‘Never Volunteer’

‘Never volunteer’ was the advice I was given and always gave when in the Army.  Yet strangely, when a post appeared on www.ehnewprofessionals.com, I volunteered to write a blog about my experiences as a student.

Two little clues in the first paragraph about me.  Better give a little bit more info.  In January 2002 I began training as an Environmental Health Technician in the Army.  After leaving late last year I decided to take the step from EHT to EHO and commenced the Masters programme at Leeds Met in September 2009.  Now in Semester Two I have approximately 16 weeks left of the teaching phase before I embark on the ELP and dissertation phase.  The aim of this blog is to give fellow EHPs an insight into my studies and how I go about completing the ELP and dissertation.

Over the next few months I will endeavour to write a weekly update of my progress.  May as well start with the ‘highlights’ from this week.  In Uni terms it was the last lesson of the week – my first practical food session.  A hearty lunch was a great way to prepare for the lovely smell that welcomed me to the food lab.  After a couple of hours of prodding I can now tell the difference between various bits of offal from sheep, pigs and cows. Will I remember this for the exam?  Hope so – I took plenty of photos to make sure.  Perhaps this blog will have the facility for me to add a few choice photos in future posts? 

The other ‘highlight’ was a meeting with an EHO from Burnley Council.  I am aware that my experience is military so I decided that I need to civilianise myself a little.  Therefore I arranged to have a chat with a view to securing a few placement days during my studies at Leeds Met.  First full day will be next Wednesday when I will accompany one of the Street Scene staff on a site visit.  As a resident of Burnley (the posh bit!) I am aware that there are a few issues facing the area with regard housing, particularly the number of vacant houses and private rental properties owned by absentee landlords.  It will be a new experience looking into dirty back yards and investigating fly tipping.  I’ll keep you posted.

If anyone out there is reading this blog I encourage you to comment and give me feedback.  In addition I am keen to answer any questions readers may have, or discuss any aspect of my studies and placement.  Oh yes, I am also very receptive to ideas for my dissertation!

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