Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishing you Peace and Joy in the coming new year!

I hope that all who read this will find Peace, Joy and much Love in the coming new year.

May God keep you all in His care :)

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peter Pan - the lost boy

We are dealing with Peter Pan at this point of our module and, due to my fluctuating health, I'm way behind everyone else. This panicked me for a while, but I realised that I've got all this holiday break to be able to catch up. 
Yet another reason to be grateful that I stepped away from all the madness of this season! Lol

It's been really interesting to read the critics about Peter Pan, and my eyes have been opened to a lot more aspects concerning both the play, and it's creator, J. M. Barrie.

My whole experience of Peter Pan, had been the story read to me as a child, and then learning to read it myself, and then I saw the 2003 film after it was released. These didn't prepare me for reading the original play script, and it amazed me how differently it was conceived by it's author, and how the passing of time has changed the aspects of it's viewing.

I've a feeling that the Disney viewpoint is a much more powerful one to children today although, as it was originally written as a pantomime, and now enjoys a repeat performance as such every winter, that is something fixable - although I suspect that there are a lot more children familiar with the film than have ever had a chance to see the play!

At the beginning of this block in the module, we dealt with a whole section on poetry, and I was reunited with quite a few of my childhood favourites, in the book needed for the module, 100 Best Poems.
One of the poems, The Fairies, written by William Allingham in 1850, is one that I need to use in my next TMA and, on reading it, I could see why it was being used for comparison and contrast with Peter Pan. I'm very much looking forward to using it, as it immediately caught my attention:

      The Fairies

Up the airy mountain
 Down the rushy glen,
 We daren't go a-hunting,
 For fear of little men;
 Wee folk, good folk,
 Trooping all together;
 Green jacket, red cap,
 And white owl's feather.
Down along the rocky shore
 Some make their home,
 They live on crispy pancakes
 Of yellow tide-foam;
 Some in the reeds
 Of the black mountain-lake,
 With frogs for their watch-dogs,
 All night awake.

 High on the hill-top
 The old King sits;
 He is now so old and gray
 He's nigh lost his wits.
 With a bridge of white mist
 Columbkill he crosses,
 On his stately journeys
 From Slieveleague to Rosses;
 Or going up with music,
 On cold starry nights,
 To sup with the Queen,
 Of the gay Northern Lights.

 They stole little Bridget
 For seven years long;
 When she came down again
 Her friends were all gone.
 They took her lightly back
 Between the night and morrow;
 They thought she was fast asleep,
 But she was dead with sorrow.
 They have kept her ever since
 Deep within the lake,
 On a bed of flag leaves,
 Watching till she wake.

 By the craggy hill-side,
 Through the mosses bare,
 They have planted thorn trees
 For pleasure here and there.
 Is any man so daring
 As dig them up in spite?
 He shall find the thornies set
 In his bed at night.

 Up the airy mountain
 Down the rushy glen,
 We daren't go a-hunting,
 For fear of little men;
 Wee folk, good folk,
 Trooping all together;
 Green jacket, red cap,
 And white owl's feather.
        William Allingham (1850)

With the themes of fairies, magic, and abductions, it's a good poem to use, and I look forward to doing so :)

One poem I discovered in the book, was  Blake's 'Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright' - a poem that fascinated me as a child, and which I still love today, so it was fortunate that I had to buy the book for the module - it was so comforting to be reunited with a childhood memory! :)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

And the results are in . . .

I had a phone call yesterday, from a fellow student in my tutorial group, and she told me the results are in for our latest TMA so, with great trepidation, I went online to have a look.

I expected to have a similar result to my first TMA but, to my  delighted amazement, I'd managed to score a massive 85%!

In all the years I've been studying, I've only once got higher than that - I'd managed 2 x 88% passes for my first Creative Writing module - and I'm totally gobsmacked that I have managed to get such a high mark again - we're talking about a Pass 1 mark here, for a girl who fights to keep up with Pass 2 results!

