Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Keeping a Clear Head

It's been a few weeks since my last post, the summerhouse was delivered (at the very end of the delivery schedule of course) and I am sitting here for the first time in my freshly painted and kitted out hut-shed-summerhouse-office-study thing.  It's peaceful and warm, I have electricity and light and much to my surprise WiFi signal! 

The course start date is fast approaching and like many keen students I have joined the OU Arts & Humanities forum linked to my first course.  In addition I have also joined a course specific facebook group.  Both of these facilities have proved useful in picking up information from people all over the country, eg we have shared links for performances of Dr Faustus both at the theatre and a special showing at Vue cinemas.  We have also shared info on the Hollywood version of Cleopatra which was showing on Sky TV and on Saturday I am meeting up with 3 fellow students at the National Gallery to take a look at the original Cezanne painting 'The Bathers' - all positive stuff.  There is however a draw back to this social network business - it can be very distracting....

Aside from trying to keep up with all the new joiners on either site which takes up your time (be warned - joining a closed facebook group seems to mean that you get an email each time someone posts), there is an element of filtering to be established - great, yes Person A, let's meet up and view the paintings together....But Person B do I really need to know that you 'didn't do any studying today and will catch up tomorrow LOL'.  Not everyone on these sites is new to the OU, some have already started other courses, their posts fill some of the new students with sheer panic thinking that they are way behind everyone else.  Others have started assignments even though we haven't yet been allocated or spoken to our Tutors.  Couple the panic filled posts with the glut of information from the OU and you can easily become overwhelmed.

There is so much to explore on the OU website, with the Library services offering online tutorials covering a range of topics (including how to attend an online tutorial!)  We have the books, CD's, DVD's and study guides to read/listen to and watch as well as the set texts.  Dipping into these at this stage is all that is required.  I have booked tickets to see Dr Faustus at the Islington Pleasance Theatre next month, I am half way through Cleopatra (it is almost 4hrs long) and I am off to the museum on Saturday.  I am limiting myself to 1-2 visits to the forum per week and I am trying not to get too involved in the many posts from the facebook group whilst at the same time still taking part.

My workspace is ready, I have done some reading, some listening and some watching, I have prepared a study schedule now all I need to do is keep a clear head........

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