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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reality bites!





The essay is back!  With a mark not quite what I wanted. 

Our tutor has managed to stick to the working day limit for return of our work in spite of the fact that she was bereft of phone and wi-fi and therefore blind, deaf and disabled in modern OU terms! 

We have a mark and a short summative comment but no detailed response to the essay, but it at least marks closure on the written part of the course and I am now able to concentrate fully on revision.

I collected my new course material from the Post Office where I waited in a queue with a suspiciously large number of people collecting their undelivered packages as well!

At least I now have the stuff well before the opening date for the Forum for the course and well, well before the actual start date.  The Big Red Course Book is sitting on the table as I type, together with a Study Guide and various DVDs.  And I must resist temptation and wait until the requisite time before I start indulging myself!  I have my work to do on the present course working up to the examination on the 10th of October and my collaboration with the new course from the 5th of October will, of necessity be limited to “off-duty” moments when not revising.

The rain threatened for today has not yet washed the streets so I am considering throwing caution to the wind and rejecting a coat for by drink with Suzanne.

And I am not going to resist temptation, in spite of what I have just written and I am going to glut myself on the study guide.  So there!

What I actually read was the assessment guide.  A dose of reality to get you going!  The nitty-gritty of what will get marks and what will regarded as anathema.  The OU at its soulfully soulless best.  Kind words with hard edges.  But you know, deep down that it is all for your own good.  Enough.

Back to the present reality.  My returned essay was fifteen marks lower than the other two – which were high enough to give me a comfortable cushion of marks to allow for some aberration, but not for the fifteen marks miss that I managed to attain.  My own fault of course, even as I was writing the essay I was thinking that I was doing “original” research which was not what was being asked for.  And, sure enough one of the (fully justified) points made was that I didn’t concentrate enough on something which was not overtly mentioned in the essay title.  I took that as an opportunity to do my own thing, conveniently ignoring the more explicit instructions in the “advice” given to essay writers!

How many times have I said to a class that anything that the examiners “suggest” that they “might like to think about” should not be taken as an invitation but a direct instruction!  And then I ignore my own edicts!  That’s life.  But I still think that my essay had elements that would not have been found in others, up to and including an honourable mention of The Welsh Arts Council and writing about the “War” exhibition of 1970(?) which was a museum changing moment for me, and an experience that has had an on-going effect on my artistic appreciation ever since.  Whether those apercus were worth fifteen marks, well, put it down to experience and I am writing it down here to remind myself that I ignore my own rules about ignoring the rules of the OU at my peril!

Now that I have got that our of my system I can more fully devote my time to revision.  There is an outside chance that I might be able to recuperate my self-esteem on the examination, but that will take a damn sight more effort than that which I put into the last exam.  Something to aim for!

And something to start doing now.  If not sooner!


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