Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A327: War, Peace, Modernity - TMA 01

So it's back to uni for me as usual. Strange really, this is my last year as an undergrad, so I'm really throwing myself into this. And at the same time drowning in all the reading material.

As per usual, then,

So, as I have already said, I have tried to get a bit ahead on this module by reading ahead of schedule. This was good, but nowhere near enough. When the course website opened I realised that the amount of work needed for this module is pretty hefty.

This is not a complaint, it's just a fact. So if you are considering doing this module bear it in mind - here is a little breakdown of what one week might look like:

Directed Study 
This is what the OU have given you to study. You might have to look things up on their online library, but it's all there for you really.

1. Read the unit (within each unit as usual there will be two or three exercises requiring you to read an outside source/watch a video/look something up.
2. Look up newspaper articles from 1914 using the database
3. Examine a primary source
4. Visit a war/battle database and spend 30 minutes reading around it
5. Watch two short films on war experience
6. Examine another primary source
7. Visit war artists' webpage and have a look through

Independent Study
This is more research-based. You have to actively find things - the OU make suggestions but you just have to get on with it.

1. Examine WW1 experiences from the database - choose a theme
2. Pick up some reading about this theme - 2 hours (They do suggest a list of books)

So as you can see that is one weeks' work, and all I did in preparation was number 1. of the directed study, without doing the exercises!!!

The main advantage I have given myself is the notes I have taken - this makes my life a bit easier.

So in terms of organisation - I really am no further on from five years ago really, no point in pretending otherwise.

There are books all over the house, papers all over the house, notebooks and pens. I have no dedicated study space so the stuff just goes everywhere. I do have a sort through now and again, and I think that I am going to have to very soon.

I am lucky because now I work at Liverpool University and I can use their excellent library. I have got quite a few books out from there this week so that's great. OK I've not picked any of them up to read yet, but still, it's a start.

I have completed TMA 01. Document analysis - this should have been quite simple for me at this stage - I have been doing document analysis for years now. But for some reason I think I spent too long over-thinking this essay and I don't think that it's going to be one of my highest marks. To be fair to myself, I have recently changed jobs and I have had an infection in my mouth (probably a stress/run-down thing from all the change) and so if my mark is lower than usual then I should probably just give myself a break.

But I won't. I'll kick my own arse.

I'll be back writing more about this course when I get my result. Overall though - loving it. As usual. the OU have some top-notch material - our tutor is great, really impressed with him. I'm going to miss my next tutorial though because I am going to Mumsnet's Blogfest - a blogging conference in London and I'm a guest speaker on one of the round-tables. Gutted to be missing my tutorial, but it's just one of those things.

My plans going forward are to crack on with the reading and chip away at it every day. Even if I only do a little bit - something is better than nothing. Maybe I'll allow myself a Sunday off or something. I really love the material, so it's not about motivation for me, it's more about finding the time and being awake enough to take it in.

So, one essay down. Time is flying away with itself. I have been looking at post-grad options for when I graduate and I really fancy some of the ones offered at Liverpool. Finances are the problem though, as with anything. But we'll see.

Studying is my thing...innit.



  1. Good luck to you with this module and your last year. Chatting with my Dad other day about Antony Beevor's WW2 book - all 900+ pages of it - fascinating about Churchill related events from WW1. Have you read it? x #doorstop

  2. Really enjoying reading the inspired me to do an OU degree

  3. Really enjoying reading the inspired me to do an OU degree

  4. Really enjoying reading the inspired me to do an OU degree


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