Sunday, September 25, 2011

I've got my tutor, at last . . .

. . . although, I was saddened to discover that she's based in Cardiff, half a country away from myself :(

Mind you, all this actually means, is that I won't be going to the first tutorial - something that I doubt I would have been able to do, even if it were taking place next door to me - so I guess it makes no difference really where any of us are - and that fact, more than anything else, has been one of the most convenient features of my study life with the Open University :)

One of my nephews has gone to a brick Uni, just this last weekend and, although I'm sure he's going to have the best of times there, I'm also certain that so very many people would have been unable to take up the same way of learning, whether through illness, disability, work pressures, having to stay at home because of Caring needs, or many other different reasons. So the Open University has become a life-line to so many of us who want to learn, for whatever reasons.

Another thing I've learned, through looking at the new module website, is that we'll be using the Elluminate facility for our second tutorial and, as I hadn't a clue about it, I decided to go onto my student home-site, and follow the links there that show me how to use it all.

As it happens, I found that I didn't have the right Java installed for the programme, so at least I was able to correct that well before the module starts, and I've found links for me to be able to practice using the programme, so I'll be making use of them as much as I can, before the tutorials start :)

All-in-all, it's been a busy couple of days for me, with a lot busier a time looming shortly.

I'm just glad, and a bit sad, to be getting back into my study harness, for the very last time :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The new Module website has opened . . .

. . . although there's no details for my tutor as yet, unfortunately :(

I'm really hoping that I'm assigned a tutor before the module starts on the 1st October, as I want to be able to introduce myself, and fill in some gaps for the tutor, in the knowledge of my particular health problems while studying.

I know if I get behind because of illness, that I'll be able to ask for extensions for my TMA's, if needed, but it's always nice to have that sort of thing already in place, even before, and if, it's needed. The  less delay, the less worry, the quicker I'll be able to recover, I figure :)

I guess that's the one thing I've really learned in the last 6 years - with good planning, most things can be sorted out :)

It doesn't look like I'll have any of my fellow students near enough for visits with this module, though, which is a real shame as, being bed-and-house bound, it means that I can't make it to any of the tutorials for this module. In all my 6 years of study, I've only ever managed to go to one of them, and it took me days to recover from the process so, having any fellow students relatively nearby, meant that they could visit me, and we could study together to help prepare for the TMA's. I did this, with some success, in my previous module, and the three of us who met got so much out of meeting, and have become firm friends, despite the differences of age and general life-style involved :)

I think one of the greatest aspects of the Open University, is the true disparity of people who get together over the internet, and who, no matter where they live, or what their lives are like, have found the closest of friends in the furthest reaches of the Open University sphere. It shows that, if everyone is willing to suspend narrow thinking, there is all the will in the world for people to come together with new ideas and thoughts, even if they don't agree with what's being discussed. There is a willingness to agree to disagree, that politicians around the world would do well to copy, and there is a willing openness of mind, that leaves us all able to absorb new, and different, ideas that keep the mind ticking over, and the heart willing to listen.

As this module is my first foray into the stylistics of the English language, I'm a little nervous about learning all the various nuances and styles of delivery that will be used but, no matter what the next few months hold, I know it's going to be an interesting ride into a new world of language for me, and that, with no doubt at all, is something that I totally need to keep this poor brain of mine ticking over :)

I know I'm going to miss it all when it's over, but it will have been the finest stepping-stone into a new life of study and writing, that anyone could have given me, and I'll always be immensely proud to tell anyone that I was given the bricks to build the foundations of my life of study, from the Open University, Milton Keynes :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Getting back into study-mode . . .

I've been hoping upon hope that I become well enough, and awake enough, to start looking at the books delivered to me for my new module but, unfortunately, I'm only getting a couple of hours a day when I can think straight, let alone absorb a totally new subject :(

I know, I'm going to have to try, and very soon, as the module starts officially on 1st October - and that's only a couple of weeks away now {gulp}, but I do have to confess that this long break between modules has got me out of the studying habit - again!

