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Monday, 20 October 2014

Presentation Smesentation

"The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval."
Denis Waitley

I may have mentioned in one of my past posts that on Thursday (16/10/14) I had my first informal presentation in front of my class. We had to talk about our favourite movie or book. I was completely bricking it. This is one of the reasons I wanted to do the course, even though it's just a GCSE in English language that I already have a C in. I wanted to challenge myself, build my confidence. When it came to my turn I thought I was fine. I didn't feel overly anxious. I had practised talking slowly and clearly, and I had my cue cards. But after about two lines in, my nervous hit me like a wall. I suddenly felt like I was visibly shaking and my mouth went dry. It felt like words were tumbling out a mile a minute, in clouds of dust. I had told myself to look at the audience, not my cue cards. But I ended up feeling like my eyes were darting around the room like a crazy person. Despite this, I got a good reaction and my classroom assistant said I did really well and sounded and looked really confident. Though, she may have just been trying to make me feel better. Still, it felt like a small achievement. Back in the day I probably would have skipped class and put it off as long as possible!

We were also doing a group discussion, which I was just as nervous about. I wouldn't have been so bad, only we'd been given the topic and it was on something I had no opinion because I don't really know much about it.

"The rich get richer, and the poor pay for it. Do you agree?"

I'm nervous enough about interacting with people about things I do know about, when I'm not being marked. Luckily Google saved me, I think. Our groups discussion got a little heated, but I did end up having my say and I felt like I'd made some good points. I just hope my tutor heard me. 

We were also getting feedback on our practise controlled assessments. I think I mentioned that I was sure she was going to tell me that I needed to condense what I'd written and not ramble on, because I had nowhere near finished by the end. That was not the case. My feedback was basically 'write faster'. Which is pretty impossible with my disability. It's hard enough writing for a solid hour and a half. I mean, she didn't actually say those words. She said 'Practise finishing within the time'. She also said the standard of what I had been writing was in the 4 band. 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. So if I kept that standard up, I would be doing very well... but I obviously have to finish. I've emailed learning support and hopefully I can at least get some extra time. I can use a scribe, but I think that slows you down. What I would like is to be able to type and I've asked about that, but I guess we'll see what they come back with. I just don't want to lose out on marks because I can't finish on time. It would be a real kick after all the revision and work I've put in.

I've been practising today and I wrote it out while having a timer going, to see how long it took me. Granted I was copying from the practise essay, but I figured it would give me some idea. It took me an hour and fifty two minutes. I may be entitled to 20 minutes extra, so I might just be able to squeeze it in. But my arm was killing. It was hotter to touch than the other arm purely from my muscles working and stretching. Got to love Muscular Dystrophy. 

Revision stuff from today's session.
Proof I'm actually trying!

Anyway, hopefully it will all work out. This is the most effort I have but into something school related in a long time. I really hope it pays off.

Anyone got some revision tips?


  1. I remember the problem with exams is that extra time is one thing but what would help even more is a break in the middle so your arm stops throbbing. Since I start writing a bit slower but after 20mins it ends up really slow. My thing (FA) is similar to MD apparently.

    Did you agree with the topic?

    About revision: Just learn it properly when you're taught. It's not like you can revise in the real world so unless it's stuff like history or literature I wouldn't bother.

    1. Yeah, I practised writing it out today and gave myself an hour and a half. But I took a few breaks to give my arm a rest, but I still didn't get it finished in time. Though I was only just over 20 mins over, but that was without prep time. Ideally I'm hoping they let me type it instead. I don't see why I can't. It's hard enough doing exams without having a sore arm and lack of time distracting you.

      I think I ended up saying it wasn't black and white. Though we all agreed poor people feel it more than the rich, obviously.

      It's English language, and you have the exam question before you go in. So basically you can plan out what you want to write and memorise it if you have a good memory.


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