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Daryl's Blog - a Letter from the Director

Goodbye 2018 – a year of highs and lows like most. But if I might make an observation, after all this is my letter, things seem to be in general getting worse. Sometimes scarily so.  Now a large part of that is just the daily diet of doom and terror peddled to us by lazy media in order to sell papers, true. Yet even when I have a good long think about just what the problem is, I still come to the same conclusion; things are not getting better.

Our society, the proud western civilization that has given us our knowledge and freedoms is sick. Across the world, information is dismissed as “fake news” if it is not pleasing to the...

Life’s a game, so some say.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  One day has you checkmating your way to success and another sends you straight to jail, not passing go and without your two hundred dollars.  But what’s it all about really?  How in the great scheme of things do we know if we’re winning at life? 

Nearly every game has a win condition to determine a winner.  It may be that having the most points determines the winner.  Or getting to the end first.  More complex games might have multiple ways to win – and there’s nothing more complex than the twisty tapestry of life in the twenty first century.


High Scores and...

Once Upon a Time there was a country that was very famous for the widgets it made.  They were the very best widgets, magical and capable of widgeting themselves in where they were needed.  They were made by the thousands in great factories from where they were sent out to all the building going on across the country. 

Then one day the Minister for Widgets, who was a very important man, thought it would be so much better if every widget was exactly the same.  Surely this would mean that whenever somebody needed a widget, they could be assured they would have the exact length and size they needed.  Not to big, not too small – special...

As someone who deeply values education, it was heart breaking for me to read earlier this month of a strike at a University.  Not of overworked educators trying suffering under further government mandates.  No this strike, at the University College of London was unusual in that it was the students who were striking.  The nature of the strike was also surprising – this was a strike over rent.  The cost of renting at the Universities Halls had risen so high that it had provoked a backlash of angry students, withholding over £250,000 in rent unless the rent was slashed by 40%. 

This perhaps shouldn’t be entirely surprising – London is an

One of the best things you can be in an educational sense is innovative – having the courage to try new things and new ways of doing things.  Especially from a learning perspective trying new ways of learning is an excellent way to grow personally and professionally.  You never know until you try just what methods are going to work best for you as an individual.   Perhaps a more audio focussed approach of listening rather than reading will be best, or maybe you absorb knowledge best when you frequently get others to test you. 

Innovation has a great deal of historical precedent ofcourse.  It wins wars, builds economies and makes life...

It’s the end of the year and some might say the end of an era.  Not us of course, ADL is rolling on better than it’s ever been.  But it is still time to reflect back on the year that has come, see how far we’ve come in the past 12 months and, if you will but indulge yourself a moment, to pat ourselves on the back for our successes over the year. 

And it’s important to do so!  Distance learners know this as keenly as anyone how important it is, when studying alone. You need to that ways to keep yourself motivated and raring to go.  That is why it is helpful to reflect upon your progress and to applaud that which you made. 

Did you...

Those of you who are regular readers of our newsletter (click here to subscribe!) may well remember last month when we announced our new team member, Tsoey who is taking over from our long serving student advisor Mary Anne.  I’m pleased to be able to tell you staff and students all that Mary Anne has now had her baby, Daniel, and that both mother and baby are doing well.  I doubt the father will stop grinning until 2016 either. 

Seeing the pictures of this new life reminds me of my own time as a father, and of the fears and worries that I’m sure every parent feels for their children.  First it’s simple but essential things like are...

It's harvest season again here in Canterbury.  Summer is gone and has given way to the browns and oranges of autumn as the great yearly cycle comes once more to its end.  Despite being a city, Canterbury is quite a small metropolis and less than an hour’s brisk walk in any direction will take you out into some of the famously green countryside that earned Kent its title as “The Garden of England”.

It’s hard not to see the great round bales of hay rising in many fields as the harvest is gathered in.  Orchards are plucked empty from apples and pears that have been growing for months.  Even the animals in their fields are being brought...


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