Sunday, 18 November 2012

A218 TMA 01 Results and TMA02

TMA01 Results

So it's that time - TMA01 results are in and I got a Pass 1, which I am over the moon about. It was one of my best marks with the OU so I can't really hope for any more than that. I just hope I can keep up the good work really and hopefully retain some of the information - brain is like a sieve. Once it's down it sounds good, but the exam is a nightmare waiting to happen if I carry on reading and running like this.


This one is a bit different. It asks us to look at two separate sources and to analyse them. I'll be honest I've looked at the written source and I can't make head nor tale of it at the moment. I plan on taking that one on the train with me tomorrow to have a good look at. The visual source - I'm useless at visual sources. I'll take that on the train with me as well and draw all over it. 
I'm looking forward to getting started with it - plan on making notes now and then I have a head start on myself. I hate chasing TMA deadlines, I'd rather skip a week's reading and go back to it - as long as the essay's in I can keep my head above water!


I'm doing OK. I'm more or less up to date, although one of the kids has broke my DVD/CD thing on my trusty old laptop, which means I am behind with the CD ROM and DVD. I'll have to print out the scripts and read them on the train until I've got time to fix my laptop or just drag myself out of my little world and use a different laptop for the DVD. I'm old. I like what I like...
I'm currently only studying for about 1-2 hours a week. This is scandalous, I know. What is it mean to be? 16 hours a week? Well that is just entirely unrealistic for me - I don't have enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done anyway. The most I can ever imagine is 1 hour a day, which is what I should be aiming for really. Pretty soon I'll have 3 kids and even less time, so I'll just continue as I am. I'm struggling retaining information to be honest, but revision will just have to sort that out *crosses fingers*


I really enjoy my tutorials. Because it is a bit of a nightmare getting to Manchester (I work there and go there nearly every day) I do just think 'nah sack it off' and not bother. But I don't, I make myself go and I'm glad that I went when I do. I feel it is a lonely business studying with the OU. At our last tutorial (Dr. Tom Saunders) he asked us if we'd ever heard of Paracelsus before this course and I started waffling on about him being used as a 'poster boy' for the Nazis and how Prince Charles is a fan...I must have sounded like a nutter, I was pretty sure maybe I had made it all up . But, a quick Google by a kind student in the class meant that I didn't make it up, and as I googled it myself I found this:

Paracelsus Film

Might be worth a watch, might not. I'll probably give it a ago if I find the time, which means NEVER, clearly. Let us know if you give it a watch.

Book Recommendations

Our tutor recommended these:

The Devil's Doctor

The Herbalist

They look great to be honest. I can always find extra time on the train to read books. I love books. And my shelf always looks better when stocked up and over-flowing with books. In fact I'm going to put these two on my Christmas wish list. I'll give them a review if I get round to reading them.

How are you getting on?

Please subscribe and leave a comment. How are you getting on? Was your TMA result OK? Have you got any book recommendations? What are your thoughts on paper-book-based reading on the train? Is it time to say goodbye to our leaf-ed friends?

I'm off to eat a flapjack and contemplate the amount of work that I need to get to to write this next TMA...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


