Finally late last night, I got my MA assignment done. Out of the ones I’ve done so far, this was the hardest - not because of the subject (multimedia design & development) but because of all sorts of external factors. While many of my colleagues likely had a nice Christmas and New Year break from work on the approach to deadline day, I was full steam ahead at work (no Christmas holiday in Turkey of course). Actually, as Christmas and New Year both fell on Saturdays, I lost time for study as preparations, celebrations and recovery took over. The last couple of weeks have been tough as we are coming up to the mid-year break in the Turkish academic year and tests and projects need to be marked, grades need to be decided and reports need to be written (those are all due tomorrow!)
I know how he feels.
Image by truester
Of course, I didn’t help myself much with many a study hour lost to frivolous activities. Although I kept away from Twitter and the blog (or at least considerably cut back on the usual amount of time I spend tweeting and blogging), I was easily distracted by YouTube videos and Internet Backgammon (the problems of writing assignments on computer you see). Nevertheless, it was done in the end. I’m not entirely convinced by my writing (usual trouble of too many things to say and struggling to select what to focus on) but I think the accompanying website is pretty darn good, ticking the boxes of promoting learner interaction, self-directed learning and using a variety of stimuli (it is supposed to be multimedia after all). I will share the link eventually but will refrain for now as it hasn’t been marked yet!
Anyway, now the assignment’s out of the way, I can return to regular blogging. I have plenty of posts ready to be written up based on some classroom experiences over the last few weeks such as some ideas I’ve pinched off other people’s blogs, drama activities, some thoughts on the whole testing-grading-report card cycle I’ve been a part of and advice on how (not) to approach your MA assignments. I also have a couple of guest posts in the pipeline which I hope to get finished soon - I always enjoy guest posts, both writing and reading them and I hope to get the chance to do a few of them in 2011.
Beyond that, I will of course have more study to do in the second semester (two modules: ‘Teaching and Learning Online’ and ‘The Education of Language Teachers’), which I’m looking forward to doing (also planning to be more organised with my study this time). I also hope to be busy on the conference circuit. My school’s own conference ‘English Beyond Walls’ is on April 16th (yes, we’re going head-to-head with the IATEFL juggernaut :o), where I’ll be (acceptance pending) doing a session on online teacher development. I’ve also just submitted a proposal for ‘Squaring the Circle’, a conference to be held in Izmir in late March and I am drafting up further proposals for workshops for ‘Reflections and Innovations in ELT’ at ISTEK in April and ‘Eclipsing Expectations’ at Sabanci University in June. Hopefully, I’ll be accepted by at least one of them! Any other upcoming events that I’ve missed, let me know.
Finally, I’ll share a little tune with you to declare myself back to the world 3+ blog posts per week. I’ve been listening to a lot of music recently as it helps me work. I’m not one for that ‘classical music makes you more intelligent’ rubbish though. I like something ‘classic’ in a different musical sense with a nice rhythm to work along to. Something like these fine Aussie chaps: