Monday, 28 May 2012

What is distance learning?

Distance learning is not a totally easy concept. The OU model is quite different from the model at the University where I am studying for my MA. The OU provided all materials (all top-quality reference books), apart from a few commercially available books which they asked you to buy from the start. So you could sit at home and get on with it.

I have been a bit shocked by the University model - probably because I'm naive, but they should probably spell it out a bit more, because I can't be the only one. The materials are different for each taught module - sometimes there is audio and sometimes not. It even differs within a module. What we get is a set of slides or lecturer's notes so there is no indexing for later use. They are obviously recycyled from other courses because they make references to material we have not actually seen.  And they expect you to have access to an academic library. Not impossible, but not easy either, and not what I was expecting. But they are very vague about what the references to all these extra materials is supposed to achieve. I expected it for the dissertation but not for the taught modules.

Friday, 18 May 2012

I've lost it

Secret Housewife - has written to me to say she is impressed with my 50,000 word essay, as well she might be, since its actually 5,000 and an extra nought crept in. Embarrassing or what? For someone who has a degree in Maths (but not arithmetic, obviously).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I didn't know I'm a hat lover

I've rarely worn a hat - that's the same for most people my age. Our mothers and grandmothers wore hats and we ditched all that in the 60s. But I have enjoyed looking for a hat for TSH's daughter's wedding. And yesterday we went to an actual hat shop - they still exist!! I could not keep my eyes off these perfect works of art. But the owner put them on for you whilst wearing gloves (her, not me). That was fair enough because they are precious. I wanted them all, even the ones in colours I don't like.
No decision yet, but I'm looking forward to making it at great length.

The course has gone quiet - no feedback on last week's task and no new task or reading yet. Only about four of us seem to be doing anything on the forums (fora?) at the moment - they're like the Marie Celeste. For my next 50,000 word assignment, I will compare Party Conference speeches by Cameron and Milliband.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

This module is better

I am getting on with the Corpus Linguistics and have just completed a task. This was to compare speeches made by Archbishop George Carey and Pope John Paul II. The software we are using (Antconc) indicated their very diffeent styles of rhetoric - I am keen to see what the tutor thinks of my assessment. GC seems to be using much more informal, almost conversational language, whereas PJP is much more foormal, almost like an academic. The latter is also much more classically religious, and the former speaks more about every day life.

I am still studying hats and shoes. A neighbour has lent me a hat - black with a brim and lots of ostrich feathers. I want some blue flowers for it but they have to match the dress exactly and I can't find any at the moment. The shoes will wait til the Autumn when there should be a wider choice of black patents.

TSH's daughter has seen the dress and seems to approve.

Only a few weeks til our holiday tour of Southern England. Holiday wardrobe planning time. Will Summer have arrived by then?

Thursday, 3 May 2012


The grammar book assignment has been submitted. I enjoyed it but I'm glad its gone. I've now started on corpus linguistics and have just read one account of how male language is different from female language (quite possibly) but he (I think its a he) claims that women's swearing is less extreme than men's (not round here it isn't) and that women don't use abstract entities like 'opinion' or 'theory' (we CAN do abstract  thinking, he mustn't have looked for the right words). He finishes by saying that men's and women's language is complementary, based on that fact that men go out to work and women stay at home (OMG!!) and that their interaction (wait for it .....) is best represented by a pair of entwined wedding rings. I need to lie down in a darkened room with my smelling salts. Maybe even loosen my stays.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Almost finished!

The essay comparing the grammar books is almost finished - I have enjoyed it but will be glad to see it go now. I don't feel I have done myself justice but I have no real fears about failing this time. Corpus Linguistics here we come!!

A neighbour has lent me a hat to try for the wedding - black and very dramatic with ostrich feathers all around. I like it a lot but maybe it also needs a row of blue somewhere. Or should I go and buy (or hire) anyway? My shoes are not decided - I can't walk in high heels but would love something a bit glamorous. Nobody is designing shoes for me!!

TSH is feeling very left out - no decisions yet about what the men are wearing.