Saturday, 4 October 2008
Term Started Today
Today marked the official start of my current OU course. Regular readers will know that I have been working away at this course for the last couple of weeks because I know that I have to work when I can, for when my depression is at its worst I am unable to concentrate on reading anything and writing a decent piece of academic prose is impossible.
The course I am taking at the moment is a foundation course. The OU encourages new students to start with a foundation course, but I am an old hand at OU study so to take a foundation course again after all these years, has been a bit of a novelty. When the course website opened a couple of weeks ago there was a forum for students on the course to get used to the concept of using a forum as much of our tuition may be carried out in this way.
As each day passed after the opening of the course website, activity on this introductory forum increased. It went from a single thread in which we introduced ourselves to our fellow students, to threads covering a multitude of subjects. Some threads were very active, while others only every had one or two entries. There were threads which related to locality, and threads that related to age. One gave details of how becoming an OU student allowed you to indulge in the purchase of stationery. Everyday there were hundreds of individual entries to these various threads.
But things have changed today. While there have been the occasional new items, in the main things have been quiet. Today, those students of all ages, who have been engaging in frivolous chatter with people who they will most probably never meet, have suddenly become university students and have started to work their way through the course material. Tutorials will be happening all over the country over the next couple of weeks, and students on this course will meet just a few of the people who they have been corresponding with electronically over the last couple of weeks; those who will be sharing their tutor.
As the weeks progress, some will find that they are having problems making the time for study, some may find the concepts expressed difficult to understand, some will wonder why they have left it for so long to return to their education. I hope that they all enjoy their studies, for it is through education that we can truly find ourselves.