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Bex, Harper, tutor, Southend, Westcliff,

Christmas & New Year Closure

Christmas & New Year Holidays Closure Dates!

Bex Harper Tutoring & Coaching will be closed for the Christmas & New Year break.  Our break will be between Friday 20th December 2019 and Monday 6th January 2020 (inclusive). There will be no tutoring lessons or coaching sessions during this period, as Bex and our administrator, Hannah, will also be out of the office, on annual leave.

 

Contact

If you need to contact us via text or email or send homework via email, you shall receive a response on Tuesday 7th January when we resume our normal business opening hours. Many thanks for your patience.

 

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Bex Harper

The Benefits Of Keeping Aquariums On your Mental Health 

It may not seem like an obvious choice at first. However, keeping fish and shrimp can have a positive effect on your mental health. This article explores these benefits and how fish can improve your home or your study space. 

 

Improving your mental health

Keeping fish or shrimp falls under ‘animalassisted therapy’. In most cases either dogs or cats are used in this type of therapy. However, fish can have positive effects as well.  The biggest advantages to fish (or any animal), is that they connect you with nature. A 2005 study showed that contact with nature can provide a populationwide strategy for the prevention of mental health issues.  

 

So, what is it about fish specifically that can help us with our mental health? As well as connecting us with nature, fish live in water, and water has many therapeutic benefits. Many people find the sound and visual effect of running water very calming. In fact, you can achieve the same effect just sitting and looking at the water in the sea or a lake.

 

Owning a tank

You can have all the benefits of fish and water by owning your own tank. Fish owners all state that overall the most stressful part of owning fish, is generally the initial set up. Yet, many owners agree that the benefits outweigh any of the initial stress. However, it is not always practical to own your own fish.  If you are unable to own your own fish tank, then you can still gain all these benefits by visiting fish. Maybe you have a local fishpond or aquarium? Even just the occasional visit has been shown to greatly improve a person’s mental health.  

BHTC vision and values

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching pride itself in putting clients’ mental health first. I strongly believe in the therapeutic benefits of fish, shrimp and water snails, which is why there is an aquarium in the BHTC study and coaching space. These delightful, calming creatures are, therefore, incorporated into our sessions, wherever possible. For example, in coaching, the relaxing sound of water flowing can relax you enough to explore areas of your life in greater detail.

In terms of tutoring, often children can be nervous about coming to a tutor for the first session and it provides common ground and opportunities for conversation that isn’t exclusively focused on them. This can help calm tutees and make them feel relaxed. BHTC also allows clients to bring their own slippers to wear, if they want to really feel at home!

 

If you would like a calming environment to learn or to re-evaluate your life and achieve your big goals, then BHTC is for you! Drop me an email (hello@bexharper.com) to find out more!

Bex Harper

What is it like to study a course run by Bex?

Bex Harper WEA Film course 5* review

One of my students from the Billericay branch wrote this 5* review of my course!

To register on a WEA course, visit the WEA website. To contact me to run a course for you or your organisation, please email hello@bexharper.com for more information. I look forward to teaching you soon!

Bex Harper

Reach Your Potential

For students on my Reach Your Potential course, here are some useful resources to help you going forwards:

 

My Meditation Playlist.

Summary of How to Find Your Core Values.

Cheap / Free Activities For Self-care.

Encourage your Child.

My blog in full.

Hopefully see you on some other WEA courses soon and good luck for the future!

Bex Harper

Becoming a Zero-Waste Household

I’ve always been interested in recycling and have recently shifted towards a less environmentally damaging way of living. These are the ways I previously lived and have continued to live:

  • I’m vegetarian and have been now for nearly 15 years.
  • I get public transport, walk, cycle, or use an electric car to travel within the UK.
  • I grow my own food on my allotment.
  • I use energy saving lightbulbs and bulk-cook meals.
  • I recycle my empty containers and compost my food waste.

What now?

Earlier this year, I switched all my bath products to Lush’s naked (without packaging) range and have enjoyed face washes, soaps, shower scrubs and even deodorant in bar form, rather than in plastic containers.

But lately, I have been seeing that, even so, I am still generating a LOT of recycling with regards to supermarket shopping. So, I decided to set myself a challenge of converting to shopping for food in a zero waste supermarket, when possible, such as my local farmer’s market or The Refill Room.