So I promised myself that I wasn’t going to moan about travelling not on this blog, not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not in real life. However, I find myself moaning about travelling all the time, so I’m just going to do one blog on here and let it all out and then that might be that.
The upshot of it is that I live Liverpool-ways, but I am originally from Manchester. So I travel back quite a lot to see family, which is fine. We have a car, and we tend to share the driving so that’s no issue.... (I won't be doing a blog on driving - that will just send me over the edge - for the record, I'M ALLOWED TO DRIVE 60MPH IN THE LEFT LANE, YOU PILLOCK!) ...
The problem is the fact that I work in Manchester. Now when I moved to Liverpool I did get a job this end, but let’s just say I didn’t really enjoy the position and leave it at that. So I went back to my old work in Manchester, albeit in a different department. So long story short – I travel 2 hours on the early rush hour train, 2 hours on the late rush hour train, 4 days a week. If I took the car every day it would be expensive, and besides my husband needs to drop the kids off where they are going, so I take public transport.
This is complete madness right? I know it is. But I have a survival kit:
Survival Kit
Bottle of water (it’s horrible and humid on the trains)
Big coat (with fur hood for rolling up like a pillow/putting over head to hide from the world)
Tissues (you never know)
Make-up (passes a some time on the way in, and wakes me up…Whaaat? I am a GIRL!)
Book (usually a university book, two birds, one stone, etc)
Part of the 'kit' I'm not being paid by Clinique or Rimmel to put these here. But by all means Clinique, Rimmel, come and PAY ME !!!
So it is hard sometimes, especially when the trains are late, which is quite often. I can end up stood on platforms for ages and ages, and on a bad day I can spend over 5 hours travelling to and from work. I know this is insanity, but the reason that I continue to do this is because I actually really really love my job. Have you ever been in a job where you feel completely trapped for 8 hours  day, and felt so bad that you could cry when the alarm goes off? Well, I have, and it’s not nice. I know that when I get into work I am busy, challenged, occupied and I work with great people and everything about the job is just great. I’m really lucky, which is why I try not to moan too much about the travelling.
So, back to my moan. I was fine travelling before I was pregnant. It was easier. I now find that being pregnant it is much harder. I would like to split this moan up into sections:
1.       Trains
The trains are filthy. Pure filth, disgusting, vile. Hence the big coat. I would never ever wear my ‘dressy’ Coast coat to wear on the train. Instead I wear a big old duffle coat that I bought in the sale from Jane Norman about 4 years ago. The zip has bust from pregnancies, and the brown has slightly faded. I feel like that little kid from East is East but man, the coat is comfortable, and I don’t care if it gets covered in crap off the train.
Trains are also late. Constantly. All the time.
When they are full, they also continue past.
People let dogs sit on the chairs.
They sometimes smell of wee
They cost an arm and a leg
2.       People
In all my time of being pregnant (18 weeks now, fact fans) – I have only had one woman stand up to give me her seat. I always ALWAYS have to stand up for at least 15/20 minutes in the morning and evening combined. And that’s if I’m lucky. It doesn’t matter how far I stick my belly out, or how much I huff and puff. I went on Mumsnet last week and they seem to think that looking ‘pathetic’ helps. I really don’t look pathetic. I’d say I look stern, angry and generally annoyed that people won’t move. Must try harder at being more pathetic.

Come Fly with ME

One day I missed my train by 10 seconds – train was in and doors were open – but the whistle had gone and man wouldn’t let me on. I stood arguing with him for the rest of the 20 seconds, while he closed the door. I tried all the pathetic-ness I could manage “I’m pregnant *sniffle sniffle* and I can’t get home if I miss this last train.”
“Sorry love.” (I’m not going to get started on how much I HATE being called LOVE by strangers.)
So in desperation, I just got on any train that said Liverpool. You know where I ended up? The AIRPORT. Nice one, Kerrie. Good job. So my husband and the kids had to come and pick me up, and from where we live, it would have been quicker for him to pick me up at work. SMOOTH.

Typical Obligatory Pregnant Woman Fainting Episode

One morning I got on the train and it was rammed. I couldn’t get a seat and had to stand up, but because it was so busy, I had to walk further and further down the train. This meant that I was stood in the middle of the carriage, no air, people almost stood and sat on top of me. It was horrendous for everyone concerned not just me. Anyway, predictably, after 30 minutes of this I toppled over all hot and shaky, sweating and shaking at the same time. Do you know how many people helped?
I had to ask the woman in front of me to get up so I could sit down. She reluctantly did and I put my head down and recovered in my own way. Now I know that people are busy with their own lives. I know that people are busy with their i-pads and i-pods and coffees and frigging work projections or The Metro’s Rush Hour Crush whatever. I understand that people don’t necessarily see pregnant people, so really, I thought, it’s the train company that should fix this.
They won't move, you just have to PUSH

One Woman Call for Reform (stand back Pankhursts…)

So after this I decided to start a one woman campaign – I was going to stand up to Northern Rail – I was going to start proper call for reform on the trains. In the form of a MIGHTY email. I can fight the man. And I can win!
Dear Sir/Madam
I am writing to complain about the xxx train. This train is constantly packed, and there are not enough seats. This leads to me standing up. I am currently 4 months pregnant and find this very uncomfortable. On 1st October 2012 I fainted on the train due to the lack of seating, and overcrowding in the carriage. Now I know that you can not account for human decency and manners, or make people give up their seat but surely you can provide extra carriages for people to sit down? I pay a lot of money each month for my rail ticket and rarely do I get a seat. What am I paying all this money for? For a standing position?
I would appreciate your response on this, and I await your advice.
Mrs McGiveron


Dear  Miss McGiveron

Thank you for your e-mail, which I received recently.

