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Carabook

This is what I feel right now about my OU course. I dont know if its because I’m in my 4th year and it just seems to be endless but my marks seem to be slipping and I lack any sort of motivation, I just want to finish studying now.

I’ve got an exam in June as well and I am dreading that. Part of me wants to take a couple of years off and come back to it but I know if I do that then I will never finish.

Bleugh it’s just taking such a long time!!!

xxx



I just cant seem to find the motivation to do my essay. I know it need to be done but I am just tired of being at Uni now.

It’s been 4 years and still another 2 to go and I just want it to be over so I don’t have to worry about another essay again!

Plus I went to class and as usual they were all so pretentious and quoting Jane Austen at each other. There was wine though. That made it slightly bearable. 

Just need to keep the mantra ‘It will be worth it!!!’

xxx 



I got a B in my latest essay. Feel a bit gutted about not getting another A but I was only 2 marks off and the topic was Gothic Architect revival so I think I did pretty well but still…..going to work extra hard on my next one!

xxx



I got another A in my OU course :)

I’m so pleased I’m doing well with these - I hope I can keep it up because now I’ve committed to this degree I really need to get the grades, whereas before it wasn’t such a necessity.

Happy Happy!

xxx



I have another class tonight :)

The last one was really interesting - have I already posted about this? I seem to have lost track of my tumblr recently.

If I haven’t written about it, we discussed Cleopatra and her reputation. How reputation can be built and changed and how actually she was probably a very nice woman who was unfairly portrayed by the opposing side. 

If I have written about it ignore the above!

It was actually really enjoyable to be learning again and I’m looking forward to getting to grips with Dr Faustus tonight.

I do need to make a start on my essay though - it isn’t awful, 500 words on Cleo and 500 on Faustus. It’s just writing that first sentence and getting started.

xxx



I got my European Phrasebook in the post last week! Leigh was trying out all the languages and being very funny with it. We are going to have to learn key words for 5 countries so need to get practicing. I just wish I was better at them – languages have never been my strong point but it’s important to make the effort!

Time is going so slowly – I need the next 6 months to fly by so I can be at that station boarding the Eurostar on the first leg of our epic 17 day Europe trip!!

xxx



Have my first class today, I am officially a student again, which has its bonus/negative points.

Bonus: I’m working towards a degree and studying a subject I am interested in

Negative: I have to study, and do essays and basically meet deadlines, which I am ridiculously bad at.

I have just started reading my set book (which I should have already read probably) for this section and it’s  Dr Faustus. Which is a play. Which is written in Shakespearean English. Which is bloody hard to read. In fact it’s my least favourite form of text and here I am trying to make sense of the bloody thing. So I did what every person with a brain would do and I googled the Synopsis. Apparently it’s about a man who turns to magic and sells his soul. I just hate the stop and start  effect reading plays has, it makes it hard to get into.

My first essay is going to be so hard to get into after a 6 month break from learning, but I’ve got all my course books so I’m set up to be a model student. Ha!

Busy girl this evening with work, gym and then school. I feel good about filling my life with things and I’m even starting to not hate the gym as much! I had a personal trainer session the other day and he talked to me about what’s best to do for what I want to achieve. Rowing is one of the main things, although not rowing like I would do it, actually setting a pace boat and trying to go as fast and hard as possible, I think he took glee in every drop of sweat, evil man! But it will be worth it.

Xxx



My OU course website has finally opened!

I have been looking at all the work that needs to be done and feeling apprehension but looking forward to certain chapters as well, especially the History.

The worst thing to happen is a deadline for the 10th August – I will be in Berlin then! I have an essay deadline for the 6th July so once I’ve completed that one I will have to get my essay done and sent off before I go to Europe which is going to be a pain.

Overall though the course seems to look good and it will get me one step closer to that degree so I just need to buckle down and get on with it, making sure I’m not rushing the essays in the last 2 days. Having said all that it’s what has happened for the last 2 years so my good intentions always go flying out the window!

