Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Final days . . .

Phase II of my revision is now complete and I have an impressive array of double column printed pieces of paper on which (sometimes cryptic) phrases are the way in which I am going to approach the three essays that I have to write.  I am a day and a half ahead of myself which actually allows some real learning to take place!

I am well aware that revision does not, or at least is not supposed to, demand actual “learning” just the restoration of knowledge already hidden somewhere in the little grey cells.  But however hard you try some words, concepts and facts just go on surprising by their freshly minted appearance, no matter how many times you are convinced that you have encountered them before!  That surely is one of the pleasures of learning: always something new!  Thank god for the fallibility of the human creature!

What is really instructive is the difference between the revision for this course rather than the other.  The selection of questions for the previous course was simple and exclusive.  I revised what I knew I was going to answer, and when two of the questions were heavily dependent on printed context and the other on creativity you are on to a winner.  The present course exam allows us to select one question and one theme, but the middle questions could be on anything and the last question asks us to ensure that we are drawing on ideas from the whole of the course.

As is often the way, revision does force the individual (if only in self defence) to make intellectual leaps to try and tie together disparate parts of the course into a coherent narrative to try and give an overall integrity to the learning.  At least this is what I hope is happening – otherwise those sheets of paper are going to be a complete waste of time!

The weather is doing its bet to tempt me into a bout of star gazing, and I have a dread that post Thursday the weather is going to take a turn for the worse and mock my restraint with rain.  At the moment the rain is restricting itself to night time in a very civilized and acceptable way, but I fear that poor climatic conditions are just waiting for my illusory freedom to make my participation in the present course that little bit easier.

I am trying to write something as part of the course, but my mind is, understandably, elsewhere at the moment and will be until the closure late afternoon on Thursday.

What hypocrisy! 

Having completed a fair amount of work I felt that I would do even better with a lunch-orientated break.

We went back where we used to live and patronised a restaurant which has changed hands and is now much more popular with a tented area outside the restaurant packed with people.  Why they were all there on a Tuesday I know not, but the fact that even tented is considered “outside” and therefore open for smokers, drove us inside away from the noxious clouds.

The meal was exceptional starting with whitebait, followed by cod salad, followed by bream (you can see a bit of a theme developing here) and ending with fresh melon, washed down by a surprisingly drinkable red and a coffee with ice.  For a tenner!

Returning, Toni felt worse and I tried to keep to my resolution to return to my revision with refreshed vigour.  Which I did for minutes until the lure of the sun proved too much and I adopted the appropriately prone position for a short (honestly) snooze.

Back, eventually, to the computer and the discovery that one of our student colleagues has produced pages and pages of notes which she generously shared with us via the forum.  Very useful.  Though quite how they will be received by those who do not or have not produced their own notes is a more problematical thought.  And two days before the exam.  Pause for thought!

The other course has only been going for a few days but it looks as though it is going to be a good one because so many of the students on it are prepared to voice opinions and put work on the forums.  Two more days and I will be a fully committed student typing away with increasing fury as the course progresses!

All to do!

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