I was extremely sorry to read about your recent experience when travelling between Wigan Wallgate and Manchester Oxford Road on the 1st October 2012. Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and discomfort caused.

I hope that you are ok and did not hurt yourself or harm the baby when you fainted on our service. I agree  it is totally unacceptable that people do not see a pregnant lady, someone elderly or even someone with mobility problems and offer a seat to them whilst travelling.

I can confirm that we have started putting a sticker near the priority seating areas (near doorways and toilets) on some our trains showing a lady with a bump, to urge customers to allow pregnant ladies to seat along with elderly and parents with children in these seats.

I wish you all the very best with your pregnancy and thank you for contacting me.

I’ve seen these stickers. Over the heads of people who are SAT IN THE SEATS. 
You've got to love Paint for editing
So because I’m hilarious, I tweeted them
@NRE_Northern have solved my fainting on the train issue by putting stickers with pics of pregnant women of them on 'priority' seats. THANKS
They did not re-tweet or respond. I’m probably not as hilarious as I think, and also, I am probably not the first to complain, and no, I didn’t win.
So, the trains won’t help. Privatisation clearly worked. Hooray for Thatcher and Cameron and the Big Society (but that’s another moan that I’m not getting into.)

Not all Bad…Salford LADS

Salford is the best station EVER. I know this because I spend a LOT of time stood here. The people who work on the platform are ace, and I really like them. I’ve even filled out a Northern rail star form for them, (see I’m not just a moaning bint.) The trains that call/leave from here are still vile, but their platform is nice.
So then, will I continue my complaint? No. And do  you know why – because I haven’t the time or the energy for it.  Anyway you look at it they have you over a barrel, I have to get to work, they operate for profit. Which means crap trains and no seats and no improvement. 

I Win

And anyway, I win. I win because I use their trains to  get to a job I enjoy, and to get home to two  wonderful crackpot kids and a husband who would do anything for me, including driving to the airport in the rain at night to pick up his dizzy, moaning, bonkers wife.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Stop...Essay Time!!!

OK so it’s not strictly essay time. We do have a few weeks left yet but if I’ve learnt anything from A200 it was to just write the damn essay while the relevant chapters are in my head. Otherwise, I’d find myself reading all about what I needed to know, making all the right noises, then moving on to the next chapter, and the next. And then it came to the real essay week, or ‘reading week’ or whatever it’s called, and I’d have to go back and re-read everything related to the question
So this time, I’m doing it this way and we’ll see how I go.
I’m not allowed to post any TMA questions or answers or anything like that. (Like I have the answers…) Basically, this is the first TMA, and it’s split into Part A and Part B, only 500 words each, so shouldn’t be too much trouble. I’M KIDDING. It’s going to be a nightmare – how can anyone write an essay in 500 words??? I’ll be honest, I’ve scrawled 700 words for each already, and that’s just my first draft. The hardest thing about these little ones is making them smaller, and obviously worrying if the 500 words you did pick to leave in were the right ones. I wrote what I have while I was on the train so obviously I’ll need some real quiet time to edit and sort out my bibliography and stuff.  This is how I write my drafts, in a round-about nonsensical way….
The history of medicine is a fascinating subject to study because INSERT WHY HERE. This is supported by the fact that INSERT EVIDENCE HERE. It is a well known fact that historians of medicine wear big knickers REFERENCE THIS.
So I leave myself a lot to do, I really do. But in all honesty, how am I meant to write a full clean beautiful essay sat or stood on a rammed train in rush hour? (I travel about 2 hours to Manchester every day there and back.)
I tried to be a stealth picture-taker on the actual train but chickened out last minute. Must try harder.
How do you do it? I’m sure everyone does it differently. I basically aim to read the set book chapter on the Monday morning. I do not do the exercises as I can only carry one book at a time, and I’m travelling 4 hours on a train a day to work with my dinner and purse and everything – my bag weighs a tonne. So I read that. Then the next day I take the source book, and I read a few sources. If I’ve been organised, I’ll mark down which ones I need to read, if not I just read the next ones as I go. I always make notes in the margins, and always highlight and underline. I break the spines of the books and generally ruin them. Look at poor Porter:

