Friday, November 25, 2011

And still I battle on . . . . .

I'm ashamed to admit that I'm still not much further along with Carter's book.

But I had a great tutorial, online, a few days ago, with something called Elluminate, which allowed me the choice of talking directly to my tutor, via the internet, or typing in what I wanted to say. As my typing is appallingly slow without the help of my Dragon software, I was glad to be able to talk directly with my tutor. Unfortunately, although she took us through what is needed to make our next TMA successful, I find myself even more confused now, especially over the choices I need to make over the various, and numerous, aspects of creativity in everyday talk.

I have at least found the narrative that is needed to make a transcription, at last! I came across a radio pod-cast that had been sent out live on the 15th of this month - an interview between one of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchett, and the radio broadcaster, Simon Mayo and, although Simon Mayo was asking pre-prepared questions of Terry, the responses given were totally ad hoc, which meant that I was able to use it.

It took me around 5 hours to transcribe the 14.35 minutes of talk, which I don't think was too bad, especially considering this course is the first time I've had a go at such things, and I've even sort-of made a start on my TMA - well, I've at least set out on the page what needs to be done, and have set out the Appendix with the context of the radio pod-cast, the transcription itself, and the transcription conventions I've used to accentuate and bring alive the words I've recorded. I've even made a start at the introduction paragraph, although I know that it needs a huge amount of work on it still, to make it acceptable for the essay.

The problem is, I need to get on with reading the rest of the Carter book to be able to continue with it and, frankly, I'm dreading it! In between battling awful cluster migraines this last week, I've made the attempt to read it countless times and, each time I try, it brings back a migraine - not a great incentive to keep on, believe me!

I think what I'll have to do, migraines permitting, is try to get on with the study guide, and the course book, activities, and hope there's enough in them for me to continue writing the TMA :(

In all my years with the Open University, this has come the closest for me to be considering quitting the course. What should have been a happy and productive ending to my O.U. life is, through further ill health, and a labyrinthine and tortuous course book, becoming more like a nightmare for me, and I really don't know if my health is up to continuing on with something that is frankly quite stressful for me now, instead of the enjoyable experience I'd hoped for.

I guess we shall see how I get on over the next week or so . . . . .

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I had to make a cry for help to my tutor . . .

. . .and I didn't enjoy having to do so :(

I sent an email off to my tutor last night, as I'm so bogged down in Carter's book, that I don't feel I can continue with the course.

My tutor was very quick to respond to my email, and sent me a lovely response this morning, setting out ways I could work on with the course that would, hopefully, get me back on track again.

To be honest with you, I don't hold out any hope that I'll be able to achieve this, but I've never been a quitter, unless seriously forced to be, and so I'll take up my tutor's suggestions, and see where they take me.

It's at times like these that I feel my lack of good health most keenly, and deeply regret all those wasted chances to better myself while I was fit and healthy. But I guess regrets are futile now, so I'll just have to take a grip of myself, and battle on as best I can . . . . . . . . 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's like wading through a bath of treacle . . .

In all the years that I have been reading fluently, I have never come across a book that could actually put me physically to sleep - until now :(

For the last week, I've been desperately trying to read Carter's Language and Creativity: the art of common talk, and getting absolutely nowhere! 

It has actually taken me this last week just to read the Acknowledgements and Introduction to the book, and I've only just managed to reach Chapter 1 at last - over a week later. The trouble is, there are 6 chapters to go through, and I need to do this before the weekend, or it will impinge on my writing time for the many activities we're supposed to complete each week :(

This is either going to be the worst week of my life, or I'm going to end up behind again :(

Unfortunately, I can't blame the book entirely for my falling asleep within minutes of picking it up, as I'm permanently fighting sleep anyway, even without having to cope with Carter's labyrinthine sentence structures!

All I can hope for, is that the book either gets a lot more interesting for me to read, or that I get used to Carter's way of writing, and quickly! Either choice is highly unlikely for me, I suspect, but I guess I'm going to have to keep on wading through treacle until I get to the end - Oh, I look forward to that!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Talk about amazed. . . . . .

I couldn't believe it when I received the notification that my TMA had been marked and returned - I got a whopping 74%!

I had to check it twice, in case I'd been sent somebody else's results by mistake but, no - it was actually true! :)

I have to admit that there was so much room for improvement, and I'd made some very silly mistakes, such as messing up the Harvard referencing, but, overall, I'm well pleased with my first TMA result. {big grin}.

Altogether, I think that I'm beginning to get to grips a little with the course - at least, it doesn't seem to be quite as bewildering to read through now, but the sheer amount of reading we're expected to get through over the next few weeks is daunting - even for me, the perpetual bookworm!

We have a double chapter to go through in both the study guide and course books, which means double the activities, plus we're also expected to read through Ronald Carter's Language and Creativity: the art of common talk book - something I'm not looking forward to, as I've read so many complaints about it by fellow students, one of them being that it sends them to sleep - the very last thing I need at this moment!

But, I'm determined to get through it all, and now have TMA 02 looming on the horizon (8th December), where I'll be expected to choose some of my own data to analyse, which means finding someone, or some people, to tape while talking, transcribe that talk, and then analyse it to discuss why "Creativity is a normal feature of everyday conversation". I'll need to decide just how I'm going to analyse anything I've chosen, choose the analysis tools most suitable for the job, and explain why I've chosen these tools, and what they bring to the analysis so, no pressure then? {wry grin}

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Don't talk to me about Carter! . . . .

I haven't been driven as crazy as this by a critic since I joined the O.U., even right at the beginning when I did my first 60-pointer, and got introduced to the mysteries and madnesses of the literature critics!

To be fair to Carter, when he's not tying us all in knots with his confusing efforts to see every side of the argument, he's an interesting read, although where the humour is in his 'mobiles' example, I still haven't a clue!

But, thankfully, I've actually managed to catch up with myself at last, albeit through dint of working on my course whenever I was awake enough to do so, no matter what time of day or night! I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep this up, but I'm going to give it a go anyway :)

I have to admit though, that I don't feel as confused now as I was a week or so ago, so I'm either absorbing more info than I thought, or I'm just kidding myself! I'll know better when I get to see the results of my first TMA - and I just hope that I see it soon, as I'm driving myself crazy checking up every few hours or so, to see if the results are in! Lol

I don't think I'll have a really good result, mind, but if I just get a pass I'll be happy - well, happier anyway!

And while I wait, I guess I should be getting on with the multitudes of activities we've got to do each week {gulp}.