Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Education Ups and Downs and Ups

Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St.Chad, bu...
St. Chad's Cathedral, designed by Pugin
I set off on AA100 - The Arts Past and Present like a rocket, getting a really great score for my first pair of essays on Plutarch's view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra, and comparing and contrasting the painting styles of Cezanne and Zurburan.  The second essay should have scored more points, in theory, as it was a re-write of one of the first essays, I chose the Plutarch one.  I mucked up on the bibliography and referencing though which cost me points and left me with a lower score then the original essay.  A bit of a downer then.

In the run up to Christmas and New Year I was doing 80 hour weeks and so the little time I had for studying was fractured and at the wrong ends of the day.  Getting your head into your course books after a 15 hour shift is never going to garner any great results.

I sat down yesterday morning to get to grips with my current pair of essays, comparing the reputation of Michael Faraday from two different sources, and comparing and examining two poems ostensibly about cats.  An hour after starting I was almost sat with my head in my hands, my notes from the last month were hugely disorganised, written here and there on bits of paper with underscores and crossings out in abandon.  This then was my lowest ebb for the course so far. 

I had a quick flick around the Facebook groups, saw lots of other folk mentioning the same time problems and even worse, another course colleague had bitten the dust. Left. Quit. Dropped out.

Can't do that, I'm too Yorkshire.  I've paid for this course out of my own pocket so I'm determined to wring value from it. A couple of hours yesterday and then a solid four hour stint today and I had dragged my copious but random notes into some sort of coherent form and produced two essays complete with references and bibliography.

That's me back in the groove then.  I don't think these are the best essays I have done, I have a slight concern I haven't balanced the dual question in one quite enough, but they are done and with that I can press on with Pugin and the revival of Gothic architecture in English churches.

I have had a look to see what the next essay is, a choice between examining tradition and dissent in either the Roman Catholic church in England, or the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, and the word count is doubled to 1,200.  I have not yet done the work on Shostakovich, but I'm taking an early decision and have been to the library to raid it for background material on Catholicism.

Now then, another hour or two studying before I cook dinner, I'm a happy little student again.
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