What are you doing to help the environment? I’d love to hear from you!

Bex Harper

Back to School!

BHTC will open its doors again on Monday 9th September at 4pm to begin the new school year!

Firstly, we are almost fully-booked, so get in touch if you haven’t secured your tutoring slot for September. We’ve only got these times left:

  • Tuesdays 6:00-7:00pm (fortnightly)
  • Wednesdays 4:00-5:00pm (weekly)
  • Wednesdays 5:00-6:00pm (fortnightly)

Get in touch via email ASAP to book! Contact hello@bexharper.com for more information or to book one of these times.

 

Secondly, don’t forget to let me know which literature texts you are studying for GCSE, your examination board or other important information.

So, I’ll see you week commencing 9th September! Enjoy the rest of your holidays!

Bex Harper
romantic dates on a budget

Romantic Dates for Lovers on a Budget

Dating can be difficult at the best of times, but when you are on a budget because you are struggling financially, it can make dating even more awkward and unromantic. The media teaches us that being rich, generous and glamourous makes us attractive and more likeable. So, dating when you are a student, in a low-paid job, unemployed or just generally struggling to make ends meet can be quite intimidating. However, there are many nice dates you can arrange to impress either your current partner or a new partner. Give these a try…

 

  1. Romantic Cinematic Dates

Film festivals and outdoor cinema events are frequently around in major cities and have a nice vibe. But even if there are not any film festival currently happening, or you live in a small town, you can select from a number of romantic films on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or on DVD / Blu-Ray. If you can’t decide, watch some of the trailers and see which two you like best. Then let your partner decide! You can often get special midweek cinema deals too, if you wanted to go out for your film date.

 

 

  1. Outdoor Adventures

On days with nice weather, you could take advantage of the assets that your local outdoors provides. Walking and hiking are popular activities that allow lots of time to talk. So, these are great activities if you are at the stage in the dating process where you want to get to know your partner better. If you have been on a few dates with him/her already and want to do something very romantic, take him/her camping overnight: watch the sunset together, spend time star-gazing with your partner and give him/her massages.

If you are fairly confident with your body and the temperature is very warm, swimming is a great option, particularly if you are far more confident about your body than the contents of your wallet! Lots of parks having boats you can hire at a reasonable cost.

In colder weather, you could go ice skating or visit a winter market to buy and drink warm soup or wine, huddled together to keep warm. There are lots of options, so be creative!

 

  1. Local Cultural Scene and Community Events

There are often local community events for free or with very cheap entry prices, such as local folk festivals, concerts, gigs, outdoor cinema nights, beer festivals, wine tasting events, book launches, poetry readings, open mic nights, theatre plays, roller derby and pride parades. Your local community centre, town hall, library or the web will undoubtedly have more information on what is going on over the next month or so. The good part about these events is you don’t have to travel very far. If you are in a long-distance relationship if your date is travelling to you, you can seem very clued up and excited about your local area and its culture.

 

  1. Intellectual Pursuits

It is not said enough, but most people are impressed by intelligence. If you think your date is going to fall into this category, take him/ her to some local art galleries, museums or botanical gardens. If your partner does seem intellectual, they are sure to be very impressed by your art or history knowledge and cultured attitude. One thing I have heard is that there is nothing more romantic than having a partner whisper something very intellectual in your ear in a museum, whilst putting their arms around you – first to point at an artefact, then to embrace you. This is perfect for that second or third date, when you want to show your partner a different side to yourself. Keep it genuine though, as there is no point taking him/her to a gallery if you hate art!

 

  1. ‘Foodie’ Indulgences

Going out for a coffee is a perfect cheap date, especially if it is a first date and you are not sure whether or not you will get on well. If you are a ‘foodie’, however, you could ask your dating partner if he/she would like to go on a picnic, or do a portable BBQ somewhere romantic. You can usually buy portable BBQs (both reusable or disposable) quite cheaply from your local supermarket or garden store. A nice walk along the beach combined with a tasty BBQ could be a great combination. Otherwise, a picnic at the beach or in your local park, woods, or botanical garden could also be a hit. You could carefully select the foods you bring on a theme, if you know your date is really into a particular cuisine or has a particular interest.