Battered and bruised. Someone call a doctor. A proper one, not a quack or a charlatan...

Then the next day, I’ll take any other set books I need, like Porter or a print-out of a source or whatever is recommended. My husband has very kindly transferred the radio programmes off the website onto my MP3 player, so I listen to those on the train as well. (I find them a bit erm…jarg.) At night I do the CD Rom exercises, I find that doesn’t take me very long – usually because of this
These distract me!

Or maybe even because of this:

Can't believe they killed off poor Sybil

I suppose I spend about 5 hours a week studying. I’ll then spend more time when it’s essay-writing time. I always ALWAYS read with the essay questions in my mind. I couldn’t do it any other way, from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, I’m balancing work, kids, pregnancy, university, managing the home. I don’t have time to read for leisure. Hang on, that’s a massive lie, I took Educating Rita Random Link - I got mine for under £2 by Willy Russel on the train with me last week and read it in an hour or so, loved it. Really want to go and see the play, but that’s a slight digression.
Note Taking
I have had this real issue with note taking. I bought myself loads of gorgeous post-its and note books and snazzy pens. My aim was to take notes on each chapter, and then when it came to revision I wouldn’t have to re-read the whole thing, I would just have to re-read my notes and make some diagrams or whatever. But as I quickly found out, the reason I didn’t take notes with A200 was because I actually enjoy reading the material. I don’t want to stop every five minutes to write down names and dates – I was just enjoying that paragraph thank you very much. And also, there is the practical side of things – how on earth can I take notes – I bring your attention to this once again
That picture again, I clearly must work on my photography skills.

And my note-taking at home is massively impeded by this 

Naughty Alice!


Loop the loop!

And increasingly, this 
Somewhere to rest my books?
So, notes. None. I plan on re-reading the whole of the module again in May, and using the month I have for revision. We’ll have three children by then so I’ll let you know how I get on with that…
The Course
I am enjoying it very much. I wasn’t when I was note taking I’ll be honest. There’s some cracking fellas in it isn’t there? Being a bit of a feminist, the primary sources relating to women in the early modern age, I find fascinating. I am looking forward to moving on, and getting to modern history to be honest, but I’m enjoying this bit not-the-less. The CD Rom could do with a bit of updating if I’m honest, the DVD is a bit old fashioned, but I can cope with that. And if I run out of time I know I can always read the transcript on the train, so the OU are great like that, the written material is excellent.
To be honest, my enjoyment of the course will last for as long as I feel I am understanding and doing well in it. The moment I get a rubbish essay mark my interest will absolutely nose-dive, I’ve always been the same. I either sink or swim I’m afraid, so here’s hoping for a good one.
Good luck if you are doing A218 this time around. Let me know how you’re getting on, be nice to swap tips and get in touch!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

A218 - Just call me Dr. McGiveron...

Maybe not just yet, eh. Might have been getting a bit ahead of myself.

Well, I'm now in my fourth year of studying with the OU - this one is A218 - Medicine and society in Europe 1500-1930. I'll be honest, I've read all the blurb and I don't really fancy the first half of the course - I am very much into modern history so anything ancient just does not get me going. But, I was like this a bit at the start of A200 (see earlier blog), and I am very happy to start this one. It's a Level 2 so I'm aiming high, want THE BEST MARK I can get. By that I mean that if I am really crap at this one, and have to scrape through to get a pass, then so be it. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and I'm happy to just go with it.