After receiving my lowest score for my first TMA, it's made me so happy to get such a good result with this one, especially as my health has been appalling while doing it! 

When I think about it, the last time I got such brilliant results, was when my health was really bad, and I was struggling to keep up with the course!

Go figure . . .

Friday, December 03, 2010

And another TMA has gone!

I don't know whether it is age, or just the sheer fact of being so busy, but I couldn't believe that yet another month has flown by!

I crammed so much study into the last month, both secular and biblical, that I often didn't know whether I was coming or going - and frequently met myself going both ways {grin}

But, despite another bout of bad health, I was happy to be able to get my TMA02 off in time on Thursday, despite last-minute panics that I'd need to use an extension to finish it off.

I have to admit that I'm struggling a bit with this course. I'm not sure whether it's a lot tougher than I had expected, or whether its just a by-product of my illness, that makes it harder to comprehend, and retain, the knowledge that, at one time, would have been a doddle for me to absorb but, whatever the cause, the result is that I'm having to read, and then re-read, all the information needed for me to complete my TMA's.
And there's such a lot of information that needs absorbing with this course!

I've lost count of how many critics I've had to read for this TMA and, no doubt, as the course progresses, there will be even more!
I'm not really complaining of this (well - not much, anyway!) but I do find it hard that something I used to take for granted, has now become a bit of a chore for me to complete. But, despite this, I really do enjoy the process of learning new things, and wouldn't dream of giving up so close to the finishing line.

I only have this course, and one more level 3, to do, and then, supposing I pass both of them, I will have achieved my BA (Hon) - with a lot of effort, and, no doubt, frequent pulling of hair, and gnashing of teeth - something every student is intimately familiar with at one time or another!

I'm not sure whether I'm looking forward to that time with gratitude that this marathon stint of learning will be over, or with regret that it is, but one thing's for sure, I'll still be pressing the button that means I've booked yet another course with the Open University - even if it's only a 10-pointer to keep my hand in!

There is something truly addictive about the process of learning new things - something I rediscovered when I started studying the Bible - and I don't think it's something that I'll ever want to stop!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The results came in . . .

Due to being terribly busy with my course work, it's been a while since I came to my blog, and I realised that I hadn't posted my TMA01 results.

I got them back two weeks after the cut-off date and, for the first time since I became a student with the Open University, I was terribly disappointed with the results.

I had got 64% - the lowest ever for me - and it was a good few hours before I got over the disappointment - mainly due to good friends telling me off for trying to be such a perfectionist, both because of my state of health, and because this is a level 3 course and, apparently, for the first TMA, this was a fairly good result!

It just goes to show, how habit has a way of ruling your life, because, throughout my education while growing up, I was always a straight-A student, and the limits my bad health have put on me now are things I rail against fervently!
I could cry at times when I think of how sharp my mind was, how good my memory and, now, through illness and medication taken, I feel as if I have been robbed of something special, something that was an intrinsic part of who I am.
(Sorry folks, I'm over my winging fit now {grin})

Anyhoo, as I was saying, I've been really busy since I sent in my first TMA, and it has been a bit of a shock at just how much I'm having to read for this course - this not being helped by the fact that I fall asleep at the drop of a hat, so I find myself having to re-read what I've already done, just to remember what it was! 
Veeery frustrating! Lol 

But, despite all that, I'm actually enjoying this course much more than I thought I would, despite the fact that there's just so many critics to read, understand, absorb, and comment on! :)

My mantra has become, 'I know I can do it, I'm sure I can do it, I will do it!'

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My TMA is finished, and sent! :)

I was really relieved to see the back of my TMA during the week, and I don't think I've worked as hard on one as I did this - much to the bemusement of my hubby who, while used to my absentmindedness during TMA time, had it in spades this time!

Because I've spent the last two years dealing with Creative Writing courses, I'd got out of the habit of writing a purely literary essay, and so I was double, and triple, checking everything to make sure it was as exact as I could make it - especially the referencing at the end!

