Sunday 30 June 2013

Stunned and Amazed!! Magic disappearing numbers

Well, I never!!

Stunned - having submitted my assignment a day over time (having been allowed an extension) only on Wednesday night, I was certainly not expecting an email dated Saturday telling me it was ready!

Amazed - somehow I must take all this stuff in more than I give myself the credit for - my result was an astounding (in my head anyway) 89%!!

I'd found myself a bit lost off in one particular question, and this was where I lost marks (funny isn't it, we see 89% but think OK where did I lose the other 11?)  Like they magically disappeared into the ether somewhere.

I'm always happy to find that I lose marks in the places I expect to lose them, it means I'm on track and know which areas are my weakness.  The trouble occurs when you lose marks somewhere that you thought made complete sense - there was a patch like that in the first assignment for this course, which I may have to revisit and take some tutor advice upon.

But all in all, hey, talking to Deborah the other day, regarding what mark would make me happy for it - well, it takes 40% to pass, I would have been moderately happy with that, anything over 60 would put a big grin on my face, anything over 70 I would fall off my chair!!  I didn't plan for 'anything over 80' in my head as I didn't think I would go there - let alone so close to 90!!  So I think ecstatic comes to mind!!

And the procrastination fairy has left the building, I had 2 full days off from studying, and returned to reading on Saturday and practical work today.  This is a record for me - normally I lose about 2 weeks in the 'I don't want to go anywhere near a computer' phase that seems to happen after a massive assignment period.  Somehow I just felt ready to get back to it and try to stay on track - one more assignment in August and then the exam in October.

And then the Level 3 course won't start till February 2014 (although the OU are tinkering with the course start dates again, so 2014 will be a year with no lull for me, the next one will begin in the October).

Really looking forward to some downtime this year I have to admit.  I have a box of crafts both un-finished and un-started to keep me busy and intend to do lots of them.

Saturday 8 June 2013

On the edge of the basket - part 2

The washing basket itself can sometimes be a great metaphor for where my life is at the present time, and also how balanced my study life is.  Let me explain...

When I am in a total funk and want to spend time on doing things I want to do, the washing basket fills to overflowing, the house is a mess, and my brain is in chaos, usually because I have hit the point of rebellion and am hoping 'the fairies' come in to sort out the house and leave me to play games/do crafts or anything else    that doesn't involve hard work.

Conversely, when I am procrastinating badly about imminent assignments or deadlines (which I am doing now), the washing basket and every other household chore suddenly become 'urgent', and the washing basket reaches that empty state which causes the wardrobes to overflow.

The 'edge of the basket', i.e. not overflowing, not empty, just below the top, suggests a state of work-life-study-balance.  Not a place I see very often, I must admit.  But somewhere I would deeply love to return to, as it suggests that I have found time to do things other than wash or study.

Right now though I need to stop the procrastination and see if I can make OU magic happen in my assignment.  See you on the other side!!

Sunday 2 June 2013

On the edge of the basket....aka work-life balance and what it actually means....part 1

This post suggested itself to me at the end of a Bank Holiday Monday that I'd enjoyed a lot.  Bizarrely though, so had my husband and son....which sounds peculiar I know but let me explain and it will maybe make the post itself become clearer.

On a Bank Holiday Monday (henceforth to be known as BHM cos I can't be bothered to keep spelling out the whole thing), my idea of a great day is one where I have done lots of separate things, not spent the whole day doing one particular hobby or activity, it usually involves a little housework (so I feel less guilty about spending lots of time doing other things) and may even involve a little bit of study (hence its relevance to the blog here).  For my hubby, a great BHM involves getting up late, spending lots of time on (whatever the game of the moment is), and generally reading a lot.  For my 6-year old it varies - at the moment he's currently obsessed with a Ratchet and Clank video game, so his ideal BHM would be spending as much time on that as possible.  Last BHM we all seemed to achieve just that.

Which got me thinking about 'work-life balance', and how it can mean vastly different things to each of us.

Now my idea of work-life balance (with its piles of study involved) probably sounds like hell to other people.  Conversely, I feel like I have wasted a day if all I do is spend it in front of the TV or a game, my best days are filled with activity.  For my best friend Deborah, a good 'work-life-balance' day probably involves catching just the right bus to waste as little time as possible in her long commute - although that same commute does make for a fantastic blog - check out for some good reading.  So I guess whatever feels most balanced to you is the right one for you.

My idea of work-life balance also involves a manageable level of housework..somewhere about the edge of the washing basket....but that's a tale for another post at another time.