes with my greatest recommendation. It is easy to use and totally worth the time you need to spend learning to use it. You’ll find it in the Google suite in Google Drive.

Finally, I want to tell you about a treasure I discovered in my office. A book. When I moved into my new office, I inherited four bookshelves of books. What a treat! So last week Tuesday I was rearranging some of the books to make space for my personal collection of text books. That was when I came across an rather unusual hard cover. It is covered in peach coloured material and didn’t have a name in the front or back. But it had a name on the spine – Paddington on Top. Yep, as in Paddington Bear. This children’s story book is older than what I am. I opened the thick yellowish pages and I just got goose bumps all over. There are illustrations in the book. Beautiful pictures. I simply love it! My heart melted. A classic. I have no idea how that ended up in the office I inherited from Russel and Prof Moll, but clearly neither of them cared too much about Paddington. I decided to take Paddington home though, and it will now have a permanent place on the minion’s book shelf. Yes indeed, a much better home for The bear called Paddington.

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