Thursday 29 September 2016

And ....we're off...

Finally the module practical materials are installed on a working computer (see page 2 ...), the course written materials downloaded to my Kindle for reading on the long daily commute, and I am ready to be started.  I've started to read the first chapter, and am taking in some of the recommended familiarisation exercises regarding the software we'll be using and the Python programming language.

The module officially begins on Saturday.

I have to admit, normally at this particular point in a module, just before I am due to begin, is when I suddenly feel the Procrastination Fairy beginning to stretch her filmy wings for a couple of weeks, but bizarrely, I remain enthusiastic.  I don't know precisely why, but I get the feeling it's because there is so much of this module that is absolutely brand new knowledge, and there's lots of practical exercises to be undertaken.  Maybe that practical bent is just what I have been waiting for to keep me enthused for the rest of the module?  I hope so!  (or maybe it's just because I am happy in the day-job and this feels like an extension of that?)

Anyway, not going to look a gift horse in the mouth...I will take the enthusiasm and run with it while it lasts, be it for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, or the rest of the module.  It's a bit like housework and crafts, just go with it in earnest while the mojo is present, and get through it the rest of the time!

Soldier on, blogpeeps!

Saturday 24 September 2016

When the worm turns the other way

Now I have had many posts about how much my OU studies have helped in my career and how enlightening those moments are.

Until now I have not had the opportunity for things to work the other way round.  The software for the TM351 module (the last one!!) requires us to work with a 'Virtual Machine', kind of a 'computer within a computer' to simplify it a little.  I used these once before on a module and struggled a lot, however this time round we are using some of the software that I have been learning about at work!

Yes - the day job is helping with the studying!!  I can't tell you just how awesome that makes me feel, that I am learning such things out in the real world of work.  (I had very occasional 'moments' of that during training when practical learning would help to illustrate a theoretical concept, but this is the first time that practical stuff from work has bled into the 'night job').

Just starting to install software etc now, I have a little over a week left before the module begins, but I am keen to get installed and up and running in time for the start date.  (This despite the fact that my craft 'mojo' has come back just in time to make me feel less like study...)

Kind of raring to go now....just got to get through this installation stage first!

Tuesday 6 September 2016

That Back To School Feeling

From a washing basket all the uniform washed and ironed and ready to go?  Most importantly is everything labelled with names for when our kids strip off jumpers in the remaining heat of an Indian summer that happens for a couple of days before the frost hits?  Heaven forbid that they keep track of their own clothing!!

But the return to school brings with it a certain 'new beginnings' type of joy to it, where I am more inclined to make changes, or start new projects, or get stuff organised.  It used to be about having the right pens and exercise books, these days it's more about maybe planning a Christmas project, or making lists.  And of course for me this year, new job too, and all the extra new beginnings that brings with it.

It will also be the time where the new course materials will land on my doorstep, and bring once again that temptation for an early peek.  I'm looking forward to starting the next module, but I am just now starting to get my 'groove' back after the long period of full time work and travel, starting to feel like there is a life in work-life balance again.  A very little part of me will be jealously clinging on to that feeling and objecting to the new course as a way of interrupting the flow.  But then, I know, once it's all done next summer, I will feel like I miss the study.

I do think that I will still have plenty of learning opportunities at work, things that I can get my teeth into in a practical sense, both at home and at work.  (I will admit to maintaining a balance though, I don't do more than make sure I can understand what I did at work, I don't take 'work' home, I start the concepts at a much more basic level and recreate them for my understanding, it helps me to understand the grass roots of what I am learning without getting bogged down in the massiveness of the project itself).