I received my books in the post a couple of weeks ago and they smell so lovely and new, soon (hopefully if I’m good) they will be covered in my scribbles J


The first tutorial class is going to be exciting – I’ll be interested to see the age range of my class as in previous years they have always been slightly older. Hopefully there will be a few people my age as it would be nice to meet some more people in London. I don’t have to go every week either, like I thought I might have to.

Just waiting for my set books to arrive now and then I can get started swotting up!

xxx



I’ve just found out that I will have to go to evening classes with the Open Uni. I have never had to do this before!! I’m not sure if it will be every week but if it is I will suddenly be very busy indeed what with the gym and uni and work.

I am exited about meeting the other people in the class though. I love new people!

xxx



I swear this is the best scheme ever to come about. 

I just found out that I have a place on the ‘Arts past and present’ course which starts in February and will count as 60 credits towards my degree.

Not only do they pay for the £700 course fee but I will get a small grant as well :)

Really quite excited about this course - its not just literature but history and art as well which are two subjects I love.

Thought I’d share the course plan with you too. Cant wait for this!

Book 1: Reputations Why are some individuals famous? What is it about Cézanne’s paintings or Cleopatra’s life that makes them so well known? This book takes you from the distant past to the contemporary world to consider these questions in the light of the famous, the infamous and the unjustly neglected. Case studies of significant figures (Cleopatra, Josef Stalin, Michael Faraday and the Dalai Lama) introduce subject-specific skills such as differentiating between primary and secondary sources, and understanding and interpreting varied points of view. This will enable you to develop an understanding of how we construct ideas of the past. Chapters on Christopher Marlowe and Paul Cézanne consider artistic reputation through the works that made them famous: Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, the absorbing, tragic story of the man who sells his soul to the devil; and Cézanne’s mysterious, beguiling paintings of bathers and the Mont St Victoire. You’ll acquire competencies in visual analysis and the critical reading of literary texts. A chapter on the musical Diva explores artistic reputation from a different perspective and investigates why some performers become famous. The same chapter also introduces varied musical repertoires and develops your close listening skills.

Book 2: Tradition and Dissent Tradition is a widely used word, particularly in academic contexts, but what do we mean by it? Why is it important to an understanding of the arts? What does it mean to dissent from tradition? This book provides some answers while extending the range of your skills. We begin with Laches, the work of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, which raises questions about how reliable tradition is as a source of knowledge. This is followed by discussion of tradition in relation to poetry, centred on an attractive anthology of poems about animals. Linked chapters explore religious dissent in England (including the cataclysmic story of the Reformation in England), and the gothic revival of the nineteenth century, concentrating on the work of the revolutionary architect Augustus Pugin. Ideas of tradition underpin the formation of nation states: by looking at the invention of tradition in Ireland, you’ll examine this historical process in action. Finally, you’ll listen to the string quartets of the controversial Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich, which raise fascinating questions about the importance of tradition to music and the extent that musical works might act as a form of political dissent.

Book 3: Cultural Encounters Cultural Encounters addresses questions that are pertinent both to the changing world we live in and to all arts subjects: what is the relationship between works of art and colonial history? To what extent can objects and texts be translated from one culture to another? There’s more interdisciplinary work in this part of the course. The book begins with linked chapters on the art of Benin – these are extraordinary sculptures from West Africa, which were taken by Britain and other European countries in the late nineteenth century. The chapters consider this encounter between Europe and Africa from both historical and art historical perspectives. The book continues by examining the philosophical tension between liberal ideas of inclusivity and the pressure for exemptions for minorities in contemporary society. You’ll then read a collection of modern short stories from around the world that explore the ways encounters between different cultures shape ideas of identity and belonging. These short stories are followed by an epic of the exchange of knowledge between cultures: the transmission of medical knowledge from Ancient Greece to the Arabian world and then back to medieval Europe. The book ends with another ancient text – Sophocles’s seminal tragedy, Antigone. You’ll study this play in the Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney’s 2004 translation, The Burial at Thebes. Cumulatively, these individual case studies enrich and complicate our sense of the interplay and exchange of ideas from one culture to another.

