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Finishing lines - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Finishing lines
Last day of November!

"I've been trying to write a blog post every day this month," I said, in the pub, earlier.
"Doesn't that mean you just end up writing a load of crap?" asked my learned colleague.

He had a point; I've published things I wouldn't have published (which was part of the point), and had a go at things which didn't really work (which was another part of the point). I've also got round to writing some things that I might not otherwise have got round to (ditto), and maybe some of them are crap too. The main result, though, is having started getting back into the habit of writing. And along the way I've had far more positive feedback than I expected, and I'm afraid I've failed to reply to a lot of comments that really did deserve a reply.

I've let other things slide, too. The photography is so far behind schedule that I don't know if I'm going to manage to do my end-of-course assessment at all. It's not helped by the fact that I have approximately one hour of daylight free in a normal working day, and when it's dark outside there's no sensible light in the house (a combination of badly-positioned lights and energy-saving bulbs means that it always feels too murky to see anything properly, let alone photograph anything properly, like I'm looking through a very thin veil). I don't think that makes the course a waste of money, if I don't hand the ECA in; I think I got what I wanted out of it. (It'll probably disqualify me from ever taking another OU degree, of course, and they'll send me hundreds of letters asking why I FAILED FAILED FAILED, but I can probably live with that.)

But I've still managed to read interesting books, and sing in one carol service and one carol concert, and sing at a colleague's leaving do, and go running twice, and play piano a couple of times, in between all this actually get some work done (though I've felt fairly unproductive lately, to be honest, and maybe that's the next thing to try to kick-start, and I have some ideas for that too).

I don't think it means anything or proves anything or achieves anything in the grand scheme of things. But sometimes it's good just to know that you can carry on putting one brick upon another, one foot in front of the other, even if it's not clear what you're building or where you're going.
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Comments
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: December 1st, 2007 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
(It'll probably disqualify me from ever taking another OU degree, of course, and they'll send me hundreds of letters asking why I FAILED FAILED FAILED, but I can probably live with that.)

From my experience this year (two different tutors for my course, and visiting another tutorial group one month), most tutors are concerned when people drop out because they like to see people succeed at whatever level, but they don't won't people hunted down and beaten with knives. What did seem to piss mine off was when they could have bent the rules for someone who didn't ask. (You've just had your baby two months early? Of course we can give you an extension and extra assistance.)

If they ever did complain, a simple enough lie should cover it - "Oh, I changed job and then my mum went into hospital, and I just forgot all about everything. And it was only a 10 point course."

Edited at 2007-12-01 10:52 am (UTC)
julietk From: julietk Date: December 1st, 2007 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've liked reading the posts, although haven't always been commenting.

I too have found that having some form of schedule/commitment (if only to myself) for things is massively helpful. I'm still posting on my tech blog once a week despite being through the 3 months dictated by the 101 things list, because I know that if I stop, I'll just *stop*. Wasn't able to keep up the same thing on LJ as well, sadly... (The tech blog I credit for getting me the occasional writing gigs I have now, so have more incentive to keep that up. :-) ).

But sometimes it's good just to know that you can carry on putting one brick upon another, one foot in front of the other, even if it's not clear what you're building or where you're going.

Yes. I have been increasingly struck, this year in particular, by how much it's possible to do a little bit at a time, by just plugging onwards; and how sometimes that becomes entirely *other* than what you were expecting.
jvvw From: jvvw Date: December 1st, 2007 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you'll definitely be able to do more OU courses even if you fail one. There are lots of people at the OU looking at why people don't finish courses to see what the OU could have done better so don't be surprised if you do get contacted about it though. There's definitely a survey for people who withdraw I know as I wrote the website that the people involved use to look at the results from that survey.

I'm also not sure of the exact distinction between failing and withdrawing. Lots of people certainly withdraw and redo a course later. I'm not sure how that works with course fees but I have a feeling if you withdraw then you don't have to pay the full fee to do the course again.

The 10 point short courses are a bit weird because unlike almost any other OU course there's no tutor support and just the help line, so things might also be a bit different for those. The digital photography course is only in its second presentation too so I suspect they are still very actively trying to improve it - definitely tell them about the problem with hours of daylight outside working hours as they may be able to put a warning about that in the course description.
_swallow From: _swallow Date: December 1st, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed reading your entries this month.
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