So, week 1 then. I've read all the preliminary material, and I even read the Roy Porter door-stop book before the course started. Trouble is I can't remember jack about it, so I'm glad that we have to read it in small bite size chunks for the course. I haven't really got much to say about what I'm reading at the moment. It's all DEAD OLD history, but it is interesting. Galen, Hippocrates, erm...Aristotle. ETC. I'm using really small post-its to mark my book, pink, yellow and green ones.  This makes it easier and also, I like mini post-its. I also like the massive A5 ones you can get, but I use those in work and it just wouldn't do to use them for uni as well, I'd get confused and wouldn't know where or who I was.

So, here are my tools. Nothing special. (Apart from the post-its.) I've not got a lot to post in this first blog to be honest. I plan on writing one a month and we'll see how we go. I don't have much time to do this sort of thing, to give you an idea, the time is now 11.19pm on a Saturday night and I've just put Porter down, took that photo and started doing this.
The only tips or anything of interest I am going to do here is list what I have read/watched before the course started. I'm not saying that these things are going to be mega-useful - it was much easier writing my A200 blog with hindsight and a distinction under my belt. This time I'm a bit blind, so I'm just going with how I'm doing it. I'll just update as I go. If you are doing A218 at the minute and have anything to add then feel free to comment below. I think sharing good practise is great, especially with the OU, sometimes it's a lonely old experience. So, please find below my list of summer reading/watching. Don't laugh, some of it is crap.


Obviously the damn Porter one - Took me ages to read but I was comforted by the knowledge that I could always batter someone to death with it should they choose to attack me on the train to work...

Bad Medicine - David Wootton: Small book (compared to the Porter one) with some cracking opinions in. I read it really quickly. Some of the vivisection parts were disturbing, but it was good to read a different perspective. Bad Medicine

Disgusting Diseases: Part of the Horrible Science series. Read this on the train in one hour - great overview, easy to read, GREAT PICTURES...Disgusting Diseases

I think that was it for books relating to this course. Over the course of the summer I also read War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy, Capital Vol. 1 - Karl Marx, The Prince - Niccolo Macchiavelli, The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang, Groovy Greeks (Horrible Histories), The Social Contract - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Age of Empire - Eric Hobsbawm erm...I think that was it. But none of these are about medicine, so pointless really.


Now these or some of these I watched before I decided to do A218. I am a sucker for period dramas and the like, and so I would naturally watch these, but as it turns out, some of them may come in handy for this course. Or they may not. But I'll list them here anyway.

Bramwell - Late 19th century fiction - corseted women, poor London, and medical drama. EXCITING.

Casualty 1900s - This was written from real case-notes, and the people it in it were real figures such as the enigmatic Eva Luckes.

Spanish Flu The Forgotten Fallen -

This is still on iplayer (as linked) watched this last night. It was good, and again is based on true events. Not sure how relevant it will be, but it's only an hour long and it was based in Manchester, and I like the local history element to it.

Timeshift - Health before the NHS

I've only watched ten minutes of this so far, so no review but it looks really good. The link is directly to the iplayer.


Again, I have only watched one episode of this, but I really enjoyed it. No idea how relevant it is to the course, but I particularly like the presenter of this, he is very engaging.

So that's it. Nothing else to say except good luck to anyone who is doing this, and if you have any tips you'd like to share please do. I'll be doing another one of these next month with some essay/time crisis, I'd imagine, so I'm sure that will be interesting...

Hope this has been of some use.

All the links on here are just what I have Googled. I do not get paid by any of the sites, I don't own anything or want to promote anything - everything is my own opinion.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Open University A200: History Medieval to Modern

I wanted to put a sort-of 'review' of A200 on here. It was a really testing course, and I got a really good mark, and was so happy. I wanted to let others know what I did that worked, and what I did that didn't work, and just generally offer some tips. It's hard being an OU student, as anyone who has done distance learning will tell you - it can be lonely and sometimes you just have no idea whether you are going right or wrong with what you are doing. There are social internet media type things, Facebook groups, OU forums, OU Twitter feeds that do help. I find Facebook groups to be friendly and useful - although you have to be aware that these are not moderated like the OU forums. The OU forums are informative and lively - but are quite heavily moderated, and things can get a bit heated sometimes.

