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Thank God it's Friday

Monday As usual, national diploma drama student Charlene marches into the library 15 minutes late for her hour of study skills, eating something very yellow. I greet her with a firm reminder that eating is forbidden. "But it's a lemon," she explains cheerfully. I ditch my lesson plan and decide to concentrate on communication skills this week.

Tuesday I show my first diploma fashion group how to use visual ideas to help with spelling words for their course. I leave them to be creative with a subject glossary and flip chart. They create a beautiful tableau of the London fashion show, withno other words but the title, "difacult spelings in fashon".

Wednesday All three painters and decorators in the group turn up, 24 hours early. I resist the temptation to compare them to buses, and instead compliment them on their keenness. Unfortunately, I am busy explaining to a new group of counselling students that I am not a specialist in their subject. They ask me how I feel about that.

Thursday No painters and decorators today. While I am waiting for them, I try to work up some enthusiasm for developing key skills through reading about Artex. The enthusiasm proves as elusive as the students. Maybe next week we should talk about redecorating a room - my living room - without Artex.

Friday Jamie (HND graphic design) admits his learning objective is to do as little written work as possible, but likes my suggestion of doing this in a more structured way. Charlene trails through again, with the cappuccino I was just thinking about. "You didn't say anything about not drinking," she beams sincerely.

Gina Barton is a lecturer in study skills at an FE college in the south-east. She writes under a pseudonym

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