Thursday, 13 April 2017

Tick tock ...

Oh dear that countdown clock is ticking faster than I would prefer now.  On the one hand - yippee, the countdown heads towards freedom, from the world of study and deadlines and assignments etc.  On the other hand - it reminds me just how little time is left to complete the final EMA.  I remember being very happy that my final module had an EMA instead of a final exam.  Right now I think I would have preferred the short sharp shock of the exam.

Suffice to say, this final module has not exactly filled me with joy and delight.  There have been some satisfying moments along the way, but the very structure of the course has been difficult to balance with life.  Particularly a life which now has my working days being filled with learning.

The final assignment requires some data analysis, some use of data mining techniques and a formal report.  The data sets are based around the EU referendum, which I have to admit I was sick of the first time round.  And now I get to pull it all apart and try to make something interesting out of it.  Now anyone who knows me knows how little interest I have in politics, so they couldn't really have picked a worse subject to keep me interested.

Slowly but surely I am starting (I hope) to get a grasp on what I need to do.  But I will be very glad when the clock stops ticking and my OU study journey finally comes to a close.

And then - only one final part of the journey to take - the march of the graduand.  So excited to finally get to wear that gown and celebrate all the hard work!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A happy second....

Results are back for TMA02.  A damn good 81%.

I'm overjoyed with that result on two counts.  Number one - it's high enough to feel like it's a darn good result.  Number two - it's low enough that I'm just below a distinction.

(Does that sound odd celebrating the lack of a distinction?  Well - it means that I can simply do my best for the End of Module Assessment - without worrying is it good enough for a Distinction, good enough for a First?)

Not saying that I'd ever backpedal, cos that isn't my style at all - but I put SO much pressure on myself for TMA1 with the thoughts of a First in mind that I nearly lost my marbles along the way.
But now, as long as I do a damn good job and pass the EMA, I can go off to that graduation ceremony (in November now) with my head held high and celebrate a 2.1.

And I will be VERY VERY happy with that.  To have achieved my Honours degree, to that level, whilst working and bringing up my child - I will be a happy happy girl indeed.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

2 (almost) down one to go!

OU progress has been slow and steady, definitely felt like I managed to understand more of what I was doing in the second TMA.

Putting the finishing touches to it over the next couple of days, but it should be submitted well within my own deadline this time, and give me a chance to pause and catch up a bit before cracking on with the EMA. (End of Module Assessment).

The EMA I can imagine is going to be a big job, but hoping to structure my time so that I can work through it in smaller bites.  Work plans and diaries and online planners at the ready folks....

Submitting this will mark 2/3 of the way through my final module.  I can't lie, I'm ready now to see what life on the other side looks like - it's been so long since I had a life without my studies that I've kinda forgotten what one looks like!  (The small glimpses in the summer hiatus don't really count cos I've always known the structure lay just beyond).

Right now I have no 'next course' to sign up for.  I have lots of things that I still want to learn (from a working and fun perspective), and I can't imagine that I would actually not be learning something at most points.  But not having a plan for it is Weird - with a capital 'W'.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Sunshine after the Rain

Made some decent progress on the TMA tonight, with a lot of the pain I experienced in the first assignment helping to cement in the things I need to do (and get right) on this one.  Still almost a month to go, but - for the first time in this module - starting to feel as though that will be OK, that it is achievable in that timescale.

Had a positive buzz from last week out in the real world, updates as ever in Beyond the Basket.  I think that may have helped to fuel a decent study session today, so long may it continue!!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Making sense of it all

Some days the lightbulb comes on briefly, the last couple of days at work have been a bit like that - I've not posted over on Beyond the Basket about it yet cos the clarity for me this week was kind of a combination of OU and work, so I felt like it sat better over here.

At work I have been writing database queries for the MongoDB document database that underlies our project, and my current OU study Unit is also concentrated around document databases, and MongoDB in particular.

One of those lightbulb moments where you're not entirely sure which part of your life influenced which, but felt like I was getting it a bit more on both sides because I was getting to practice it from both angles.  (hope that makes sense on screen, it did inside my head?)

It's SO nice on those rare occasions when the knowledge overlaps, makes me feel like the OU struggles after the long commute are all worthwhile, and not just for the end qualification.

So I thought I would share it with the world and myself, and celebrate the wins during this time of mid-course-blues.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Mid - course blues


I know I have posted similar in the middle of most of my modules, but I am just feeling frustrated and, while not quite 'bored' entirely, just left wanting in excitement about this module.

I need to keep up the progress and am doing so at what I feel is a reasonable pace, but I have reached that mid-point in the course where things just go a little stale and I need an injection of enthusiasm.  I dunno how else to make it happen, but am hoping that it will magically appear from somewhere, in the same way the Procrastination Fairy does.

I think that data and statistics are just not really my thing, despite having done that kind of work in the past, I think it was always the creation of spreadsheets and databases that gave me enthusiasm rather than the statistical significance of anything.

Off to walk to the shops now and see if I can buy some get-up-and-go!!

Friday, 20 January 2017

Wow - the final countdowns....

Currently wading my way through the beginnings of TMA2, which up to now doesn't feel quite as awful as TMA1 (although I have started on it much earlier just in case).

But it has just come to my attention that there is now a final lifespan to the rest of this module (the timing of which came to mind when planning other family activities which will take place afterwards).  I realised when planning the fun stuff that the countdown we're working on for that also signifies the countdown to the end of my OU journey (well the studying part anyway).  I won't talk about the what or the how long here as this is a public forum but suffice to say that it's later this year....

The countdown begins....

Somehow the 'real' end always seemed like something so far in the future that it wasn't tangible, but now it has numbers attached to it.  Numbers that are real and tangible and reducing.  Wow - just!

I still can't quite imagine the structure of life without the studies, when that summer 'lull' ends where is the 'back to school' feeling going to come from?  Or will I hit couch potato mode for about 6 months first?  What am I going to read when I can't decide what to read? (some morning commutes it's just easier to decide to study than work out what Kindle book to start next...)

Those questions seemed so far in the future till 5 minutes ago....

Wow - graduation in October!  But that's for thinking on another day, after my head gets around this latest realisation!

Tick tock ...

Oh dear that countdown clock is ticking faster than I would prefer now.  On the one hand - yippee, the countdown heads towards freedom, from...