This meant more concentration, which meant more tiredness for me, with my health problems, and my hubby often came into the room to find me fast asleep in front of the laptop. Lol

But, it's all over and done with now, so I have a week or so to wait and see how well, or not, I've done with it. :)

In the meantime, it's on to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Half way through the first block.

I'm amazed at how quickly these first two weeks have flown past already, and have just had my first face-to-face tutorial, which has been a huge help in getting things straight in my mind, and has got me ready to do my first TMA (Tutor-marked Assignment).
I started off, not absolutely sure of which option to choose but, now that I've worked further into my Block 1 activities, I've definitely chosen option 2 to work on: this is about the development of the fairy tale, with Little Red Riding Hood as the main subject matter.

The course has surprised me somewhat, in that we are dealing more with the history, and ideologies, of children's literature, rather than the books themselves. 
We are investigating how, and why, children's literature developed, and how we, as adults, view the whole subject of childhood: how childhood has been perceived throughout history, and what is considered 'suitable' reading for children, depending on the social ideologies prevalent at the time a book is published.
In order to do this, we need to read the books that are listed for the course and, while some of them have delighted me, others have made me quite uncomfortable in their frankness, with Junk, by Melvin Burgess being one, and Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin, which moved me deeply in a different way,  another.
I guess that this is a positive thing in it's way, as it makes me question why I reacted to each book as I did, and so I am delving deeper into the reasons that a book is published in the first place; whether it is deliberately written for the shock factor, or whether the author wishes to address certain problems or issues that we are having to deal with as a society.
What is perceived as a 'good' book for children is another topic we are looking at, and how the ideologies of different groups in society influence what becomes popular with both children, and their parents.

There is a real prevalence today for stories dealing with magic, witchcraft, vampires, and various subjects around these themes, and I can't ever imagine my mother allowing me to read these books when I was a child, mainly because I had such a vivid imagination that they would have given me nightmares but, what is unsuitable for one generation, or for individuals, becomes the norm for another, and this is where personal ideologies fit in with the choices we make in our reading matter.

I, personally, saw no problem in my daughter enjoyed the Harry Potter and Northern Lights series when they first appeared, and saw her enjoyment as a way of encouraging her to read more but, as I had always taken them more as adventure stories with moral overtones, rather than dwelling on the subject matter of magic, wizards, and alternate universes, there was no conflict for me.
I admit that I still see no problems with reading, and enjoying, the books as, to me, they are something  I always see as a 'ripping good yarn' - stories that, for me, deal with the fight between good and evil, and how we cope with all the many grey shades in between. 

To some, the books would be seen as having to be avoided, especially as they deal with the subject of sorcery, but I guess that, when it comes down to it, each person must examine their own heart, and conscience, as to what they consider okay to read, and it is certainly not for me to say what is, or isn't, the 'right' kind of books for children to read - I leave those decisions to the people that matter - the parents, and the children themselves.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

And we're off . . .

Today I start my new course - officially, that it!

I actually started reading through the Study Guide last Saturday, just to see what was what, and it got me so interested, I started doing the activities.
They aren't easy, and I had to resort to the dictionary a couple of times but, so far, I'm really enjoying it!

For this first block, my choice of reading material is either J. K. Rowlings' Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone or Philip Pullman's Northern Lights, so I re-read the two. 
But, having enjoyed both so much, I couldn't resist going on to read the rest of both series, and now I'm using all that time, when I lay there not sleeping, in a more constructive way, by finishing off the Harry Potter series, now that I've read the Dark Materials trilogy.
I've always had a problem with leaving books alone if they are part of a series, I just can't leave it at the first book, but have to continue on until I complete the whole series, otherwise it nags and nags at me until I do so {grin}
This means that, rather than the 14 books on the list, along with the Peter Pan DVD, I'm now reading quite a few more, as I've also got the rest of Philip Reeves' Mortal Engines series. Lol

One thing I am sure of, I'm going to have a job deciding on which option to choose for my TMA 01 - it's Harry Potter or Northern Lights for Option 1 - or Option 2 is to do with Little Red Riding Hood, one of my favourite childhood stories - help!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Almost at the starting post . . .

