Sunday, August 21, 2011

And another parcel arrives . . .

There was a loud knock at the door, and hubby went to see who it was, and there, holding a largish box, was a delivery man from a firm called Yodel.

This isn't a delivery firm I'm familiar with, but hubby signed for the box, then saw it was for me. As I knew I hadn't ordered anything from Amazon or eBay (my usual online shops when I want to buy something - normally books!), I was puzzled as to what it could be.

Imagine my surprise to see, once hubby had managed to open the box for me, all my new course books, guides, and CD-Roms sitting there! I was delighted that they'd come so early, as it means I've now got two sources to be able to read, no matter what my health is like.

Further to my last post, I'd said how delighted I was with the O.U., as they'd gone out of their way to provide me with alternative sources of my course books, as soon as I'd let them know I had health problems, and now I had been delivered of comb-bound versions of these, too. 

Any book that is over a certain length, is automatically broken down into smaller sections, and then comb-bound, which means that, when I'm able to handle my books, I'm not having to struggle with large and heavy tomes, but smaller sectioned parts. This makes my life so much easier, and the fact that the O.U. get them sent out in such good time is a real bonus for me :)

When I first started studying with the O.U., I'd started with 10-point courses, to help me get back into study mode, but the instant I'd booked my first 60-pointer and, in a questionnaire sent to me, had informed them of my health issues, I was contacted, and asked if I needed an assessment, as the Uni would then be able to see what was needed to help me function properly as I studied.

Out of that assessment, I became the proud owner of my very first laptop, along with the Dragon Naturally Speaking software that enabled me to be able to continue to write my essays, even when my hands were too bad with the arthritis to be able to use the keyboard! 
As well as this, I was given a brilliant book-chair, to hold any of my course books open for me when studying. I was also fitted with a very up-to-date chair, one that was ergonomically shaped, so that I had the best support I could need while using my computer. I was also provided with a special roller-ball mouse, which means that I don't need to keep physically moving it. Just very light touches to the roller-ball, and my cursor moves just where I need it to be!

These aides have made such a difference to the amount of time I can study!

Admittedly, my health has got even worse over the years, and I'm only able to study in short bursts of 10-20 minutes at a time now, before I need to rest, but all these aides make the difference between being able to continue studying, or having to give up on my aim of getting my BA (Hon).

So now, I'm on the brink of studying my very last course - or module, as they call them now - and, probably quicker than I can imagine right now, I will be writing my final End-of-module Assessment, then waiting anxiously to see if I've passed it.

If I do, I won't be doing the awards ceremony thing, but I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that I have completed something started, very nervously, around six years ago - and something I'd dreamed of doing many years ago while in my teens, but didn't get the chance to do.

All thanks to The Open University! :)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Open University are definitely OK by me!

Due to the various health problems I suffer with, I've been having more and more trouble with holding the books I need for my various modules. My last module was the hardest yet, and was also the hardest to cope with, health-wise, especially as I had a really bad flare-up of more than one health issue, which continued throughout the whole course, particularly at the beginning, and at the end. 

So it was with delight that I received a parcel in the post, from the OU, containing a CD-Rom, which has supplied me with all of the PDF's for my latest, and last, module, starting in October!

The OU have included both course books, the 2 study guides, and the course guide on it, which means that, when I'm in too much pain to move, let alone hold a book, I'll still be able to keep up with my reading, using the CD-Rom.

I don't know how good it will be as yet, at least, not until I start the module. Due to my health being so variable, I never know from one day to the next, as to whether I can study or not. But one thing is certain - the Open University have gone that extra yard for me, once again!

In the meantime, while I wait for the module to begin, I can at least have a good read of the course books, and this will give me some idea as to how I will be able to cope with whatever my health allows :)

I'm so very glad I joined up with the OU 6 years ago. They have done everything within their power to help me get to this place - just one more module, and I hope, and pray, I will have my BA (Hon) Humanities with Literature! {grin} 

The confidence this has given me is absolutely priceless, especially as I started this journey feeling totally and utterly useless, both in myself, and in relation to those around me who love and care for me. 
I don't know whether I'll ever be well enough to use all the things I have been taught in my time with the OU but, for a certainty, it has kept me sane, kept my short-term memory loss from getting too advanced, and has also kept the depths of depression I suffer with at a manageable level.

Thank you OU!


Friday, August 05, 2011

The results are in . . .

. . . . . and, to my huge surprise, I managed to get a Grade 2 pass!

To say I'm over the moon with that, is an understatement! 
Considering just how ill I was when I did the EMA, I honestly thought I'd only just scrape a pass at all.

This means that, if I can get the same result for my final module, or even if I get a Grade 3 result, then I will be entitled to an Upper Second-class Honours (2:1).

On the off chance I get a Grade 1 pass (in my dreams!) I could claim a First Class Honours degree but, being realistic, I can't ever see that happening :/

I can also put DipLit after my name, as I got my Diploma in Literature as well!

I'm a very happy bunny