 

  1. Play games

If you are happy to have your date come to your place, then board games, chess, video games, or (if you are feeling more adventurous) poker can all make for a really nice evening. If you are too shy to show her your place, too lazy to tidy up, or are in the middle of renovating your home, there are many games that you can take to venues outside your home. Card games or easily portable board games would be fine to play in a pub or café. You could combine games with other dates I have suggested, such as hide and seek in a library, museum or park, or make up dramatic stories about what you think has happened to strangers you see to make them be in the location and situation they are in now!

 

  1. Treasure Hunts and Escape Rooms

With the rise of Geocaching, the app that makes treasure hunts easy (as you do not need to set them up yourself), treasure hunting has become very popular. You could download the app and tell your date to wear sensible shoes and that the date is mystery. Alternatively, if you want to go all-out, for an anniversary date or to really impress someone, you could create your own treasure hunt, with a prize at the end of the hunt – pick something your date really likes, or create a suggestive but witty ‘I owe you…..’ coupon!

Escape Rooms generally cost £15-20 to do, but they are an excellent one-off way to see how you and your partner work together. You might learn something interesting about each other!

 

Remember…

Whatever you choose, remember that dates are meant to be enjoyable and not break the bank. You don’t have to impress your partner with lots of cash – a thoughtfully planned date with romantic elements can often mean a lot more.

 

Bex Harper

Revision Time!

It’s time to revise! Don’t panic! Check out:

Good luck! 🙂

Bex Harper

Film and Nostalgia: Representations of History Course Review

Guest Post by Sandra Martin

WEA Billericay Branch – Spring Course

Film and Nostalgia: Representations of History

Tutor – Dr Bex Harper
Scene:

A cast of around 30 men and women from their mid to late twenties and ……!
Seated, facing a screen, wide-eyed in anticipation. Unsure what the next 8
weeks will involve. A plethora of bodice-ripping tear- jerkers? A potted history
of the world courtesy of the film industry? Think what the film ‘Troy’ did for
our knowledge of the magnificent Greek civilisation hmm?!

Enter stage left:

Our Director/Producer Bex whose in-depth enlightenment of how film
techniques are used to portray events, emotions, relationships and
environments ensured that we will probably never view a film in quite the
same way.

Bex helped us to really see the importance of things that we may not have
noticed in our viewing. For example, so many different camera angles used as
devices to show so much more than the things in shot, such as the
power/vulnerability of characters, historical setting, and of course emotions.
She chose 4 films for scrutiny. The first being Howard’s End, which we soon
realised was so much more that a beautifully filmed rural idyll and which some
might call a stereotypical nostalgic film?

Secondly, and about as different from Howard’s End as you could choose, was
the brilliant Good Bye Lenin!, a film set in the last years of the GDR ,when
history was being made, but focussing on the life of one family. Bex’s guidance
through this film showed us how a film can show nostalgia and heritage in such
a very powerful way that the viewer can identify with even though the events
were far removed from their own lives. It was a film that was a great discovery
for most of us and during the 4 weeks we studied it, I for one couldn’t wait for
the next session.

After a session viewing clips from, and discussing The Help – a film set in the
south of the US around the time of the Civil Rights movement, we moved on to
our final film The King’s Speech, set in the years leading up to WW2 and
centred on the future King’s struggles to master a speech impediment which
could hinder his role as sovereign.

Method:

Our sessions were so much more than us, as the audience, viewing while the
Director Bex led – we broke off into small groups for discussion and then
regrouped to share our views after each clip. This technique enabled us to
pursue in depth what nostalgia and heritage in film meant, not only to us, but
in the portrayal of life events in film.

A thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening course.

– Sandra Martin, Student
Bex Harper
Easter break means easter eggs!

Easter Holidays: Closure Information

Easter Holidays Closure Dates!

Bex Harper Tutoring & Coaching will be closed for the Easter break between Saturday 6th April and Monday 22nd April 2019 (inclusive). There will be no tutoring lessons or coaching sessions during this period, as Bex and our administrator, Hannah, will also be out of the office, on annual leave.

 

Contact

If you need to contact us via text or email or send homework via email, you shall receive a response on Tuesday 23rd April, when we resume our normal business opening hours. Many thanks for your patience.

 

Revision

Good luck with your exam revision over the Easter period! Don’t forget to build in little tea breaks to eat those lovely Easter eggs!

Bex Harper