In a matter of days I'll be starting EA300 officially, although I have made a head start of week one's activities. I've also been told who my tutor is and, as luck would have it, she's my previous tutor, so I'm happy to know that I'm in capable hands :)

I've glanced through most of the course books and, while a bit apprehensive at doing a 'proper' Lit course again, I'm hoping that I'll get back into the groove of essay writing quite quickly. I hope I will, anyway! {grin}

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all the books from the list, although I've still to read Swallows and Amazons, and also Treasure Island, but I'll be able to do that in plenty of time for the start date, so I'm not worried about it.

One thing that upsets me a little, is that we haven't got a proper tutor forum on First Class any more :( 

The Open University, in their not-so-infinite wisdom, have decided it costs too much, and we are all being switched over to Moodle for our course forums - a rather clunky way of doing things, and I'm afraid we'll be losing all those social forums that have kept us all in touch with each other, despite the distance between us all - a bad move on the O.U's part, I feel, as they were the equivalent of a brick Uni's social club, and were a great appeal to so many students stuck at home in lonely solitude.

I guess time will tell whether it is a good thing or not - though I really do suspect not . . .

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My course books are here!

I was over the moon when my course books were delivered a couple of days ago, and I've now had a quick glance through them, and am really looking forward to the course starting :)
I'll be studying them more in-depth once our forum opens on 11th September, as I'll then have access to our TMA questions, which means I'll have some idea of the direction I'll need to go in my study.

I read most of the list books after the ending of my last course, to familiarise myself with ones I had never read, and to remind myself of the ones I had, but I am going to read through them all again before October - including the new Neil Gaiman book, The Graveyard Book, which, although isn't on the list, was recommended by lots of people on the EA300 forum, so I'm looking forward to that :)
Neil Gaiman is one of my daughter's favourite authors, and she has always loved his Sandman book, so I look forward to reading something else he has written.

I've been very impressed, so far, with the books we will be studying and, if I'm honest, a little envious of children today for their sheer volume of choice in reading matter. I loved the classics I was brought up with, but today's child is really spoilt for choice over the good quality writing that's available to them. :)

All-in-all, I'm really happy I chose Children's Literature to study next! :)


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The good news and the bad news . . .

My good news is that, as of yesterday, I have passed A363, Advanced Creative Writing, which also means that I'm now the proud owner of a Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing. ;~))
I got a Grade 2 pass which was, frankly, a huge surprise for me - so I'm well delighted at the result!
I only learned that the results were in, because a couple of my fellow students posted on Facebook that they had passed, so I, figuratively, hot-footed it to the Open University site, and signed in to see how I did :)
I got 77%, which amazed me, considering how ill I'd been throughout the whole course, so I'm just so grateful to whoever the kind person was who marked my ECA, and who must have given me the benefit of the doubt {grin}

My bad news, is that I got a letter in the post yesterday, and I hadn't even been placed in ‘The 4th Annual Ted Walters International Short Story, Poetry and Playwriting Competition 2010’ :(
I had entered my very first attempt at a sci-fi story, so I guess I wasn't surprised at the result, especially considering that the competition came from a Merseyside Creative Writing group, with the help and full support of the University of Liverpool’s Continuing Education Centre.
Still, it's a learning curve that every writer has to go through, I guess :/

As I didn't get anywhere, I've decided to post my story on my Blog, and would be grateful for any critique that may be offered on my efforts. It's the only way I'm going to learn what I'm doing wrong, I guess. :)

Anyway, here it is below. It's 2,000 words long, and it's called:

And There Is A Right Way (c)

As the stark, white sun sank beyond the horizon, Zed placed the burning torch into the Ptwarin in front of him. For a second nothing happened; the only sound was the wind whipping the flames, sending sparks flying in the air to dance briefly in a firefly waltz. Zella quietly intoned the requiem, as was her role in this passing of a mate and, in the next instant, flames flared brightly and the wood, stacked neatly in the sacred pattern of the cremation pyre, caught and quickly spread to envelop the tightly wrapped form of Zarn.

