Saturday 16 March 2013

What happens at the end?

Well this week I found out the answer - when you get to the bottom of the washing basket, you have too much clean ironed clothing to fit in your wardrobe!!  So you have to buy vacuum bags to shrink the wardrobe contents so it will actually fit!

But as this blog is mostly around my OU journey it also has me asking that question of myself regarding my studies and the 'next steps'.  Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,  I kind of want to know what's on the other side of the hill.

Somehow I can't quite imagine The End (OU) being The End (learning).  For most of my life I have been learning in one way or another, it's become an addiction that will be very hard to give up.

Professionally (or developmentally) speaking, I plan to start looking into Open Source development opportunities first, just to give myself some 'real life' IT experience outside of my studies.  I think I would run that alongside the last couple of years of Level 3 study (the Honours Bit).

Personally speaking though - what to learn next?  I've always had a hankering for hang-gliding, or maybe a play-it-safe option of learning to make my own clothes.  Or both??

It's a few more years down the line yet, so I have a little time to think, but life, like the Washing Basket, has a habit of creeping back up on you when you least expect it, so it will no doubt be here before I have time to prepare enough.

Plodding on with M362, first assignment question complete, 3 more to go.

Thursday 7 March 2013

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Scaries?

2013:  M362 - Developing Concurrent Distributed Systems

Ok, now don't be too afraid - the washing basket has not only been replaced, it has multiplied!!  Trying to contain the chaos in each of the rooms caused by the washing awaiting 'processing', I've resorted to those 'pop-up' laundry baskets in the bedrooms.  And my dear old friend that sent me on this journey in the first place has been usurped, he was cracking round the edges and had to be replaced by a newer, shinier silver model with a working lid.

Yeah, yeah...but that's not the real Big Bad Scary stuff - that's the start of (drum roll........) Level.....3!!

With 210 points now under my belt, it's finally time to bite the bullet, jump in at the deep end with a resounding "splash" and begin my third year studies.

Somehow the reality of the possibility of an actual degree has only now started to dawn upon me.  Yes, I know that has been my aim for a while now, but it all seemed so far away before somehow.  Like 'growing up', that thing that will always happen 20 or so years from now.  Till all of a sudden you realise that you have a mortgage, a Mrs before your name, a 'my son' and 'my husband' to speak of.

After this course (somehow I always count from after my current course), there will only be another 2 courses required, another 60 points to go, until I can graduate with my BSc (Open).  Fair enough, another couple after that before I can add (Hons) to that title, but I've decided that I definitely want to accept the degree sooner rather than later, I think the very fact of getting to attend my own graduation ceremony will be inspiration to keep me going with the final 2 or 3 courses.

OK bring on the Scaries, I think I am almost ready now...

Stop, look and listen...

2012:  A179 - Start Listening to Music

Having spotted a music course in the technology stuff that I would have loved to study but hadn't the moolah to afford, I'd decided that my final 10 point 'break' would be this course.

Ha!! How wrong can one student get??  Far from being a nice easy couple of months between the end of Level 2 and the start of Level 3, this 'little' course was the hardest thing since the great Washing Basket Quest of 2004.  I did better on the assignments and final result than I dared to hope, so something must have made it in past the brain-fog, but I have a new-found admiration for any students of music out there.  This has been the only course in my entire OU career where I submitted the assignments not knowing whether I had done enough to pass, and where I had actually contemplated quitting the course before the final assignment if I had not done well on the first one.

What I didn't realise that was, to start properly 'listening' to music instead of simply hearing it, one needs a fair amount of quiet time.  Now I dunno how many people out there have 6 -year olds, but I can probably bet that quiet time is not a thing held in abundance by most parents.  I sat there one night trying to find the rhythm and metre in some bit of Mozart or another (Leopold not Wolfgang...didn't even know there was a Leopold till now), and our boy was literally 'mewing' in his bedroom next door.

Now, generally speaking, when the noise from next door gets too loud, I take the study books in the bath and drown out the noise with the sound of the water running, but with a course presented online and snippets of music requiring stop/restart constantly, studying in the bath was not an option.  So I had to resort to taking it to bed on the 'tablet' we had recently bought.

But hey-ho (or a nonny-nonny-no, or some such ditty), pass I did, and that brings us neatly up to date....and to the beginning of the Big Bad Scaries!!