Tag Archive | Social Science

Study Plans for 2016

I haven’t done any formal studying for a while now. Something went wrong with the funding for my OU course and, since I didn’t really get on with DD101 (I know I passed, but I never had any feedback or a score or anything) and for a whole host of other reasons, I won’t be picking it up again any time soon. But as it turned out, we had a really bad year which made not studying a good thing, I could not have coped with study deadlines at the same time.

I changed my OU degree from Q69, Combined Social Science, to an Open Degree, but nothing really appeals at the moment. So if I do pick it up again, I don’t know what direction I will go in. I wasn’t impressed with the way the OU worked, the materials, the tutor, and it felt like a waste of time, money and effort.

I had been considering the possibilities of studying Theology (which obviously would necessitate moving to another college anyway, St John’s Nottingham is an online option) – firstly in the hope of following the vocation of the priesthood, and secondly as a back-up plan, I could use it for teaching (primary or secondary) or alternatively as a chaplain of some sort or another (hospital/ school/ college/ military).

All of those possible paths have stumbling blocks – principally of the financial kind, and my health has been very poor this year, so I don’t know if I will even be able to take up a career any time soon even if I do manage to get qualified, I’ll be 45 this year, and I have already had 12 years of ME.
So at this point I’m just shrugging my shoulders and letting it all wash over me and trying not to care or worry.

A (virtual) friend of mine with ME started a Law Degree a few years ago. I can’t imagine how you would manage that with this illness, but he seemed to. I took an intro to Law (a 10 point OU course) It wasn’t hard, but it didn’t exactly thrill me!

But in an effort to ensure that my brain doesn’t turn to mush, I will probably start looking into what’s available to study informally this year again. I don’t like the idea that schools, colleges and universities act as the gate-keepers of knowledge. The whole qualification and student finance game seems like a big racket to me.

I have previously bought OU materials to study on my own without going through the rigmarole of the course and the debt. I have even toyed with the idea of studying medicine just for the fun of it. It might come in handy, you never know.

Do any of you have recommendations for any good courses coming up? So many books! So little time! 🙂


DD101 TMA02

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.

DD101 Week 4

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 🙂