            Zed stood back, placing the torch in the waiting holder. He turned to face west, and saw a flare, an after-image of coruscating green, where a shard of light from the setting sun reflected back from the clouds. He knew this was a sign of their mate’s soul reaching the Place of the Gods, and he felt a deep happiness that Zarn would be there, waiting patiently for them to join him, when their turn came.
            Zella finished intoning the requiem, and then joined Zed. She stared at him for a second, and bowed.
‘You did well, Zed.’
Her thoughts came clearly to him, and Zed felt relief that she approved of his actions.
He bowed in return, feeling that deep, mutual sadness at their loss.
‘Your actions will speak well of you when Zarn reaches The Place of the Gods,’ Zella continued. ‘He will tell the Gods of our faith in them. It will mean much when it is our turn to journey there.’
‘I only did what I should to make his passing as quick, and painless, as possible.’ Zed responded. ‘It was as I should do for a mate, just as tradition demanded of me at this time of death-dealing.’
            Zed remembered how he had used his paddle claw to quickly chop at the exposed section of Zarn’s neck, where the chitin was segmented for ease of movement. He had made sure that it was done at exactly the right moment, so that Zarn would know nothing of it. As he remembered, he felt the soft touch in his mind that indicated Zella’s sharing of his memory, and he was content. This death-dealing, when a mate became too crippled to continue in a traditional role, was the only way that made any sense to them, and they knew they had done as they should.
Now Zarn should be almost in the presence of the Gods, transfigured at his death back to the vigorous being he had once been; this, so he could serve the Gods in whichever capacity they chose. This comforted the two remaining mates. They knew the time might soon come when it was their turn to join him, especially with the present war against the strange, bipedal race, that were trying to take over their planet; a race that seemed to have a never-ending supply of soldiers to keep on fighting.
Zed found it hard to imagine that anything could be so aggressive as to annihilate his people, just to have the land that they lived on - a mistake they had quickly realised, and tried to rectify. But this bipedal race seemed determined to capture his planet, and kill every living triad it could find – even the young brood that were totally defenceless against this aggression! Zed was only grateful that there had been a break in the fighting, so that they could arrange for the correct death-dealing for Zarn.
They had fought hard, struggling to keep their sector free of the bipeds, but not having much success against the strange machines that the bipeds carried, which gave out great surges of light, that burnt to a cinder any organic matter that it touched. It had been one of these machines that had crippled Zarn. They knew that the struggle was nearly over, and they had both known it was the right time to do what was necessary to ease Zarn on his way.
            As they watched, the pyre slowly burnt down, until only ashes remained. Zed and Zella waited patiently and, as soon as the ashes were cool enough to handle, gathered them into the beautifully carved wooden box waiting nearby in its special niche. With solemn steps, and respectful silence, they made their way along from the headlands, scrambling deftly down the steep cliff, until they reached the promontory that led out for a distance into the sea.
When they reached the furthest point, where there was nothing else but the water almost entirely circling them, they continued their task with all the solemnity it deserved.
‘Zed, would you start the scattering?’
Zella’s question came quietly, and Zed turned to her in some surprise, knowing that their tradition dictate that she start the ceremony.
‘Are you sure, Zella? Wouldn’t you prefer to do as is usual?’
 ‘I’m sure, Zed. This honour should be yours. After all, you were the one to ease Zarn’s passing.’
Zed responded with a bow to her, and took the first claw-full of ash from the box, scattering it into the sea. Zella took the next and, with each dispersal of ash, intoned the many deeds of Zarn, making sure his war deeds were recounted, so that the Gods would know how brave a servant they were getting. They sang the songs created for him, after his bravery in rescuing a young brood of larvae that had been attacked by a rogue trio of Larns, two seasons ago. It was an injury caused by this rescue that had slowed Zarn down, and so enabled the bipeds to catch him with their light beams the previous day.
            Just as the last claw-full of ash was spread, they looked eastwards, and saw the sun beginning to rise once more. They had timed it perfectly. They looked at each other in the quickly growing light of the hot, white sun, and the nictating membranes that served to protect their eyes in this bright-lit world automatically slid down. With a last look out over the sea, they turned, their segmented bodies almost forming a circle as they did, then they stepped back along the promontory and upwards, using their powerful back legs to push up the steep cliff, and back to the headlands again.
