All Aboard Revision Central 🚇

Spring is in the air and it is beginning to get warmer and lighter throughout the day. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing. It’s enough to fill anyone with joy and happiness. Until you remember that you’re a university student and you have a network of deadlines and exams (full steam) ahead!

Never fear, because UniSkills are here to help you on your revision journey!

We are offering a range of support throughout Revision Central (29th April – 17th May) including workshops to help you prepare for exams, practice those all-important presentation skills and help you arrive at your destination with assignments. Don’t delay, reserve your seat at one of these workshops today!

The full summer 2019 UniSkills workshops timetable is available now – printed copies will be arriving on campus shortly!

And don’t forget, Catalyst is open 24/7 so whether you are a sleeper train, or a morning express we can accommodate your study style. With dedicated silent study areas, individual and group rooms and our unique study pods available to book.

In addition to the workshops, from 7th to 17th May we will be hosting Revision Central Station on the ground floor of Catalyst. This is your platform where you can receive revision support to facilitate your assessment journey.

Take a study break and pay us a visit during these weeks and you will be able to pick up a Revision Survival Pack. These nifty little guides are full of top tips and strategies to help you reach your full potential and (if you catch the express!) you may also be in time to collect a FREE Catalyst goody bag! We will also be offering free healthy snacks and drinks, to provide your body with the ‘brain food’ it needs for an effective study session.

Throughout Revision Central you will still be able to access all our usual support services including;

  • Drop in (weekdays 11am-2pm) to the Catalyst Helpdesk for any quick queries
  • Book a peer to peer appointment with one of our knowledgeable Student Advisors
  • Book a 1-2-1 appointment with one of the UniSkills team for academic writing or information skills support
  • Ask Us a question anytime…and if you are studying away from campus there is lots of support available online 24/7 including advice and guidance around exam preparation on our UniSkills webpages and your My Library tab.

So, best of luck with your exams and next time you’re in Catalyst be sure to spot our inspiring quote of the day to help motivate and fast track your way to exam success!

Keep in touch with Library & Learning Services throughout your journey via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

World Book Day

Earlier this month we celebrated World Book Day! Our staff in Learning Services decided to display their love of books across our social media platforms. Individuals took part from our Ormskirk campus, as well as our Manchester and Aintree sites. We have picked out some of our favourites for this blog but if you would like to see all of the pictures shared then head over to our twitter page @LearnService 

Lots of pets got involved, from dogs to kittens and even rabbits! They all embraced their owners love of reading – 

More traditionally, kids were loving the opportunity to dress as their favourite characters – 

Our staff enjoyed dressing up and getting out and about to showcase their favourite reads – 

Finally, some staff preferred to take the creative approach to showcase their love of literature – 

Don’t forget, it’s not too late to get involved in world book day – here are our top suggestions on how to share a love of reading:

  • If you have any pre-loved books why not take them to a local charity shop? This is a great way to pick up affordable literature and spread the joy of reading.

  • Recommend a book you are currently absorbed in to a friend and ask for some suggestions from them. This way you can both enjoy a variety of books.

  • Visit the Catalyst, or your local library, and pick up a book from a genre that you have never read before. For example, if you normally read romance maybe try a thriller. You might be surprised to find something new which you enjoy. Our library in Aintree library has a brilliant collection of fiction books to motivate you to read for pleasure. Any students can browse these books using the online library catalogue and get them sent to either the Manchester campus library or the Catalyst.

  • Inspire the younger generation by taking the opportunity to read to a young person. This could be a family member, or you could volunteer at a local school or charity.

  • Start a book club with some friends. This can encourage you to read more as well as being social.

  • Come down to the Catalyst and see all the amazing books that are on offer, both fiction and non-fiction.

World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day!

This is a perfect day for you poets to get hands on with your poetry – but also the perfect day for you non-poets to start your path to poetry!

Luckily, for those wanting to get deep into poetry reading, I’ve handily compiled a list of poetry publications, all on offer within Catalyst. I’ve touched upon a range, including US poetry, BAME, anthologies and translated poetry.

  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen, 811.6/RAN
  • Valzhyna Mort, Factory of Tears, 891.799/MOR
  • Forrest Gander, Core Samples from the World, 811.54/GAN
  • Mina Loy, The Lost Lunar Baedeker, 811/LOY
  • Edge Hill Press, Atlantic Drift, 821/BYR

There are hundreds of other poets within Catalyst, but these are a few starting points for those wanting to sink your teeth into well-written, strong poetry. Why not use the library catalogue to search for other poets and anthologies yourself?

If you’re struggling to get started with your poetry, don’t worry, there are exercises you can try. Why not write a book spine poem? Here is my blog post on book spine poetry for you to try out.

Also, why not try blackout poetry? Blackout poetry involves taking a page of a book (a photocopy would be best) and blacking out words to have fewer words that create a poem! This exercise can forge brilliant lines that you can use in your poetry or can make interesting poems themselves. Why not give it a try in Catalyst?

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year BA Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library and Learning Services

National Conversation Week

 

What is National Conversation Week?

Sometimes we get lost in our phones, whether it be social media, texting or emails. Occasionally, we get so engrossed that we forget how to speak to people in our day to day lives – without resorting to memes or funny pictures. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it can be nice to have a conversation that is not made up of emojis and gifs. National Conversation Week is designed to help us embrace talking to our peers in a more meaningful way or a different way to how we normally would. I am guilty of keeping conversations with my friends going just by sending funny videos and pictures. By the end of the conversation I have often not learnt anything about how my friend is doing or shared anything about my own day. That is why this week I am aiming to reflect on each of my conversations and how they have benefited myself or somebody else.

How can I improve my conversations?

Edge Hill offers free access to LinkedIn Learning which is a website that lets you do courses in a variety of topics such as time management, leadership skills and how to have successful conversations. There are a range of short courses centred around conversations and you can even get a certificate at the end of it!

If you want to take your learning further there are plenty of TED talks on the art of having meaningful conversations.

I found the TED talks to be very insightful. There is one called 10 ways to have a better conversation which I enjoyed very much. Celeste Headlee put an emphasis on the importance of face to face conversations, taking the time to listen to people as well as being open minded and kind. Why not put it to the test? You might be amazed by all the exciting things that you learn about people and the world.

The benefits of National Conversation Week

  • It gives us a chance to reflect on how we converse with people and give meaning to our interactions
  • We can learn new tips and tricks on how to improve the quality of conversations we have
  • It could help improve relationships with family and friends
  • The skill of conversation is important when making new friends at university
  • It can also help us communicate better and in a clearer way with our lecturers and personal tutors

Some tips on how to have good conversations:

  • Be polite
  • Ask questions. This will encourage the person to go into more depth and to help you have a clearer image of what they are trying to communicate
  • Do not be afraid to say you do not know or understand something. Bill Nye said, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t”. This is a useful tip to keep in mind
  • Go into conversations with an open mind. If you start every conversation with the mentality that your mind will not be changed, then you will not learn anything, nor will the conversation be helpful
  • Listen – this may seem obvious, but how many times have you found your mind wandering during a conversation?

You can still use your phone!

National Conversation Week is not about trying to reduce people using their phones and other devices. These are important for keeping connected in a modern world. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired this week to have more meaningful conversations with your friends, and try to have more face to face conversations.

Written by: NATASHA TAPERA

2nd Year BA Counselling and Psychotherapy

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services