Book 4: Place and Leisure The final book explores ideas of place and leisure: how should we interpret sacred spaces or Roman villas? What is the meaning and history of leisure? As well as these thematic questions, the end of the course prompts you to consider what you’ve learnt and what you’ll want to study in the future. With AA100 as the basis for your studies, you will have a good grounding in a range of subjects and their methodologies. The book has two related concerns, outlined in the opening chapters. First we consider leisure as a philosophical issue: what is the purpose of life, and how does leisure fit into broader accounts of what its purpose should be? Secondly, we look at how we interpret the human environment, from ancient monuments through to twentieth-century cities, by interrogating what we mean by the idea of sacred space. These concerns are joined together by focusing on Roman ideas of leisure, both in the evidence of Latin literature and the archaeological remains of villas from across the Roman Empire. The course concludes with a multidisciplinary study of the seaside. This material combines social history of the development of the British seaside resort in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including work on the changing technologies that fostered seaside holidays, with analysis of different representations of the seaside phenomenon in film, music and visual art.

My set books are:

Heaney, Seamus (tr)The Burial at Thebes 

Marlowe, Christopher: O’Conor, John (ed)Doctor Faustus the A text 

Muldoon, Paul (ed)The Faber Book of Beasts

Prescott, Lynda (ed)A World of Difference: an anthology of short stories from five continents 

This is going to be so much fun!

xxx



Open Uni news! After finding out that I cant apply for funding anymore this year, I had a look at my choices. I have to complete a compulsory ‘The Arts – Past & Present’ course to gain my Degree. This wont just be focusing on Literature, but History, Art, and Music. I know what I want to do but this course is a Level 1, that I should have taken first but bypassed as originally I just wanted to do a Creative Writing course and I wasn’t interested in the degree.  

So I am going to do this course in Feb, which means that I can still apply for funding which is good news! And it might get my brain working again, can’t have it turning to mush!

xxx



I swear I spent most of this weekend being too full to move! I have to be really on it this week with my diet, I am slipping again and that is never good! Esp as I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks, if I lose some weight now it will make room for all the peri-peri chicken I am going to consume over the week :)

I am gutted that we didn’t go to Notting Hill Carnival this weekend, but we visited family instead which is probably nicer! We managed to see both mine and Leigh’s parents thanks to the extra day. And even better than a carnival we went to a cider farm, they gave you free samples of their cider (it tasted like apples and farm – I wasn’t a huge fan) and we bought some farmhouse products as well, a jar of lemon curd, some pickle – so we can have a ploughmans, some  farmhouse cheese and a jar of honey. They all taste so good, much better than shop bought products, and I only wish there was a proper farm next door to me. It was def good to be able to breathe unpolluted air and see some stars for a change. You don’t realise how polluted London is until you get out into the country, luckily what with Leigh’s parents living in Bath and mine in West. Sussex we have both grown up surrounded by fields.

I did get some bad news this weekend though, an email from Open Uni, saying that my deadline for funding had passed, which means that I don’t think I am going to be able to do a course this year as they are about £700 each and I just don’t have that lying around. I am going to check my options as I may be able to do something in Jan. Fingers Crossed.

Hope everyone is having a good day!

xxx



I passed my Open Uni course! Which means I now have a Higher Education Diploma in English Literature :)

It also means I’m going to do the next course and then I’m one step closer to getting a degree! I’m so happy I passed it!

xxx



I have finished my essay! Which means no more stressing and manic typing until I decide to do my next course with Open Uni. I really hope I’ve passed this though or else it was all a bit pointless.

If I have passed it means I’m one step closer to getting my degree without ever having forked out huge amounts of money for the bit of paper that says I’m smart :)

xxx





I'm Cara ♥ A 25 year old who lives in London with my darling boyfriend and adorable cat.

This is my life.....





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