Zella carried the emptied box in her central arms, using the front set to clamber over the rim of the cliff. She stood for a moment, staring back to the place where the ashes were now just part of the heaving green of the ocean, and then she turned once more, and walked back to the site of the pyre. With a dignity that Zed quietly admired, she set the box back in its place, ready for the next cremation. As one, they stepped back from the area, heads bowed, the rapid nictating of their eye screens showing the correct form of sorrow.
 Quietly, they turned, and began to walk along the path that led away from the site. The light was swiftly becoming almost unbearable, with the eye movements necessary until they made their way to the living-cave.  Without the warmth and humour of their mate, it would now seem a darker, and more solemn, place to be. But they arrived at last, grateful for the dim coolness it afforded them. They immediately started clearing out everything that had belonged to Zarn, carefully placing all of Zarn’s body trinkets outside the entrance to the cave, displaying them on a large, flat rock, so that all could see what was there. This was now the time that any passing Larn could look at what was offered and, if they liked a certain piece, could take it. None of these could be kept by his mates, as it might create a link that would draw him back away from the Gods, so close was their partnership. Zed and Zella watched from the mouth of the cave as his possessions were slowly but surely claimed by those living around them.
Night was once again nearing by the time the last object was taken from the stone, and Zed breathed a sigh of relief that everything had found acceptance with their neighbours. It would have been ill luck to have anything left behind. They retreated back into the cave, slowly cleaning any last vestige of Zarn’s occupancy, both still silent, as tradition demanded. With so little energy left, neither of them felt much like eating, but they did so quickly, knowing what was to come. They then settled into their respective nests, grabbing sleep while they had the chance.
Bright morning light flooded the mouth of the cave, and they woke with a sense of dread, knowing that the war against the bipeds was imminent once more.
‘Can you smell it?’
Zella’s though came slowly into Zed’s mind, and he turned to her, rubbing his mandibles against hers, in a reassuring manner.
‘Yes, but they are still far enough away that we can do what we must.’
Zed tried to keep his thought-tones light, despite his own doubts. A smell on the breeze came clearly into their cave; a sharp, actinic smell, which the biped’s light burners exuded. Zed knew that they were nearing the cave complex and Zella, realising just how near, quickly started to prepare their defences. She rapidly ate the store of fat-rich Klettl they had put aside for this very purpose and, within moments, she felt the spinning bulb beneath her abdomen start to swell. With no time to spare, she immediately went to the cave opening, turned around and, with a careful side-to-side movement, started to exude a fine spray of liquid from the bulb.
As it hit the air, the liquid started to solidify then, as it touched the ground and sides of the cave mouth, it formed a fine, breathable, mesh. Zella angled her body so that she covered all of the entrance, and then started once again from the base, until a thick, rigid wall had formed, creating a barrier as strong as the stone around them. As soon as she completed it, Zed came forward, and began to regurgitate a liquid from his second stomach, which he spread into the mesh using his paddle claw. Once covered, the liquid dried into an almost diamond-hard consistency and, having left a small section above uncoated for air-flow, they felt satisfaction in knowing that the entrance looked like part of the natural stone surroundings. Now it was time to wait.
Waiting was all that Zed and Zella could do, and they knew that their neighbours would be doing as they were. They didn’t question the instructions their leaders had given them two nights previously, but they did wonder why they had been told to prepare for metamorphosis at this time. Zed suspected that this was the only way they could ensure the survival of their species, and that, by hiding away in their chrysalis forms, and adjusting the chemical balance to slow down the process of change, their race might, just, survive this initial invasion, and be able to continue their eons-old cycle further along in time.
So Zed and Zella did as instructed, knowing they were doing as tradition dictated and, as soon as the entrance was hardened, they attached themselves to the extrusions on the ceiling that had been prepared when they first came to the cave.
‘Until awakening!’
Zed sent this anticipating thought to Zella, hoping it would raise her spirits at what they feared was ahead of them. Zella looked over at Zed, almost amused at the unusual sight of her mate hanging upside down.
‘Yes, I look forward to that day!’
With that thought, they immediately began to spin the threads necessary to form the chrysalis that would protect them through their long change.
Soon there was silence in the cave, with only a few intermittent movements of the chrysalides hanging from the ceiling to disturb the cool darkness.
Then all was still.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Still waiting . . .

