Today is the last day of the semester and while a big part of me will miss lecturing for a bit, my body is extremely happy. Last year during a doctor’s visit, I was reminded of the importance of sleep and how it can negatively affect my memory and my hormones as well as many other areas of my body. Over the past couple months I’ve noticed some changes in my body that I’m not quite happy with and I know it’s due to a lack of sleep. As a result, I’ve been slowly making changes to my schedule over the past 2-3 months to see what works best for me. I’ve planned out a new routine that I hope will work for me that would allow me at least one additional hour sleep per night. It’s my goal to sleep for 7-8 hours per night to give my body what it needs. While I can function on less sleep with a bit of caffeine lol, that little voice in my head is urging me to give rest greater priority. This would result in me arriving to work around 9AM. For most employees in my department this time is quite normal. I must say that I appreciate my manager, he is very understanding with respect to the time staff arrives at the office, especially those coming from far east or south Trinidad. With lecturing ending at 9PM on weeknights, it was sometimes a struggle to get my day started around 4AM or 5AM, so this new wake up time is one I can keep even on weekends. With teaching resuming on 25th May, I have time to catch up on sleep and prepare for classes for the third semester.
I have mentioned before my desire to help create a course at the University which focuses on iOS Application Development as well as a few other courses. This week I received confirmation that the iOS Application Development course will be taught in the semester from September to December later this year…this makes me very excited. Before I received confirmation, I have been asking students for their opinions about courses and service at the University and unfortunately the responses have been more negative than positive. One of the main complaints with the programming courses is that there isn’t enough actual programming done in the classroom. As a result, every class I lecture focuses mainly on practical work. The theory is touched on as an introduction but I rely on the students to do additional reading after the concept is grasped from the practical work done in class. This is more so with the Design Patterns Course I developed for the Bachelor’s programme this semester. Yesterday I spoke with the second Design Patterns class about the iOS Application Development course and I asked for their opinions. Most of them were not pleased with the way the Android course was delivered so it was important that I find out what exactly disappointed them to ensure they feel contented after completing the iOS Application Development course. This conversation with the students left me with a lot more information than I expected. It reminded me of my time studying and how I saw so many changes that could have been made to the degree programs I did to help improve the service the students received. I will continue to ask for students’ opinion while developing the course over the next few months and also try to find out what other courses they would like to see as part of the Degree Programme. I am now able to create the change I wanted to see many years ago, so it’s important that I do as much as I can to improve the learning experience of the students while I’m lecturing at the University.
I remember being younger, more specifically in my late teens and early twenties and complaining about things older folks did. Why couldn’t they just change their ways or do things differently. As I’m in my thirties now, I’m starting to realise that as we age, we develop habits that we’re sometimes not even aware of. Also changing some of those habits could be quite a challenge, especially if we’ve been doing them for quite some time. I recently started dating someone and it’s been interesting how he’s been able to highlight aspects of my personality that I’ve never noticed. Some of these qualities I’m actually quite ashamed of and know that I need to work on and some are just simple little quirks. I complained about things my parents or elders did when I was younger and as I’m older now, I’m starting to realise that changing some of those habits is not always the easiest thing to do as you’ve become comfortable with your way of living. This is a gentle reminder for me to not judge others as it’s very easy for me to end up in the same predicament I once judged someone harshly for. Having someone analyse you when you think you’ve been doing so many things the right way, when in fact you haven’t, is a real eye-opener. I’m enjoying my time with my new guy so far and I’m thankful for his openness and honesty and I hope it’s something that will be well reciprocated by him when I need to highlight some of his quirks.
