Introduce your pet pics to the digital #ChaplaincyZoo

Guinea pig next to a buttercupDo you have a pet at home?  Introduce them to the University of Portsmouth Chaplaincy’s pet community!  Post a funny (or serious) photo of your pet on the University Chaplaincy Facebook page and tag it #chaplaincyzoo anytime between now and Christmas.

Don’t have a pet?  Post a picture of your ideal pet or toy – this is just a bit of fun, after all.  Like the Chaplaincy’s Facebook page for updates on future activities and events.

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Time to reach out

At this difficult time, on what has become World Suicide Awareness Day, we just wanted to reach out and remind you all that if you ever find yourself struggling:
  • You are not as alone as you may feel, reach out.
  • You are just as worthy of being here as everyone else.
  • People care deeply about you, even if they struggle to show it.
Help one another: listen, reach out, talk. A simple msg to someone feeling lonely can make their day.
The Student Wellbeing Service is here to support you if you or someone you know is going through a rough time.  If you feel you have no one you can talk to, talk to the Samaritans on 116 123.  You don’t need to be desperate and you can even talk to them about someone you are worried about.
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New eBooks – August 2020

What follows is a list of new ebooks received by the Library during August 2020 ordered by title. More complete details, as well as listings from previous months, are available on our website’s New Books page in the form of downloadable Excel spreadsheets.

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New Books – August 2020

What follows is a list of new books received in the Library during August 2020 ordered by classmark. More complete details, as well as listings from previous months, are available on our website’s New Books page in the form of downloadable Excel spreadsheets.

Read more ›

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The windmills in your mind: reflection for reflective writing and lifelong learning

Welcome to a mind-expanding trip down the rabbit hole into the wonderful world of reflective writing, as I try to answer the age old question, “So what really did just happen?”.  This follows on from my last post introducing reflection for self-development,.  Be prepared for this to go from the mundane to the surreal and back again.  Reflection tends to be like that – you feel like your mind is about to come apart at the seams only for everything to come into clearer focus than before.

Understanding your process

In study and work, reflection often appears under its pseudonym, “evaluation”.  Both words mean to look back over what has passed, to identify what was valuable and what was unhelpful, and to consider how you might do things differently in the future to get a better result more easily.  For projects and essays where you are asked to reflect on your work, various thinkers have worked out a series of useful steps to get you started, which are summarised in what has become known as Gibbs’ learning cycle or Gibbs’ reflective cycle:

Gibb's Reflection Cycle (1988)

Gibb’s reflective cycle (1988)

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Happy World Humanitarian Day!

Today is the international day when the world commemorates humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work, and honours aid and health workers who continue to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need, working for charities, health services and non-governmental organisations to alleviate suffering and safeguard public health in countries where weather, war, poverty and/or the ravages of disease have disrupted everyday life.

You can read more about humanitarianism on the UNESCO website.

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What the library has been up to

Artist’s impression of a librarian working from home

People often wonder what librarians get up to during the summer months.  Once upon a time, long, long ago, the summer vacation was a quiet time in libraries, where librarians would look forward to settling into a gentle routine of tidying up things that they had not had time to deal with during the rest of the year and have a comparatively easy time.  Fast forward to today and we are working as hard and fast as ever, catering to four new intakes of students each year and preparing changes behind the scenes for launch by the start of term without disrupting anything for the students we have now!

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Reflections in the mirror of your mind: a very brief guide to self-mastery

What do you think of, when you think of reflection?  A crisp likeness in a mirror?  How about an indistinct, distorted but recognisable image staring back at us seemingly from beneath the surface of a body of clear, still water?  Our minds can also serve as a mirror, capable of showing us insights we had forgotten from our recent past.  Engaging with these memories and making sense of what has happened is how we learn from experience.

Staring deeply into our own past experiences, as we gain distance from doing a thing, we can begin to see with greater perspective what we were doing during the thing itself.  We can start to ask what went particularly well, and what went badly; what we enjoyed and what frustrated us; what was happening when we felt like everything was synergistically flowing together with everything supporting everything else, and what was happening when we felt like we were wading waist-deep through treacle to get things done.  This process is also known in the trade as “reflection”.  It is the most powerful tool I know for getting to know yourself more clearly and to examine how you work and what might work better.

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Learning to love working from home (post-lockdown)

Now that the lockdown is easing, it is easier to adapt to some time-honoured practices for working at home successfully, including changing your scene occasionally.  Many coffee shops are offering a government subsidy Monday-Wednesday each week, so why not  pop along and change your scene for a bit, stick your headphones in and study with a coffee for a stint to reset your concentration?  If you want a change of scene for free, you could pop along to the Library!

There are whole LinkedIn Learning courses on working from home that has become relevant again now that lockdown is lifting.  If you can find the time to have a little look, it makes for fascinating learning, and you can upload the certificate of completion to your LinkedIn profile!

Here’s a useful excerpt from one of them.

The value of working remotely from Remote Work Foundations by Mike Gutman

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Take a virtual tour of your socially distanced library

Thinking of popping into the Library but not sure what to expect?  Take a virtual tour first from the comfort of your home.

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