Once I've got back to it, even if it's only 15 minutes here, and 20 minutes there, throughout the day, I can normally keep this up, barring really bad-health days, throughout the module. It's getting back into that frame of mind that I find the hardest, though.

I think the problem is, that I've been catching up on my 'normal' reading; trying to reduce that huge 'to read one day' stack of books on my shelves, although, to be honest, I've not really done much of that either this break :/

When I first started to study, the newness of it all was very exciting, and quite a bit scary. But now that I've been doing it for 6 years - with the battles with my ill health throughout it all - I confess to feeling quite weary. I never thought I'd admit this, but, in a way - and probably just temporarily - I'm kind-of glad this will be my final module before getting my BA (Hon)!

Knowing myself, and my love of learning, I'll probably be pining for yet another course after only a couple of weeks of this one ending but, with the huge increase in the module prices, they'd be way out of my league, even if I could pay monthly. 

I guess I'll have to keep in mind what I've said before - the freedom from studying with the O.U., will then give me all the time in the world, in order to start researching all the myriads of facts I'm going to need, especially if I'm going to bring one of my story ideas to fruition! As the characters keep nudging me when I've nothing else to think of, it's not something that will go away if I try to ignore it {grin}

But, for now, I guess I'm going to have to try and open those books, and attempt to get into study mode, tout de suite!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Bad news on the Bunny front :(

Despite all that I did, both baby rabbits died during the night :(

I went online to see if I could find out any reason for it and, apparently, wild rabbits are notoriously hard to raise in captivity - and especially if they are orphaned at a very early age, which these were.

So I guess that explains why whatever I tried didn't work, unfortunately :(

I was very upset at their deaths but, as hubby says, at least we made the attempt.

All life is so very precious, isn't it? 

But, I guess, all we can do is try to help if, and when, we can?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Looking after baby . . .

We had a phone call the day before yesterday. 

It was from the co-ordinator of the Badger Rescue Trust for our area and, as hubby is a member, he was called, as he lived the nearest to an emergency call-out.

A phone call had been made to the trust by some holidaymakers, who had found what they thought were some orphaned badger cubs, and so hubby was asked to go pick them up, and keep them overnight, where they would then be picked up by another member who had land safeguarded for Badgers to live in peace.

When he got there, hubby discovered that the new-born babies were Rabbits, and not Badgers. The couple who had found them told hubby that they'd come across the remains of a nest while walking in the woods. The nest was apparently above ground, and with obvious signs of an attack on it, along with one dead kit, and with the remains of an adult animal, but there hadn't been enough remains to see what it had been, hence the mistaken identity.

This kindly couple had gone to the expense of buying powdered lactose, and bottles, in order to feed the 2 orphans but, due to circumstances, they couldn't look after them any more - so, could hubby take them?

Of course hubby did, and he brought them home to me, as he knew I'd do my utmost to keep any young orphaned animal alive, if it were possible :)

Well, I got a box fixed up as a nest, weighed the 2 baby bunny's (1 was 32g, and the other 30g), and I made up the formula, and began the long drawn out task of feeding them both.

I wasn't quite sure how often they would need feeding, so I attempted it every 60-90 minutes or so and, as I could only feed them one tiny drop at a time, I then seemed to have the task in front of me of being awake for quite some time.

This morning, I went online, and found out that they only needed feeding about 4-5 times a day and, as both bunnies had caught on to the idea of beginning to suckle on the bottle teat, which meant that they were drinking a lot more with each session, I breathed a sigh of relief, and managed a  couple of hours sleep :)

I weighed the babies this afternoon, and bunny 1 is now 35g, and bunny 2, 34g, so it looks like they are actually putting on some weight.

I don't know whether they will survive, but I'm going to do my utmost to make sure that they do :)

It's just as well that my new module hasn't started yet, isn't it? {grin}