Monday, January 31, 2011

Ups and Downs . . .

Well, it was definitely a week of ups and downs for me this week!

The virus is still hanging about like an unwelcome guest at a party, and I've got no energy whatsoever, but I'm slowly but surely struggling along with my studies. 

I'm managing it by doing 10 minutes here, and 15 minutes there, and just doing what I can, when I can.
Unfortunately, I'm not absorbing as much as I would like, which means I'll be having to go over it all again to do my TMA - but I guess I'm getting used to having to do this now :(

On a high point, I've finished the section on Tom's Midnight Garden, and have  actually started reading Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry (ROTHMC) again, as I had read it once in the summer when my books arrived, so at least I'm only a day or two behind schedule! :)

Both Hubby and I are going around feeling like wet rags, and we're just hoping like mad that this virus goes away soon. Mind you, at least I haven't got the ragged cough that Hubby has - one of the benefits of giving up smoking nearly 5 years ago now! Lol

I have to admit that, as much as I am enjoying this module, I am finding it the hardest to concentrate on out of all of them - now all I need is for my mind to clear enough to do the job I want it to! :0))

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I had a phone call from a fellow student from my tutorial group, and she told me our results were in, so I quickly went to the site to get my results and, much to my amazement, and total delight, I'd managed another 85%.

I honestly hadn't imagined that I'd get as good a mark as my previous one, so I'm over the moon with it.:)

Now all I have to do, is to try and shift this virus that I've got, so that I can concentrate on the next Block of the Module - much easier said than done at the moment, and I'm even having a job to concentrate enough to read the set books. :(

I managed to finish reading Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, and I've also even read all the critics for that section, but I'm now on to Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce and, although I'm enjoying the story, I'm finding it a job to concentrate enough to keep reading the book, let alone all the critics. I manage a few pages, and then I find that I've dozed off - not the fault of the story, but just this virus dictating to me! Grrrr

I'm really, really, hoping that I feel better soon, as there is so much reading to be done in this section, and I just can't concentrate enough to do it at the moment :(

I've not only got TMG to read, as well as all the critics attached to this section, but there is also Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor, to get through - although I do remember it being an excellent story, so I'm looking forward to that :)

 I did read all of the set books (apart from Swallows and Amazons) at the beginning of the summer last year, and I do still remember the basic plot-line of them all but, of course, I need a lot more than that to be able to complete the activities necessary to get my TMA04 written.

Let's just hope the virus goes soon, so I can get what little energy I would normally have, back again :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year, new goals . . .

Well, it's certainly been a busy two weeks for me since I posted last!

I've been ill with a virus that, thankfully, didn't turn into the swine flu I had suffered through, in October 2009, although the high temperature, blocked, and very painful ears, and itchy, scratchy throat are still being a nuisance.
At one point, my temp was so high I was hallucinating a bit, which wasn't too pleasant but, despite it all, I had a 2,000-word essay to write for TMA 03.

I'd chosen Option 2 for this, as I wrote previously and, although it took me ages to find all the quotes I wanted from the various critics involved in the course-work (or modules, as we have to call them now), I managed to get what I needed to answer the question.
Despite marking things as I go along, normally in different colours for each critic, or subject, my short-term memory is so bad, I forget most of the time just why I've marked a particular passage :(
I've tried all sorts of things to aide in memory retention but, as usual, I never remember them, and end up having to trawl through the sections I need for each particular question.

It gets so very frustrating for me, this lack of memory thing, as I used to have a superb ability to bring anything I needed out of my short, and long-term memory storage. Alas that is no more! :/

Anyhoo, I worked away for most of a week, getting a rough draft together, which I then sent off to a fellow student, with whom I swap essays for proof-reading and, apart from a few bits and bobs that made no sense to her (and which I concurred with after reading it again), she said it answered the specific question, which was all I was concerned with really :)

For the next few days I edited!

For me, the process of editing is an all-out experience, and I give over everything that I am to the process - no half-measures for me! Lol

So, in between bouts of hallucinations, and deathly tiredness, I worked on the essay until, if I'm honest with you, I was then sick of the sight of {grin}. I kept editing until I thought it worked with a definite smoothness between paragraphs, and the word-count had been reduced by about 500 words, back to the 2,000 word limit, plus the 5% leeway allowed (thank heavens for the leeway! Lol)

I went over it again the day I posted it to the O.U (two days ago), made some last-minute adjustments (as you do), and then sent the thing packing, with a huge sigh of relief! {grin}
I won't get the results for it, until around 14 days after the final submission date - which was today at mid-day - so I will now be worrying myself sick that I've done disastrously, until it comes back marked, and I'll know then if I've done right or not.

I honestly don't think I'll get as good a grade as with TMA 02, but I do hope it'll be more than I got for TMA 01!

In the meantime, I've started reading the set book for the next block, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome and, much to my surprise, I'm actually enjoying it! 
There's a tad too much nautical expression for my taste but, over all, I'm surprised by myself in my enjoyment of a story about middle-class children, who are having an adventurous boating holiday in the Lake District, set in the 1920's.
I'm just about half-way through it now, so I reserve my final judgement until I've finished it, but I think it will be an overall pleasant reading experience for me. :)

A few days ago, I decided to look at my overall work with the O.U., and I figured it was time to choose the final course needed for me to gain my BA (Hon).

The choices that I found are quite limited, as anything with an exam at the end of it is a definite no-no, as my memory problems would make attempting an exam a total disaster, and a waste of all the energy I have to put in, to do the module work itself.

AA306 Shakespeare: text and performance was out, as was the module that really appealed to me, AA316 The19th Century Novel, as both had an exam at the end. :( 

Another choice could have been E303: English Grammar in Context but, as I haven't dealt fully with the grammar side of things, it would be a disaster waiting to happen! 

The only other choice - or so I thought - was A300, 20th Century Literature: texts and debates, which does have an EMA (end-of-module-assessment), but the books being studied, most of which I have read over my lifetime, just didn't appeal to me very much. 
This left me in a real quandary, until I happened to spy E301: The art of English!

I clicked on the link, and read the module introduction, and it looked quite intriguing, so I went onto First Class, looked on the Signpost for the E301 Forum, and placed it on my desktop, so I could ask the students, presently studying it, for their opinion and, as luck would have it, I spotted the names of two students that I've known since joining the O.U.
I messaged them privately, to ask their opinions, and received a much welcome response so, with no hesitation, I've now pre-booked my place for the October, 2011 start!

I know the course is going to stretch me but, from all I've seen of the work involved so far, I think it's going to be an enjoyable challenge - one I think I need, if I'm going to keep my poor old brain working to the best of its capacity!

So, I'm now half-way through this present module, and I've got my last module for my BA (Hon) decided upon. Which isn't too bad a goal, for a working-class girl who had to break short her first attempt at further education in order to help support her family, who now has a body that doesn't want to do what she wants it to, and a brain that decided to stop working properly some time ago!