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Friday, September 27, 2013

Never too old or too lazy to learn!







One book down; two to go!

Revision continues with my chosen method of re-reading all three books with a trusty highlighter to hand!  In the World of the OU having the right vocabulary, using key words with impunity is the key to passing!

One of my favourite words from this course (which I forgot but I have rediscovered it by assiduous use of the internet) is “skeuomorphic”. 

I came across this word in relation to ancient Greek vases (or “pots” as we experts usually call them!) and a discussion about how valuable they were, rather than are now.  Some experts maintain that people with money used metal vessels while the poorer classes were reduced to using ceramic versions.  However, the ceramic versions mimicked some elements of the more expensive gold or silver pots.  When cheaper things mimic the more expensive they are referred to as “skeuomorphic” items.  Now you too can add this invaluable word to your vocabulary.  Let me know if you find an opportunity to use it!

We are almost at the end of September - and I have to admit that it has been an exceptional month as far as the weather has been concerned.  And therefore not conducive to intensive revision!  Like all the best vampires I am concentrating my intellectual effort after the sun has set.

There are some thirteen days left to the exam, and eight before my next course starts.  I am well on schedule and I will be glad when the exam is over and done with and I can concentrate on my writing.  The keenies on the course are all writing as though words are going to be rationed and to give themselves an added advantage in “getting going” before the course actually starts so they will be semi-hysterical by the time that they are actually asked to do something!

I know the OU students of old.  Thirty years ago (!) I did a history of art course, one of the requirements for which was a week-long residential school in Westfield College in London.  This was a delightful oasis of academe behind some grubby main road, but after getting there and meeting my fellow students I lost my nerve and demanded that Clarrie, Andrew and Stewart come and get me and take me away from them all!  They did come and they did take me away and ply me with drink and then, in an act of calculated cruelty they took me back!

The thing about summer schools in the OU is that whatever your initial impression and misgivings might be, you are sucked into a strange communal life and you cannot imagine anything better!

Now with the computer and forums the sense of isolation is not so central to the experience and anyway, summer schools have become optional extras nowadays so a particular edge has been taken off the whole experience.  Thank god!

Now that the subsidies that helped me thirty years ago are a thing of the long past, anything which reduces the substantial costs of studying with the OU seems to be to be a good thing.  There are no OU tutors in Europe outside the UK and my tutor group will be mainly composed of students from the North of England which includes the rest of Europe in its remit!

From the 10th of October I will be adding some of my writing exercises to these pages as a way of getting the habit of writing uppermost in my mind.

Even though I am revising, I have written my haiku for today – devised I might add while swimming!

Tomorrow book two – a probably a different colour highlighter!


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