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Another quiz ripped off from Bodo...

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

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Honestly, I didn't cheat!

Pity it's all gone downhill since then!

Episode IV: A New Hope

Well, a new direction.  Having finished six weeks at the training centre studying for (and passing!) two courses (as previously mentioned), I'd imagined that, despite the centre's statement that they would seek work experience for all us students, they wouldn't manage to find any.  Mainly because the guy seeking out placements didn't seem to be having any success, despite me throwing him a couple of suggestions of organisations to try.

However, last Thursday, I hear, "OK, you'll be starting with IT company X a week on Monday."  I had heard this touted as a possibility, but had so little faith in it actually happening that it came as a surprise - and a pleasant one.  The placement is still classed as training as far as the JobCentre's concerned, and I'm still paid by them (my JSA plus £10 pw, plus a travelling allowance of about 12p per mile!), so IT company X doesn't have to pay me anything.  The theory is that I'll impress company X so much that after the 6 weeks is up, they feel that they can't do without me, and offer me £30K a year to stay on as a full time employee.  Or more likely, something like £15K.  But the real advantage as far as I'm concerned is getting a foot in the door, and getting some real-world experience.  Getting a job without that important first step is well-nigh impossible.

A good way to end the week

Yesterday morning I set off for Aberdeen to sit my MCP(Microsoft Certified Professional) exam at Aberdeen College.  Arrived somewhat early, due to panicking about what might happen if I was late (I'd lose the chance to sit it yesterday and not get any money back), and was entertained by an amiable gentleman from their IT department who claimed he thought they were employing him as a cleaner.

...but I digress. I passed the exam with a much better mark than I'd been expecting, and on phoning my SO was told that she was going to buy me an Xbox as a reward!  It was that or a PS3, and the latter (for various reasons) doesn't strike the same chord with me as the PS2 when it appeared.  However this will keep us both amused; I'll be able to play GTA4 and she'll be able to play Spiro the Dragon's latest (when I'm not playing GTA4).

I don't quite know what I expected to feel once I'd done both exams (this and the Network+ one 3 weeks ago), but I'm just relieved to have got through them both with a minimum of fuss and the lack of any need to resit either one.  However, what would ideally have happened next is that the training centre would have managed to find us (me and the other 5 doing the course) work placements for the next 7 weeks.  This would have been free to any organisation willing to take us on, with the hope that we'd have made such a good impression during those 7 weeks that something more permanent, with a salary attached, might have been on the cards at the end of it.  Sadly, so far, only one person has been placed, and nothing else has appeared yet.

Anyway, I'll keep going along to the training centre until something turns up.  I can always make a start to doing more studying for another Microsoft course.  The downside to any subsequent training courses from this point is that I now have to start paying for exams myself, but thankfully at this point, that's not an immediate problem.  And having access to the training material is an opportunity I'd be daft to pass up on.


Halfway point

I now have some letters after my name.

Last Friday I passed the first of two courses, called, approximately, "CompTIA Network +".  And so did my 6 classmates.  Since we weren't getting hold of any coursework for the second one (which started yesterday), I had a weekend off.  Was going to go for a bit of a trip on my bike, since I'm trading it in for something smaller and newer very soon, but the day started off looking a bit gloomy, so the cinema won.

So I went to see Iron Man, on my own except for a packet of popcorn.  Neither the film nor the popcorn disappointed; I thought both were just great.

Postscript: after two days of the second course, I'm wondering what happened to my brain since last week.  I don't feel like I've learned anything this week yet (the course is MCP, for anyone who knows what I'm on about).

Back to school

Hmm.  My first ever livejournal entry.  I didn't mean to create myself as a livejournal entity, but I wanted to post a comment on someone else's page here, and didn't want to do it anonymously, because I thought that'd be rude.

Hello Nick!  Only been here a few minutes and I'm someone's friend already.  Nice to be made welcome, although I seem to remember you from somewhere else...

At the tender age of 53, I'll soon be starting a 6 week course in networks and such stuff with a view to kickstarting my (stalled) career, which had been computer programming for most of the last 17 years.  Stalled, because I'm a mainframe dinosaur.

For that very reason, I'm unlikely to make any more entries for a good few weeks.  After then I may well make another entry. 



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