Starting the Year with a Bang

Eight days into 2022 and I can proudly announce: I’ve completed my data analytics course!

Did I keep to my original timeline? …No. Initially, I wanted to be done by New Year’s Eve, but for once I don’t feel any self imposed guilt. I mean, I still finished ahead of the course’s schedule and now I can start applying to new opportunities.

It’s weird because when I started this post I thought I’d have so much to say. Instead, I’m just content and ready to pursue the next professional chapter.

Back to School

Prompt: If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be?

I would have to say carpentry.

Now that I’m moving into my first home and have brainstormed with my partner on all the work we want to do- having the skills to do it myself would be amazing. Obviously, it would cut down on costs and I’d be able to head to a home improvement store anytime we agreed on new projects.

Aside from being able to take on DIY projects at home, there is also the career aspect.

After all, carpentry is considered one of the oldest trades and after spending the last few years in an office, I have to admit the idea of working with my hands and collaboratively is very alluring. Would it be hard work? Of course. Hence, why I’d want to take a break from life in order to really master it.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Shifting Relationships with School

It’s strange to think I went from preparing for graduate school to putting it on hold and now I’m taking a certification course. I guess it’s the feeling of “being done with school! hooray!”, only to find yourself in a different version of it…The feeling can be odd, but it does makes sense to me.

I think the catch with secondary education is you’re taking a bunch of core classes with a limited variety of electives that may or may not align with your interests. Then you get to tertiary education (in my case University) where easily half your degree can be a combination of courses you just took in secondary school and courses that aren’t even relevant to your specific degree.

So if/when you do enter the world of specialized courses and certifications, it’s enlightening because you know you’re not having to deal with frivolous extras. No more having to pay for unrelated things. You have a specific interest you want to learn about and BAM! It’s all you’re focused on.

Once I finish my current course I already have a few I’m planning to take next. Some are related to data analytics, but the one I’m most looking forward to is a drawing course! As someone who loves to commission art I’ve always wanted to learn and finally did some digging. The good news is there are tons of talented artists offering courses which made it loads easier.

So here’s to building new and difficult skills!

Artist: oshtu

Jumping Back in the Learning Pool

So I finally did it. I started my data analytics course!

After spending the last year and a half collecting, managing, and preparing data- I’ve learned I really enjoy working with it. The way I see it, data is data and it all comes down to honing skills in how to efficiently manipulate it. Mainly to answer managements’ questions.

When I was preparing to move out of state it was decided I would take on a final project of cleaning/preparing the company’s data for a systems change before being officially phased out. It was pretty much a win-win for everyone since I knew the data the best, I’d been helping create the new system, I could work from home, and I wouldn’t be stressed needing to get a new job right away. I was pretty stoked, but as I worked through the project I knew there were definitely quicker ways to get certain tasks done. The only problem was; I didn’t know those ways.

I looked into a course and realized I simply wouldn’t have the time to enroll on top of the overtime I was already working. With that in mind I figured I’d just start once I finished the project. Simple enough, right?

Well…things don’t always go as planned. The final stage of my project was ultimately put on hold (pretty recently, too) and I was given my original duties.

As soon as I was back in the swing of things I knew it was now or never and signed myself up.

As of right now I’m two weeks in and have finished about an eighth of the course (grossly ahead of schedule). Initially, my goal was to try and get through it as quickly as possible- maximize my time. But between a tendency to burn out and wanting to really get this right…I’m planning to go in moderation.

The goal? To finish by the end of the year then see where it takes me.

Artist: oshtu

TEFL/TESOL: The Final Showdown

You know that feeling you get after you graduate? The one where you’re looking forward to that nice, long or indefinite break? That was me after getting my Bachelor’s last May. My plan was to work for two years, stack up some experience, and save for grad school. Everything was going fine across the board until I got the inspiration to teach English abroad.

Now I’m back on the study wheel.

Let me start by saying; I really do find the material interesting. Maybe it’s linked to having served as a mini translator for friends in the past or maybe it’s something else entirely, but I managed to blow through the material and take the midterm in two weeks!

I’m getting certified with Asian College of Teachers, so my midterm was split in two segments: an exam & two part assignment where I created a lesson plan and answered short-answer questions. So far I’ve received my grade on the exam, but I’m still waiting for feedback on the written stuff.

Since I managed to do pretty well on the exam I thought I’d share my system in case anyone out there’s trying to get certified on a time crunch or just looking for some tips: *results may vary*

  1. I read one module a night (if a module was particularly long I split it between two nights)
  2. While reading each module I typed notes (because I’m not fast when writing by hand & you can’t print the course PDF files)
  3. Once I finished all the modules I read through my notes w/ pen and highlighter
  4. I watched all the corresponding videos and added notes to the relevant module note packet
  5. I read the note packets one more time
  6. I took the exam

Now as the for the assignment…it was really about applying everything you just learned, so having the note packets really came in handy to flip through. I’d like to say I did well and even though I’m confident…we’ll see when the results roll in!

P.S. It takes 24-48 hours to get results back which is honestly the kind of efficiency I live for.

Artist: oshtu