Sunday, 1 April 2012

Woosh! There Goes March!

So, what wooshed by?
Mr Bogert had a birthday, became ill, got better, injured himself several times, recovered and then the small person fell down the stairs. Just a few bruises and some tears - very lucky. Lots of fun at toddler group including photos, an unpleasant disagreement, crafty things and giving out easter eggs. LOTS of coursework, making new uni friends, attending a tutorial and two assignments written, marked and returned. The Small Person has been super busy with dance classes, swimming, apple club, dance exams and an audition, which means I have been busy following her around all of these places armed with hairspray and grips and various kit bags.

It's been a busy little month. It's that time of year where my Open University courses start doubling up again and I lose all sense of time and reason. (This time last year, or maybe a little earlier, I disappeared from bloglan altogether. I'm trying hard not to do that this year!)

My university resides in two canvas bags: one containing the current books for Children's Literature for this week, and one containing this weeks books for Worlds of English, a linguistics course. If I leave the house, one of the bags goes with me. I may not have time once I reach my destination to take anything out of the bag, but it has become like a security blanket. The books must travel just in case there is a tiny 5 minute slot I can cram some reading into. The bags accompany me to bed every evening. They ride on the pushchair to toddler group. They take the bus to town. They really get out and about.

I was aiming to avoid them following me on holiday. I have a one week reading break scheduled for both courses from Easter weekend onwards, the week we are away on holiday. I REALLY wanted to be a little ahead so that I could write my next linguistics assignment ahead of time. I was going to take the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness with me to read ready for my Children's Literature EMA (End of Module Assessment) which focuses on the last book in the series: Monsters of Men, but I always have a book to read on holiday so wasn't really counting it as work. However, I am 2 weeks behind on my Children's Literature course, and although I'm up to date on the main course reading for linguistics, I am 2 weeks behind on the linguistic toolkit that accompanies the course. It's not looking all that hopeful :(

I really don't know how some OU students do it, with kids, two courses AND work ( I don't even have to worr about work!). I also can't believe I am actually just over half way through my degree! Go me!

In a more positive view of Uni work, I got the results back for my last 2 assignments, one for each course. This was TMA05 for Children's Literature (only one more to go now before the EMA) and focused on how illustration works with text in Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter) and Voices in the Park (Anthony Browne). I absolutely loved writing this assignment, but could have written so much more. Those darn word limits! I achieved a mark of 85%. Just touching distinction which makes me one very happy student.

The other assignment was TMA01 for Worlds of English. I struggled with this. Anyone who has ever taken a course with the OU will tell you TMA01 for any course is always an unkown entity. You don't know what the tutor expects, you're new to the subject matter (even if you've taken a course in the same subject previously, it still feels a little alien when tackled on a different course) and you're just generally feeling your way around what you should be doing. This was even worse for me this time. I'm so used to writing for Literature, I found it hard to work out the best way to word my essay and structure it. Linguistics is far more scientific. Harder still was evidencing my words. With Literature you have your texts (novels, poetry etc) to scan and source your own evidence from. With this course I felt that I was just throwing back at them what they've given us in the course books. I can't find my own evidence because I don't have any other texts, and because it is more scientific, the required examples are very specific. I don't have the expertise to draw my own examples from Old English texts. I managed to agonise over what at first glance seemed like a fairly straightforward question. It seems I shouldn't have been as concerned as I was, because I managed to get a mark of 78% which I'm very pleased with. At least TMA02 shouldn't be as daunting now I have a feel for it. I'm really enjoying the subject, but I think I'm going to miss Literature when Children's Literature ends in May.

I will at least have a little more time then though. Back down to one course. Until September that is....

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