This Week in Student Services...

Student Services - Reading College

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!" -- Charles Dickens

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Christmas Special Newsletter!

It's a Christmas extravaganza for the final newsletter of the year, so put your feet up over the holiday and enjoy some classic festive flicks -- how many on this list have you seen?

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas" -- Calvin Coolidge

Christmas Brain-Teaser! (Easy 'un)

Can you decipher these common Christmas Carols?

1. Happiness to the Global Ecosystem
2. Small male percussionist
3. I am experiencing nocturnal visions of a colorless holiday
4. Festoon the Corridors
5. A Non-summer fairytale area
6. Oh holiday conifer
7. Ten plus two twenty-four hour periods of holiday festivity
8. Hey tiny city in Israel
9. In a remote location in a barn stall

"That's the true spirit of Christmas: people being helped by people other than me" -- Jerry Seinfeld

Christmas Brain-Teaser (Hard 'un!)

Alice, Bonnie, Carol and Dorothy gathered together to exchange Christmas presents. They came wearing Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green dresses, but not necessarily in that respective order.

Each of the brought a gift. These gifts were also wrapped on a wrapper coloured Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green. But each brought a gift wrapped in a wrapper whose colour is different from the colour of the dress they are wearing.

After the gift exchange, each received a gift wrapped in a wrapper whose colour is different from the colour of the dress they are wearing.

"You are wearing a nice Red dress" said Bonnie, who gave a Blue gift to Alice, and who received a gift from somebody else.

Carol received a Yellow gift.

Dorothy is not wearing Yellow.

Name the colour of the dress each of them is wearing, the colour of the wrapper of the gift each brought, and the colour of the wrapper of the gift each receive.

"Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas" -- Johnny Carson

And for those who are sick of Christmas already ... be glad you're not this guy!

"Christmas is, of course, the time to be home - in heart as well as body" -- Garry Moore

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And.. very, very fond farewells

Of course as we all know this week sadly was Carol's last week with us, as she leaves the balmy climes of Reading College to spend more time with her family. We wish her all the very best and, quite frankly, we don't know what we'll do without her! Carol, you'll be very much missed, so do keep in touch!!
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"I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included" -- Bernard Manning

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Welcome Iran!!

At the same time as we're all sad to see Carol go, please join me in welcoming Iran to the Student Services gang! Iran has been working with the Employment Team up until now, but as of this week she is joining our team as the National Careers Service Advisor and we're all looking forward to working with her going forward!

"Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great if it is given with affection" -- Pindar

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Christmas 'do and Secret Santa!

A big 'thank you!' to everyone who brought treats and snacks along on Thursday (and while everything was delicious, I think we were all surprised by the culinary skills of a few people -- an extra special 'thank you, you are awesome!!' to everyone who brought something homemade along, wow!)

And what a great Secret Santa event! (Thanks Sandra for organising it!) It was fantastic to see everyone so delighted with their presents (and now the fun begins of guessing who your Secret Santa ended up being -- have you got it figured out yet?) I think the highlight was definitely Vanessa Keane's massive slipper-onesie: whoever came up with that one, well done to you!

Thank you everyone who participated this year; now we all have a year to start planning the next one! ;)

"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together" -- Garrison Keillor

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Coaching and Mentoring at Reading College

A new website dedicated to coaching and mentoring at Activate Learning has launched. ​The site will allow you to look at the profiles of business support and teaching and learning coaches at the college and find out more about coaching and mentoring.

Via the link below you will be able to find out about what is involved in coaching and mentoring, read articles, blogs, extracts of reports and other relevant documents that may be of interest to you in your role within our group. Our aim is to provide a high level of professional support through the work of our coaches which is overseen by the Coaching and Mentoring Manager for Activate Learning

We hope that you will explore the site, find the information contained within it of interest and value and consider requesting some coaching if you think it will be of benefit to you in improving your performance in your role.

Visit the site at​

"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store" -- Dr Seuss

Language Corner

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Jenny's Japanese Corner


Merii kurisumasu!! (meh-ree ku-ri-su-ma-su)

Despite not being a Christian country the Japanese love Christmas, and while the urban legend of the clueless Tokyo department store that tried to get into the festive spirit by displaying a gigantic crucified Santa Claus in their store window has sadly been proven to be apocryphal, the whole of Japan groans under Christmas lights and decorations as soon as late November rolls around. Oddly enough the main draw of the season is the lights and a general sense of excitement rather than anything Japanese people do to celebrate the holiday: December 25th is a normal working day and no-one over the age of 10 years old gets any presents (and even then, young children get only one small present, usually placed underneath their pillow)

If I asked you to guess what most Japanese people eat for Christmas dinner, though, you probably wouldn’t hit on the right answer. In a masterstroke of marketing Kentucky Fried Chicken has successfully convinced most of the population that the traditional Western Christmas meal consists of a huge bucket of KFC's best, with as many sides and fizzy drinks as a family can carry! So successful has this marketing blitz been over the years, in fact, that most KFC shops are takeout-only on Christmas day, with the buckets of chicken unavailable to buy over the counter. These special Christmas meals have to be specifically ordered months in advance before they sell out, and the lines of families waiting to pick up their orders of chicken on Christmas Day can stretch around a whole block and even further!

༶・・ᗰદ૨૨ʏ ᘓમ૨ıડτന੨ડ・・༶

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Vanessa's Spanish Corner

Following the Xmas theme, here’s a link to more info about “ Roscon de Reyes”, which is a typical desert we eat on 6th January when we celebrate “The Three Wise Men” and that marks the end of our Christmas Festive period.

You can try it this year!

Cheers! :)

"Pets, like their owners, tend to expand a little over the Christmas period" -- Frances Wright

Cute Puppy Corner!

Something a little special for our final newsletter of 2014: to see out the year here are a few of our Student Services four-legged family members wishing you some Christmas cheer. See you in 2015, everyone!
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First up here's Miki, wearing his/my gift from a very, very thoughtful Secret Santa yesterday! I love it, the cat loves it (pom-poms attached to the dog?? AMAZING!) and he's lovely and toasty in it so it's spread a lot of happiness in our house! ^__^

And below, on his first ever walk in the snow. I don't think he liked it all that much, though!

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And here's our little helper Jasper, looking just as unimpressed about the Christmas holiday... Bless them!
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And Rosie rocking winter chic in her matching scarf and legwarmers...
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Here's Kelly's Benji looking very Christmas-y with his tinsel 'hair extensions'. Definitely the most glamorous one here!
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Gemma's Frosty is rocking his Christmas hat...
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...and his way-too-cute snowman Christmas jumper! Just look at him go!!
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"My mother-in-law has come round to our house at Christmas seven years running. This year we're having a change. We're going to let her in" -- Les Dawson

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"Don't let the past steal your present. This is the message of Christmas: we are never alone" -- Taylor Caldwell