Saturday, 12 February 2011

And I am studying AA316 ... why??? Time for a wobbly moan.

I started essay number 4 of my course today. For those of you who don't know I am studying a level 3 Open University course - The Nineteenth Century Novel. Last year I managed to get a Grade 2 pass in Approaching Literature in my goal to gain an Honours Degree in Humanities with Literature.

This afternoon saw me reach an all time low in my confidence levels. Although the title of the essay is quite a promising one - looking at how the critical essays in the course book can help us understand the relationships between men and women in Germinal and Far from the Madding Crowd - I am finding it very difficult to get into.

I think that my main problem is a lack of motivation/interest/enthusiasm, closely followed by a lack of belief in myself. I have been ill for a week and in spite of this I have tried to keep up with the work. I have read the books, read the essays and written notes on them. When it comes to getting this thing done by next Friday though I am stuck.

The stuff I have written so far is dross. I just don't have the knowledge levels to be able to write to this standard. Last year I did well. This year I am struggling. Working with the OU means an awful lot of studying alone. There is no discussion, little feedback. The tutorials are frustrating this year. The last one I went to I ended up making myself be quiet because I felt few of the other students were contributing. I ended up thinking 'Why should I give them all my ideas?' I was about the only one who appeared to have actually read the novels we were talking about.

I suppose I should think that in that case those students will be struggling more than I am... but it doesn't work that way.I am beginning to see this course as a 'get througher'. I just need to get through it and do the best I can. But at the moment that is a thankless task.

I am trying to hold down a job that is practically full time at the moment, organise a family, blah, blah,blah. I know - worse things happen at sea. There are people out there who would cut off their right arm to swap places with me. It doesn't really matter if I don't get a great degree. I don't 'need' it. But I want it. I want to be able to teach and right now everything is being thrown in my way to stop that goal.

I tell you what - I will make bloody sure my children don't give up a year off their degrees when they are at Uni. When I look back and think how close I was all those years ago, and yet I threw it all away... What a fool.

Thanks for listening to me moan. Let's hope my tutor replies to my email and I feel better after a good night's sleep.


Tracey said...

I was supposed to be doing a creative writing course at our local college, and it got cancelled, possibly because of a lack of students enrolling onto it. I was looking forward to it, nevermind!

Gail said...

Now, Sarah, you are a very capable, bright young women and have the ability with in you to pass this with flying colors.

Take a deep breath, leave it for a evening, wipe it out of your mind and when you return with a fresh persceptive, the words will flow.

Anonymous said...

I endorse Gail's advice, leave it for an evening, & start with a fresh perspective tomorrow. Pick apart the question, look again at your plan & as you write keep referring back to the question to make sure you are answering it. If you don't agree with a critic, then argue against it. Do the critics actually help you understand? - that will get more marks too. Good luck xx

Urban Cynic said...

Of course it's hard - it's a degree. I they were easy, there would be no point in doing one.

It's understandable to be frustrated and a bit scared when you come up against something difficult; it's so rare that we actually push ourselves, that it's our first instinct. Just push through it, come back to it in a bit and try again. Keeping at it is also a great example for your boys - not to give up when something becomes hard, & that some things are worth working at. x

Caz said...

I really feel for you. Everyone gets into a slump every now and again. You know you can do - it is hard and if you're not enjoying the subject, it is even harder to stay motivated. Keep going and just give it everything you've got. Whatever result you end up getting, you can be satisfied that you gave it your utmost. Take a deep breath, clear your mind and get rid of any negative self talk! And if anywhere is good for a moan, it's here where you know everyone knows exactly how you feel! Good luck, Sarah.

sarah at secret housewife said...

Thank you for your support everyone.I have done nothing today as I fell asleep - just feeling so rubbish after this flu thing.Now I have even less time.My plan when I get off here is to rewrite my plan and try to think a bit more deeply about what I can write.My tutor emailed me to offer support and although she offered to discuss my ideas I just don't think that would be right.I want my essay to be 'my essay', good or bad and to have the advantage of talking it through with my tutor first doesn't sit right with me.I hate feeling this lacking in confidence and, frankly, thick.But as you said, Urban Cynic,its supposed to be hard and if I ever do get this thing sorted it will mean even more to me.xx

Anonymous said...

It was such a relief to read your experience of AA316. I, too, did quite well in A210, and am really struggling with this course, especially TMA04.I thought I was the only one feeling this way about it.
We were all ill before Christmas and recently my Tutor has had to step down.
I also find doing the OU courses very isolating.It's very very hard to self-motivate, particularly half way through these courses when there always seems to be a dip in confidence and concentration.

sarah at secret housewife said...

Hi Anonymous. Sorry to hear you are having wobbles too. If I have helped by having a moan on here then I am very happy! At least we only have 2 essays and the exam to get through now. Goof luck with them and do pop by to let me know how you get on. Sarah x