Monday, 19 February 2007

The marine tank

My beloved took me out this weekend and bought me a marine aquarium (thankyou!).
I subsequently spent the rest of the time worrying about the specific gravity of my water and arranging live rock on a bed of coral sand. Still, it should keep me occupied - and distracted given that it will sit in the corner of the study. It is only 58 litres so it might take a bit of setting up, but hopefully it will be a successful first foray into the colourful world of marine fishes.

M253 weirdness

So despite the teeth gnashing and wailing the results for TMA 02 came back and I ended up with 83%. This is okay - but I am not exactly sure how it came to pass.

The comments from the tutor seemed to indicate that there were several areas that a) the team and b) I personally had failed to reflect on and consider (it is difficult to consider everything in 1000 words) and yet the results still came back as high as they did.

I think that I have decided I have no idea what this course is trying to teach me. From the comments that I have received there are a whole load of points that I personally am missing, and that the team as a whole if failing to realise, and yet we end up with marks like this.

Perhaps it simply is a question of jumping through the hoops, and that we are entitled to a grade because we have managed to put up with the course for as long as we have.

I am unable to contribute to the final stage as much as I would have liked to, mainly because I start my new job on 1st March (how exciting is that!). Perhaps this means I will get more out of M253 for the last assignment than I have for the other two. Having read comments from other students on the course it would seem that I was almost putting too much effort in.

Monday, 12 February 2007

M253 - The nightmare continues

So after a week of navel gazing we get a post from a team member following exactly the same lines as we did for Milestone 2 - which didn't work.

At this point (given that this Milestone is meant to flow directly from the last 1 i.e. there is no break) three people including me have posted to the conference. It has been ten days since two of the team members even bothered to check the messages in the conference, and 12 and 17 days respectively since the other two bothered to post anything.

I criticise the plan of action - and get a terse and erroneous response that states what is being proposed is entirely different to what went before.


I am so angry that I worked my arse off for Milestone 2, and people are now implying that they were unable to contribute because I prevented them from doing so. How the fuck dare they.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

M263 - Consistency is my middle name

Well I have now had 3 TMAs marked for M263.
I have to say, Simon my tutor does a damn fine job of giving some relevant and helpful feedback.
Not too bad this time round - I had a bit of trouble understanding what was meant by side-effects, which resulted in me not testing my software properly - but I think I understand what was required now, so I can avoid that pitfall in future.
I am also getting better at just answering the questions! This might help in the exam if I can stick to what they ask instead of trying to show them what I know.
If you count the first TMA as two separate ones (which I suppose technically they are not) I am Dr. Consistency! 95% for all three.

Have to say, I am fairly pleased!

Wednesday, 7 February 2007


Seems that the assurances I was given for M253 weren't worth the time I spent listening to them.

I get to stay in the team I am in. Great.

The debate from the people who actually convene the course centred on the fact that the M253 experience was negative for just about everyone - and that they didn't care about this. Apparently I can learn something valuable if I become self-critical as well as critical of others. HELLO? Pot and Kettle - perhaps if they were a little self-assured and took time to listen to the DELUGE of complaints this attempt at a course they might be able to implement something that the students will enjoy. I'd love to see the evidence that supports the fact that people who are unhappy in their studies learn as much as people who enjoy them......I won't hold my breath.

Their justification for not being overly concerned by this atrocity of a course? People have finished the course 'successfully' in other presentations, and the situation is not entirely unrealistic.

I am really disappointed in the OU who appear to offer the minimum in terms of pastoral support for students who find themselves in my position.

Guess I will just sit the final Milestone out. The pride that I have taken in my work for this course so far doesn't seem to have achieved a great deal.

Monday, 5 February 2007

M253 - Milestone 2 Submitted - New Horizons abound

Well after all that effort the Milestone for TMA 2 was submitted on time.
I was amazed at how all the dodgy internet connections managed to resolve themselves in time for me some members of the group to download the finalised version of the team document.
Strange that.

Still hopefully there will be a resolution to that problem. My request to be transferred out of the team has been granted, based on my dissatisfaction with the amount of effort the majority of the team put in, and consequently the disproportionate amount of time I was having to dedicate to M253. Although I actually didn't mind this, I did feel quite aggrieved to be constantly criticised for 'taking over' and 'interfering' by one of the group members, with little support from the others even though they were content to be structured in the way I suggested.

Even if I go to a team with as little motivation as the one I am currently in I think I will do better in the final ECA because of it. There simply won't be the time to build up the resentment towards the course and one another that pervades the discussion in the team I am currently stuck with. I have simply done all I can to work with this team, and feel that if I stay I will become a very destructive force.