Not much to report on the studying front this week.
I’m still more-or-less on top of my work, and it’s still really interesting. Big news is that I sent off a couple of query emails about officially switching to a BSc Natural Sciences (Biology) degree, and it turns out it shouldn’t be a problem to switch if I want to. That’s obviously completely awesome.
Second big thing is that voting has opened for the PLEXUS elections – I’ve cast my votes already, so this time next week I’ll know if I’ve managed to blag myself a spot on the committee so I can start worrying! It’s all very exciting and scary.
It’s been a weird week for studying, this time around. I’ve been a bit all over the place mentally, so my studying has suffered a little.
First off, I got my first assignment back with a whopping 90% as my result. I am incredibly pleased with this result, and it’s given me a bit of a confidence boost. The comments my tutor made were very helpful and mostly boiled down to making sure I read the task carefully and made my points more concise. I think I can manage that.
Secondly, I’m actually behind on my studying for the first time since starting the course. I’ve done most of this weeks work, but after a rough couple of days, I never got around to finishing it so I will be trying to get that done once I’ve posted this.
Finally, the hustings period for applicants to the PLEXUS committee will be ending soon, and I think my chances of gaining a position are pretty good. If I’m honest, I feel a little out of my depth but I am hoping that is just my normal anxiety messing with me. Either way, it should be interesting to see what happens.
Now back to studying with me!
I feel like I only just wrote one of these, but I’ve checked and it really has been one whole entire week since the last post…and what a miserable week it’s been.
This week’s studying was dedicated almost exclusively to mathematics. Now, I quite like a bit of maths. Nothing too intense, but sort of GCSE level maths, I dig it. I like order, and rules and things that make sense. So a week’s worth of maths lessons isn’t something that should inherently upset me. However.
As you may, or indeed may not, know, I am currently studying an Access to Sciences course. If you don’t know what that means, it’s a course designed to help people who haven’t studied in a long while to prepare for study at the university level. Which means getting back to basics. Which means that this week, I learned how to use a number line.
Something else you might not know about me. I used to be a teaching assistant in a primary school, and I took maths for my A-Levels. I used to teach number lines to kids aged 5-11. I won’t lie, it was a little humiliating, I am trying to be charitable and remind myself that some peoples maths skills are not as sharp as mine, but it leads me to one of two conclusions. Either my degree is going to be absolutely child’s play when it comes to maths OR the poor folks who are just now learning about number lines now are going to be absolutely slaughtered when the course kicks in proper.
On a more positive note, I’m still enjoying learning biology, and I have been looking up the requirements for the Open University’s biology courses, just in case I feel like switching from computers. I’m feeling a real desperate need to learn everything there is to know about sharks, and a biology degree might let me do so.
Finally, my biggest competition for the trans officer position on the PLEXUS society (The OU’s LGBTQIA+ group) has withdrawn as a candidate, so my odds went up! Fingers crossed.
It’s the end of my first week, and I have very mixed feelings about everything. I’ve had a difficult week mental-health wise which has obviously put a damper on just about everything, but that’s not to say I haven’t been busy.
I’ve done First Contact with my tutor for the year. Our tutorials are supposed to be done via telephone, which I am unable to do, so I was pleased to see my tutor was accommodating to that and will allow me to make contact by email. Of course, I was confident this would be the case, because so far my experience with the Open University’s accessibility procedures has been really good.
I’ve also completed my first weeks study content. This week’s work was mainly about how to be an Open University student, which as an alumni I already know, but it has encouraged me to think critically about my approach to study. Over the last 7 years, my studying has been slap-dash at best. I took probably 3 pages of notes, total, I did every weeks worth of studying in one or two big chunks and when the time came to write assignments I stressed and wrote frantically for days, without much actual planning involved. As it turns out, I actually am quite effective with a fluid learning style (one of the advantages of the OU over a brick-and-mortar uni) but I can make changes. I’ll be going out an buying a cork-board and a whiteboard and I will try and combine my existing fluid style with a little bit of planning.
Finally, I’m pleased to see some changes to the way the study materials are presented. Each section is broken down with a guide saying how long it is expected to take. There is a study recap at the end of the chapter, and included in this there is a little box listing the things you have achieved by completing the chapter! I don’t know if it’s specific to the Access course (which prepares you for university level study) or if the features are new to the OU generally, but they were a nice touch.
Bring on week #2!