2013 01 02 CANNOT WRITE A SUCCESSFUL JOURNAL AT LEVEL 4

by charles morris
(Port Talbot UK)

2014 01 02 ASKMIKETHECOUNSELLOR2


TO: jlogan7264@myway.com
Ms. Julie Logan

Hi,

I am worried and feel entrapped. I cannot yet find a way out. I was looking up what is “basic” initial counselling and am directed to your site. So when I saw an invitation to write to you I have taken it. It may not be exactly what you are expecting – and from the UK too! I hope you will be empathetic – I am sure you will be. Here goes.

I am 75 years. I live in UK. I am studying Counselling Level 4. Not doing well.
I attend lectures at Afan Campus of Neath Port Talbot College, South Wales, UK.

As you will be aware after each lecture I am required to write a "journal". The journal has to measure up to criteria. Sometimes the exact criteria references that are covered in the lecture are announced ad hoc and informally.

The problem seems to be that I fail to relate what goes on in the classroom to the criteria references, so I fail my journals.

When I rehearse what was covered in the classroom often not much! in my journal I fail to hit criteria. When I write strictly to criteria I fail to express my opinion in a journal. I am not completely stupid so when I try to combine opinion or view with some reference to criteria, I just fail. Not good enough.

I do not say so, but in my opinion, the lectures too often quickly and very obviously deteriorate into endless classroom interruptions and irrelevant personal discussions. So the lecture aim and content possibly gets left behind in lazy cosyness.

The day is supposed to be from 1pm to 9pm but habitually the class can expect to finish anywhere between 5pm and 7pm.

This is Wales. I am English. As most would know standards in Wales ARE “different” = lower. An industrialist John Beecham reportedly said years ago that the Welsh are from memory “pathetically grateful for dismally low standards”
So I do not take all the blame for my own failure to learn how to write a journal.

I

do not - cannot- dispute whether I hit this or that criteria. When I write some considered opinion - I rehearse what went on in the classroom. The feedback from the tutor has been that I get the journal wrong. She does not come across to me as explaining exactly what she wants – yet others seem to know what she wants and she seems to pass their criteria in their journals.

Recently, I tried to solve “hitting the criteria” or indeed when I miss it again but knowing why by writing to the criteria text individually to each criteria clause by clause - as written out by the BCAP {British Counselling and Psychotherapy]. That effort has been criticised because I am supposed to write my opinion!

In the most recent journal not yet marked from November last year I used a bibliography of reading and references, actual text of criteria as sub-headings. I also gave opinion. I was again criticised verbally at tutorial this past December 2013. The surprise was that the course coordinator / lecturer referred generally to the bibliography and references in my script as not my opinion. I should write opinion. She categorically accused me of not understanding what I had written because it was not mine. I assured her I understood every single word of what I had written. My tutorial report was that I have not completed a weekly journal.

Going back - at the start of the term Sept 2013 many colleagues complained their work did not hit the criteria and they did not know why – and was not returned promptly. The others tolerate the waiting and seem to have settled the criteria issue. I remain one of a few who still have eternal difficulty.

I would sum up by saying as a learner I have failed to learn how to relate class work to the criteria covered in the class lecture, in the view of the lecturer/ coordinator.

To be positive about my approach to you, I just wonder if you could perhaps send me a sample journal with the criteria highlighted please?

What do you think?


Charles M.
Learner

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