I've had a lot of health problems this last few weeks, especially since I sent off my ECA, and it put out of my mind the anxiety of waiting for the results. But the time is getting closer now, and it'll only be 9 days now before the results are published - and I'm getting ever more nervous to see whether or not that I've passed.
I guess, to be strictly honest, I don't think that I have failed the course - but I do worry what sort of mark I will get for my very first Level 3 course, especially as I don't feel I did my story the justice it deserved. But I guess I'll have to be patient, and face the day when it comes :)

On a brighter side, I've another course to look forward to, and I'm very much looking forward to starting EA300 - Children's Literature - in October! 
I'm thoroughly enjoying reading all the books for it, with some of them  totally new for me - books that I wouldn't have thought to pick up to read - and I've been pleasantly surprised at the power of them, so am really looking forward to getting more insights into their creation :)

Another great piece of news for me - my husband has enrolled in a starter course, to see how he gets on :) 
He's 'going over to the dark side', as we Arts and Humanities students call it {grin}, and he has enrolled in the November start of Y157 - Understanding Society and, if he enjoys it, and can get into study mode, he's planning on doing Y163 - Starting with psychology.
I'm not sure how he'll get on with studying, as he's always been a doer more than a reader, but he's an intelligent man, so I'm hoping that the learning bug hits him as hard as it did me {grin} He is very interested in sociology and psychology, so I'm hoping these starter courses will whet his appetite to learn more :) 

To be honest with you, on looking through the prospectus, I wouldn't mind doing a few of the courses myself, once I've got my degree (if I get my degree!) - it would certainly keep me in study mode, and stretch my horizons! Lol

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the wait goes on . . .

It's only been a couple of weeks since I sent off my ECA, with an August deadline for my results, and I'm already impatient to start my new course {g}

I must admit that I'm always happier with a structured way of life, which is something I get when following a course. I like to know exactly where I am in my chosen job of work, so-to-speak, and I'm missing this with no deadlines to meet :(

I admit to trying out a schedule of my own, but I can never kid myself that the world will stop if I don't get 'X or Y' done, and so things fall by the wayside as I get distracted, with the countless things that come along as I try to write my daily 'bit'.

I confess to feeling ever so slightly nervous at the thought of a completed degree, and I'm not sure what I'll be doing to replace my constant studying once I achieve it. I'm hoping that I'll be able to afford to at least do a 10-pointer each year, so that I don't lose the impetus of studying.
There are a lot of science starters I'd like to try, especially as science subjects are well out of my comfort zone, so I'll need to be on the ball to keep up with them :)

Another thing happening at the beginning of August, is the results of a short-story competition I entered a few months back. I had written my first-ever science fiction story, and it was the right length for entering, and so I did so.
I don't know how it will go, but I do hope it's at least enjoyed, as I had a favourable feedback for it during my A363 course, which is what I had written it for.