When I started the course, and definitely closer to exam time, I searched the internet for help, for experiences of other students, and found very little to be honest. I just thought that if this helps some people, then while it's fresh in my mind, then that would be pretty cool. It's nice to be nice.

My aim here is to just talk through the blocks of the course and offer some tips. Please leave comments, good or bad. I plan on doing similar  for A218 - History of Medicine, but more in real-time, maybe one blog a month about it, so I can just get things straight in my head and hopefully help/get help from others!!! I love to share my work and anything that I make for revision, but I also love shamelessly borrowing from other people, but I suppose that is what any good historian does! I'm just going to start at the beginning here, please correct me if I'm wrong or add anything in the comments, or email me for further information or to shout at me for getting it wrong - I don't mind.


Basically the course does what it says on the tin - it's a survey course from about 1400-1900. It is very fast paced and there is a LOT of information crammed in. You WILL feel like you are on a roller coaster, one minute you're at the battle of Agincourt and the next you're on a slave ship bound for the Americas. It is heavy going and quite emotional at times. Take your time, read things thoroughly and enjoy it.

Tip: The course is about historiography. Remember your facts, but remember what historians views are about events. If you're taking notes on each block, write down histroians' names and their views. I had to cram all this information in at the end, because it wasn't until the end that I realised I would get more marks by letting the historians tell the story, letting them compliment my essay, and backing up my points.

Tip: Pay attention to the course themes. Think about it as you go along.

Block 1 - France, England and Burgundy in the fifteenth century

It is what it is. Medieval Europe, Joan of Arc, The Wars of the Roses. All really interesting events, focused around beliefs and ideologies, state formation and producers and consumers.

I didn't really do any outside reading for this, but I loved Joan of Arc, and watched a film called The Messenger.

The film was OK, and although Joan of Arc only gets a small mention in this block, the film helped me to visualise battles and the passion that these people had for their cause.

"Inside the Medieval Mind"  - Loved this documentary. They used to have all of this on Youtube, but my links have broken, so maybe you can find it elsewhere.

Block 2 The European Reformation

Again, self-explanatory. Really interesting. You'll hate me for this now, I know it's a degree-level subject, but for this section I listened to the Horrible Histories English Kings and Queens song. Youtube it.

It helped me to remember who was King/Queen at the time so that I would know who was Protestant, who was Catholic, and I can sort-of picture who wanted what and why. This has helped me since in all the blocks, I'll post more up as I go, please don't hate me, I really REALLY used these for revision and they helped me no end in the exam.

I watched The Virgin Queen as well at this point. It's a little off-topic, but Elizabeth I's Dad was Henry VIII so it's sort-of related to the Reformation, and again paints a picture. Ann-Marie Duff was OK in this, and the men were all fit, so that did it for me!

Block 3 The Wars of the Three Kingdoms

The English Civil War. Remember to recall Ireland and Scotland, don't just focus on England - this is important. Now this is where I did some real background reading, and I scored my highest essay score ever for this TMA. I used this website: Civil War.

I also watched Cromwell, which was a bit rubbish to be honest, but again, it painted a picture in my mind.

The most concise history of the Civil War - I actually recalled the lyrics to this as I wrote my exam answer

Charles II - Restoration - same with this one

Block 4 - Slavery and Freedom

I'll warn you - course starts to get quite harrowing from here on in, and I really struggled with my own feelings about these last few blocks. I loved them, and wanted to learn more but realised I was developing quite strong views and ideas - that of course can not really be expressed in a history essay at this level. Try and remain 'on the fence.'

I visited Liverpool Slavery Museum - they even have a copy of Equiano's diary here - amazing. There is a model of a plantation as well, and lots of accounts from slaves and historians. Look up Thomas Thistlewood. Read Equiano's diary. Go to the docks and breathe it in.

I watched Amistad, which I wouldn't recommend as a film, but certainly read up on the events. Amazing Grace was fabulous, I really thought it was a good film and very helpful. Please check historical facts on films though!

As an aside, I watched The Great British Bake-Off the other night and they were talking about the sugar industry, and how Britain made it accessible for the masses, etc. Not one mention of the slave trade which made me feel slightly sick to be honest.

