I am very behind – not least because I get distracted by other things. But I am trying to catch up.
In my reading today, of chapter 5 of Making Social Lives, on p. 229 the author says:
“the argument should not be based on the idea that there once existed a high street that was somehow home-grown, coherent and disconnected from the world outside. Rather, if we were to lament the loss of a sense of place on these streets, then our argument would have to be that it is not that high streets have become more and more connected to the outside world, and therefore somehow weakened as unique places, but that the quality of the connections has changed. The challenge would be to seek to build better connections and so make better places.”
He has been previously arguing that the country idyll is imagined, I understand that, but why can’t you argue that a place should be unique?
He seems to be saying that cookie-cutter high streets with all the same chains of big stores can’t be argued against on any other basis than ‘connections’.
Am I missing something obvious?
Well I don’t even know which week we are supposed to be in.
I have looked at the next TMA, number 3, and it is more horrible even than the last two. This time it’s wading through a table of statistics of the ethnicity of visitors to national parks in the UK.
I haven’t had a chance to look at the materials at all this week. Maybe I will take them up to read in bed, but I don’t think so – I really need an awake brain to be able to take anything in.
I don’t know what to do about feeling so negative about this course. I’m disappointed because I expected to love it.
I don’t think it’s just a lack of discipline and determination on my part, as I have never (to my memory) had this with any of the previous studies I have done, not even at school!
In fact, I loved sociology at school, so why am I hating it now?
Does DD101 get better?
I had been warned that DD101 was dull, but some people have said they love the course, so I am trying to keep an open mind
The second TMA topic though, was rubbish. ‘Outline the argument that rubbish is not worthless’. Really, really dull.
I found this essay a challenge to complete, to the point that I have seriously considered pulling the plug on the OU study altogether. But I did persevere and got it done, and received a slightly improved mark than I did for my first essay.
The main area I fell down on in terms of losing marks, was my essay plan. There are three parts to a TMA and you lose points if you fail to complete any one of them. The main part is obviously the essay itself, and the other two parts are an essay plan and a reflection.
This essay was requird to be in the region of 1250 words, while the reflection was 50 words but there was no set word limit for the essay plan, and although the essay booklet did give guidelines, it wasn’t specific about what was required. I assumed that the purpose was to show clear thinking about your plan for the essay but that the plan was basically for the student’s benefit. Apparently not. I was marked down because I didn’t waffle at length about what I was intending to put in the essay, and why, or include all the references that I was intending to put in the essay. Irritating to say the least.
Ugh. I hope this gets better because I am not very enthused altogether. The mark I got actually was not bad at all. It’s just the pernikety, trivial nonsense of the game of academia that really gets my blood boiling, and it makes me wonder why I’m doing it at all.
My first TMA is finished and posted! It was a horrible question: ‘Drawing on what you have learned… Outline how some benefit and others lose on a street that you know.’
I really thought I would struggle to write anything, but once I got going, I found it difficult to stop! The word limit was only 750 words, so it turned out more of a challenge to cover everything I wanted within that limit.
References were another challenge. I have done some academic study before (in a previous life, as it were), but it has been a while since I had to think about including references. I think I included two or three, and it necessitated reviewing the materials again, since I hadn’t written my notes in such a way that I’d be able to identify the page or dvd scene that the information was coming from.
I’ve also been to two tutorials now. It’s a long way to go, so I was less than keen but in fact they have been quite helpful and stimulating – especially the most recent one (part of that might have been that it was a smaller group than last time, and we were close together on one big table rather than spread round the room).
I’m enjoying the audio / visual materials but I’m finding it challenging to have enough quiet time to concentrate on the reading materials.
There are also some online activities this week. The previous online activities were pretty easy, but I haven’t looked at this week’s yet. I do have this nagging doubt that it’s all going to get much harder from now on.
The next TMA – TMA02, which is due at the end of March, is on the subject of ‘Rubbish’, so the plan is to read the coming weeks’ materials with that in mind.
Is anybody else studying DD101? How are you finding it? I would love to connect with you 🙂
Just some general notes today. I’m in week 3 of my OU course, DD101, and ought to be concentrating on writing my first TMA essay, but in fact I’m already procrastinating while I finish up some other bits and pieces.
I finished Maya Adam’s Just Cook for Kids course on Nutrition from Stanford School of Medicine via Coursera, and I’m quite sad to have finished as she was such a lovely teacher. I’ll aim to write up course notes from the final week at some point. I’ve also discovered that some of the optional videos from that course are also available on Khan Academy (wow, there’s lot’s more there than I ever realised, in fact!)
I’m in week 5 of the University of Exeter Climate Change course. It has been so difficult for my tiny non-sciency brain to cope with that I think that if I had to drop something this would be the one, but hopefully now Just Cook is finished I’ll have the time / energy / brainpower to devote to it. We’ll see.
I also started a couple of Christian / Bible courses (in my spare time, you know, because I seem to have this kind of compulsive drive to have / do / be / whatever one of everything! I’m a bit klepto with books, so obviously this extends to courses as well.
But I’m recognising my limits, and I’ll lay those other courses down I think at least until Climate Change is finished. It is tempting though, as they’re interesting and easy 😀 I’ll post more about them when I finish Climate Change.
OK! How are you doing? What are you studying? Anyone crazy like me doing more than one course?
I have completed the main tasks for weeks 1-3, including finishing reading the first Learning Companion, watching the films and completing the online tasks. I do need to go back and make some additional notes on a couple of the films, and listen again to the audio files and take notes. I also need to turn my notes into an essay for the first TMA.
It has been a pretty relaxed and gentle introduction so far, and I’m quite looking forward to our first tutorial.
I am a little troubled though about the TMA. The task is to write about a street ‘you know well’. Well, I have moved around a lot, and I have lived in several cities, but recently I have been in a very rural location.
The course materials use City Road in Cardiff as a ‘window’ on society, and state that it is possible to apply what is observed there to any street in any town in the world. Perhaps. I can certainly compare my location to City Road, Cardiff. But it does seem to me that rural locations have very different issues to urban societies. Perhaps ‘people are the same wherever you go’ but it will be interesting to see if the differences outweigh the similarities. I know my tutor would prefer me to write about an urban location, but I don’t ‘know’ any town streets and to discover what I would need to know to compare one with City Road Cardiff would require hours of research that would take it well beyond the 20 hours per week that I bargained for. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a case for writing about my rural locality.
The DD101 Open University ‘Introducing the Social Sciences’ website opened yesterday, so we have officially started! (Finally!)
The opening activities on the website were pretty basic advice and exercises on different forms of notetaking, reading and watching with a purpose and avoiding plagiarism.
Although I have watched all the films once and read all the material for week 1 through quickly, I haven’t had a chance yet to sit down quietly (with no interruptions) to take notes with a view to answering the first TMA question. I know that others on one of the facebook groups who got their materials much earlier have already written their draft TMA answer. I’m not there yet. I figure I’m basically ahead anyway so I won’t be rushing too fast. I need to get back into the swing of serious study.
I would love to hear from anybody else doing DD101 who is returning to study after a long break.