I've been reading science fiction since I turned 10, when I came across my very first Isaac Asimov book, and couldn't put it down :) I've progressed to reading a mix of Sci-fi and fantasy stuff now, but will never foget the thrill of my first book, I, Robot, still one of my favourites today :)

On that note, I guess I'd better get back to my daily dose of writing nonsense - and waiting for my course results . . .


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Better late than never . . .

Oh dear, I really have neglected my blog this last few months, haven't I?  :(

I've no excuse really, except that I've been battling ill-health, along with a very full schedule of study. :)
I managed to get respectable marks for my TMA's - all within the high 70's and low-to-mid 80's, and I sent off my 3 printed copies of my ECA, in plenty of time for marking.
So now it's just a nail-biting wait to see if I've managed to get my usual Grade 2 Pass for this course, as I have done for all the rest {g}

I've already booked, and paid for, my next course: EA300: Children's Literature, which starts at the beginning of October, and have all the books for the course, bar Tom's Midnight Garden, which I'll be getting over the next week or so. I'll then have lot's of reading to keep me occupied over the summer break ;~)

I chose the Children's Lit course, as I'd already got some of the books, and wanted to have an opportunity to delve deeper into them, which I'll have with this course. I've already gone through them once, and look forward to discussing them with my fellow students when the course forum opens for us :)

This next course is my penultimate one before I, hopefully, get my BA (Hon) in Humanities and Literature - I would have loved it if there was one for Creative Writing and Literature, as this is mainly what I've done so far, but there's no named BA's for this - as yet!

As for my health, it's been a bad time for me, and I'm now having to use crutches to walk about, as my stick wasn't giving me enough support for walking any distance - not that I've actually been able to use them as much as I'd like, as the pain and fatigue brought on by a mix of Arthritus, Fibromyalgia, and Lymphodaema, have made me too tired to do much more than keep up with my studies - but nil desperandum, as they say - I'm sure my health will have better periods, eventually! :(

In the meantime, I'll be starting to write a more fuller version of my short story, written for my A363 ECA - that should keep me out of trouble for the next year or so! {g}

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Waiting Gets Tough . . .

Ooh, I've really been slack with my blog, haven't I? :)

To be fair, with the Christmas period coming, and a visit from my daughter, before she went on to work in Peru, I've not had much of a chance to come on here (excuses, excuses. Lol).

Anyhoo, I finished writing my script, managed to write a half-legible commentary for it, fine-tuned my references, and sent it off a day earlier than the cut-off date. So now I wait, with a touch of anxiety, to hear what sort of mark I'll be getting for it. :/
The wait's bound to be for a couple of weeks, as our tutor is also doing another course, and I shan't expect a miracle as she, too, needs to catch up after the winter break.

In the meantime, I should be getting on with the next section of the course book, in readiness for TMA 03 - but I find myself dithering and digressing constantly.

I guess this is because I'm really not keen on doing the next TMA - we have to find some work  by a fellow student in our tutorial group, posted from any part of the course, and critique it. The work has to have had some comment on it by our tutorial group, then the results of that commentary, whether a re-working, or a denial of that need by the author of it, and then our reaction to that re-working etc.

Unfortunately, there is very little that actually fits the bill as, like all the other tutorial groups for this course, very few people have actually posted follow-ons from their work. I did so, but I'm not allowed to comment on my own work.  
There are a couple of students who also co-operated, so I'll have to choose one, or both of them, to critique.
This, then, brings me to another point - I haven't done any serious critiquing for a couple of years, so am extremely rusty at it, which then also brings on worries as to the problem of, 'will my work be good enough for at least a pass?'
Oh, the worries and frustrations of the mature student! {g}

I've decided to clear my head a bit by doing a bit of free-writing, and seeing what comes of it. Hopefully, this will settle me back down, and then I can continue on with the course-work as I should be doing.

Here's hoping, anyway! Lol