Medicine is a highly competitive course to get into at university, but traditionally students from Scotland’s poorest neighbourhoods have not attempted to enter the meritocracy that medical school admissions should be. It does cost a lot of money to put yourself through medical school, but grants, loans and other financial assistance are available. An initiative by Universities Scotland aims to raise awareness of the possibilities open to applicants from poorer backgrounds.
To coincide with Valentine’s Day, an eLearning content provider is offering a free course in Emotional Intelligence for the workplace. Does this mean showering your co-workers with chocolates and teddy bears in the hope that they will like you more? Um, no. Well maybe, but it would be pretty sappy and would probably backfire on you. What this course is about is recognising your own emotions and those of others, acknowledging them, and using that wisdom to defuse conflicts, stop tantrums before they start, and stay cheerful and productive.
Of all the courses there are out there, there’s one in particular that promises to lay the groundwork for achieving what we all desire: happiness. What use, after all, is a degree in Food Science, a diploma in Business Management, or a certificate in Survival Skills if our underlying ‘operating system’ is broken, preventing us from experiencing pleasure or self-actualisation? Surely there is more to life than the acquisition of skills and the creation of wealth?
Gardeners everywhere know the benefits of getting outside, getting their hands into the earth and, when the right time comes, enjoying the fruits of their labours. Working with the seasons rather than against them has a calming and grounding effect that can reduce worrying about life stresses by keeping in touch with nature. People who regularly work their gardens often have an aura of contentment about them that non-gardeners envy.