Book 5 - Creating Nations

This was my least favourite Block, to be honest. Lots of historians to get to grips with here - make sure you learn them. Pay attention to the French Revolution, and do read around the subject. The French Revolution is where it begins, and to be honest there is not much to go on from the book. War and Peace would be useful to read here, but it took me a month to read it (after this course) - so not essential and possibly time-wasting!

Chartists and Luddites - really good stuff. Luddites If you get well into it, read Capital by Karl Marx. I read this after the course, as I couldn't squeeze any more reading in with what I was doing. Pay attention to the revolts - 1840s - really interesting stuff here. I'd also recommend reading The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, but again, only if you have time.

Block 6 - Nations and Imperialism

Again, harrowing. Do focus on your historians here again.

King Leopold White King, Red Rubber, Black Death - brilliant documentary

Focus on propaganda and the role of the media. There is loads to go on here, and because it is more modern history, I found I enjoyed this very much. Read Eric Hobsbawm - The Age of Empire - heavy-going but worth it.

The Exam

  • Do a revision timetable and try and stick to it. I revised one block a week, made notes, then revised exam technique and practise questions
  • Buy the practise papers, or network and get someone to email them to you.
  • Make posters or flashcards. Posters worked wonders for me. I printed pictures of the historians with speech bubbles saying what their view was on certain issues. Corny, but it worked. My flashcards were basically screwed up pieces of paper in a creased envelope with historians' views and names on that I asked my 8 year old to test me on in the car on the way to school. Resourceful!
  • Make notes. I didn't make ANY notes throughout the whole course, I was enjoying it so much I forgot about revision. I then had to play catch-up - DERR.

The Source Book

When we had our day school, one of the tutors asked the group how we planned to revise the source books. I answered with "I plan on reading every source." Both men at the front muttered "no no no" and shook their heads. I explained myself "I need to know these sources so I can use them to help me to answer my questions as primary evidence." I honestly read every source, and took mental notes. I remembered the women's pamphlets, the abolitionists' documents, Charles II's declarations, Leopold II's speeches. It was hard-going but worth it.

Visual Sources

Same again - look them over, try and remember them. You can use them in your exam and essays - Brookes' Slave Ship, the images of the Herero tribe, photographs of mutilated Congolese - these are all powerful images that should prompt you to remember names like Thomas Clarkson and  Alice Harris.

 So that's it really. I LOVED the course, and it's a bit sad, but I still miss the damn thing. I start A218 next week, so I am looking forward to that. I must say I feel so much better for getting all this stuff down - I only hope I have helped some of you. Thanks for reading and good luck with A200.

Please leave comments or email me, I'll be happy to respond.

If you liked this post, you might also like to read:

A218 - Just Call Me Dr. McGiveron
Stop! Essay Time
A218 TMA 01 Results and TMA02
A218 - Madness to Continue?
Last TMA Results and Revision/ist Time
Exam Jitters
A218 Pre-Exam Post-Revision Jitters: A Day In Pictures
A218 Exam Results

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

First Introductory Blog *gulps*

Well, I'm afraid this blog is going to be an introductory, plain-old boring one.

My aim for this blog is to show what can be achieved (or not!) by a working, studying Mum. Hopefully it will help out any students, Mums, Dads, and will provide a bit of light entertainment in between!

I plan on blogging about all the different types of hats I wear:-

  • Student Hat: My Open University History degree. I plan on blogging weekly about the progress, book reviews, any hints and tips all leading up to the madness of the exam period.
  • Mum Hat: The kids, pregnancy, motherhood. I have two daughters aged 9 and 1 and I am currently pregnant, so busy year ahead.
  • Wife Hat: I enjoy being a wifey-type so I may post some recipes or tips from time to time
  • Worker Hat: I work at the University of Manchester part time in administration and love it. I may post about the balancing-act that is being a Mum and a worker.
I hope this will be of interest to you. The annoying thing is that I wear so many metaphorical hats, and you know in real-life, I'm just not a hat person at all . . . 

Disqus for Wife, Mum, Student Bum