And so another school/college year opens after a rather sweet Summer. I am hoping you have all enjoyed plenty of sunshine wherever you are in the world. Now we get back down to business and learning.
For me, I’m going back to the Bowhill Flexible Learning Unit, right on my doorstep to brush up and learn new skills (Access). Last year I felt after all these years, my SHND in Secretarial Studies was a little outdated. A self-taught Microsoft Office user since 1998, long gone are the days of using an *electronic typewriter – software is amazing! Computers are amazing! What a great world we live in whereby we have such tools that take around 90% of the thinking out of what we do as we can now click buttons and voilà, instant calculation, spellcheck, etc. etc. No more carbon paper and Typex. Not that Typex was ever really allowed. Practice Perfection! Eye for detail. Dedication.
Even as I write, right now, above me I see a whole array of special ‘gifts’ to allow me to embolden, italicise, number, quote, left, centre or right adjust, link, change colour, and really handy just now, symbolize.
Where was I? Ah yes, it seemed right for me to put my self taught skills into practice and gain certification for doing the things I love to do. And so I gained my ECDL in Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Improving Productivity just studying 2 1/2 hours, 2 days per week last academic year. I enjoyed the small class, learning at my own rate, meeting new people, atmosphere. I do want to do the Advanced Level but sadly funding isn’t available and this course isn’t run anywhere in Fife, although, I now know where I can obtain the training materials to home study.
Now, I am not a morning person of a natural nature. I love my nights and can often be found working through them. I am at peace with the world and the phone doesn’t ring. So, getting up with my daughter for her induction day at college was a bit of a shock to the system. And my thinking head isn’t quite on.
At these points I have random images and sentences as I look out of my window sipping coffee on a sunny day. Today it was, “I can’t believe it’s not butter…” Nothing wrong with that? Only I wasn’t sure, should it be ‘it’s’ or does the butter belong to itself? I ask myself, a moment of self doubt. And indeed moments like that have me searching online to check, because I care.
So often I see the Grammar Nazis on Facebook, as they are endearingly termed pointing out mistakes, and mistooks ‘appen. I find mistakes funny, but of course professionally, it is important to write well, and proof read.
To me though, I never like a condescending attitude towards those who have problems with spelling and grammar. I believe in a world of communication and equality, and for whatever reasons people have, sometimes writing and spelling isn’t the best of their talents due to learning difficulties and missed opportunities, but they can tell a good story and run a business.
So today, for me, finding this website is something I want to share. Instead of pointing out how wrong it is when people get confused with its/it’s, they’re, their, and there, why not bookmark this page? Improve Your Writing. Here you will see the practice of ‘it’s and its’. To the left, a whole list of other examples and exercises to help understand when best to use words and how to correctly spell them.
Learning is fun! At any age. Playing, as I have said before, is vital, at any age. Put the two together and you have a relaxed way of taking in things that aren’t always easy to remember/grasp.
* I still have my A3 wide format Electronic Typewriter if anyone needs a double page paper application typing out.