I recently watched a young couple on the University campus involved in a small disagreement and it reminded me of something I said was very important to me years ago. I am very fortunate that two of my best relationships were with people I considered my best friends and it was really easy to deal with misunderstandings as we knew each other pretty well before deciding to be in a relationship. This isn’t necessarily the case most times. I remember dating someone a few years ago who loved dragging out conflict over a few days. I’ve always had a philosophy that I should not go to bed angry with my partner but it’s tough when someone else does not share that philosophy. You have one person in the situation who wants to clean up the mess immediately and another who enjoys the fight. I’m not trying to label either as right or wrong but it made me realise the importance of understanding how someone deals with conflict before totally committing myself to them. For another person, that approach of extending the conflict would suit them perfectly but for someone like me who prefers to deal with the issue immediately, it may not work so well. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves which is more important…The Desire to Make it Work or The Desire to Win. Usually “The Desire to Win” indicates a greater involvement of the ego and in some cases that person may feel the need to punish his or her partner by withdrawing love or being disrespectful. In relationships there will always be disagreements but “how” we handle those conflicts is what is most important. Conflict can be seen as an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust and you can feel comfortable knowing your relationship can withstand challenges.
“The purpose of disagreement is not victory or defeat, it is progress”…Teal Swan
So many times we’ve blamed someone else for how we feel, either that person has made us unhappy or angry. In the past I’ve had people do things that left me a bit disappointed and I found myself saying, why is this person doing things to make me unhappy or angry. I remember reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth some years ago and one of the things from the book that stuck with me was when we accept the responsibility for something, it gives us the power to change it. It’s important that we decide how to react to a situation. Saying that someone has done something to hurt us and has made us angry or sad is giving that person the responsibility to make us happy or the authority to decide whether we’re happy or not. You are responsible for your happiness. I recently found myself in a similar situation and then I remembered, no one but me has power over my emotions. I allowed myself to feel all those negative emotions, I allowed myself to get upset and to feel hurt and therefore I have the power to make myself feel happy and stay that way. It may be a challenge to accept such responsibility for someone’s action when it is probably quite clear that those actions can be viewed as unfair. People will always do what they want to do but it’s up to you to decide how you will react. You have a choice, either you decide to be happy for you, for your goals, for the people around you and most importantly for your health, or you allow the actions of others to constantly control your emotions and thus your life. There’s no point calling this life your own if it’s being controlled by the actions of others.
This morning while working out, I was chatting a bit with one of the instructors at the gym about kids and family. He talked about his relationship with his parents and how amicably they raised him, despite the fact that they separated early in his childhood. There was no bad mouthing by either parents and the focus was always the children. He talked about how mature women in these times do not understand how to be ladies. They were raised by parents who made “Being Independent” a priority and little importance was placed on being a great partner to someone else. In addition to teaching women how to be a great partner to someone, we also discussed the role of fathers in helping daughters set standards for the kind of love they are willing to accept. A father will be the first man to love a woman and it’s truly a special relationship. It sets a unique and important foundation for her to understand how to be loved by another man and in return, how to treat men. It’s also important that fathers show respect for the mother of their children and other women in their lives at all times. This will also affect the way a young woman believes she should be loved and treated. Learning to be a Lady starts with the relationship a young girl has with her father. Being a father himself, the gym instructor emphasised the importance of fathers being present in a young girls life as much as possible, being dependable, a good example, an excellent provider, an honest support system and even their daughter’s best friend. These are all qualities that will be important in her future companion, so it’s vital that she knows how to recognise them and what it feels like to have someone in her life like that. A few days ago I found the beautiful saying below on Facebook and I hope it makes you smile.
Before the end of this week, this blog will be directed to http://nekellecelestine.com. The original intent for http://helpmelandthatjob.com has changed and so I think it would be most appropriate to use my personal URL for this blog’s content. There are plans for http://helpmelandthatjob.com which will be done on a phased basis over a period of about a year. Using http://nekellecelestine.com will allow me to be more free with my content and cover broader topic areas. I hope the general response from new content I will incorporate will be as well received as the content I currently post on http://helpmelandthatjob.com. At the moment, there is no content on http://nekellecelestine.com but that will soon change and I look forward to seeing how my plans will unfold.