In their welcome comment on my previous post, “Anonymous” expressed the view that a half of me is expressing. That is, that having made the decision to concentrate on my degree which is after all the reason I came back to the UK, I should stick to that, and not be sidetracked so much by other distractions such as CILASS, my part time work, or Japan soc. I can’t help but think that they are right …and yet…

I find it difficult to weigh up the value of these activities. Academic study vs. extra-curricular activities. If those extra-curricular activities took the form of getting bladdered every night then there wouldn’t be much of a debate, but the problem is, I’m getting so much out of these extra-curricular activities!

(self-justification follows)

My CILASS role gives me so much pleasure. Much of what I do is essentially, teaching & training. Teaching students, providing feedback to and training staff. I’m also learning how new systems (in this case teaching systems) are taken from idea to fruition, and also learning basic stuff like How to Hold Effective Meetings. (I’m then applying some of the stuff I’m learning through CILASS to Japan Society, with (what I perceive to be) excellent results). Team management is another key skill that this role is teaching me, something which will no doubt be a great asset in the future.

Then there’s Japan soc. Now this one, I think, could be considered of questionable value, except that apart from the fact that I enjoy it, I also get to network, practice my Japanese (I write all the bilingual emails), and am able to experiment with the people skills I learn elsewhere. It’s been a tough one though, as I find myself getting more and more involved, victim of having all the records (both on disk and in my head) of how the society has dealt with various events in the past.

My part-time job, along with the entry for the business competition, is teaching me a lot about starting one’s own business. Once again a life skill.

BUT, by doing all these I’m neglecting my studies. The likely outcome is a 2:1 degree (or perhaps even a high 2:2, instead of a 1st.

I don’t see this affecting my employment opportunities, I do see it disappointing myself, perhaps my teachers to to a certain extent, and some Mumblers!

And I don’t want to disappoint myself. I don’t want to disappoint those who have expressed their enthusiasm for me doing well academically.

So the big question is,

What would YOU do in my situation?