Tuesday, 14 September 2010

I'm a Student!

MY box of goodies arrived today from the Open University, and I was so excited that when I came to log on to the website I forgot my user name and my password!

It is to be hoped my memory improves fairly rapidly, otherwise my chances of achieving a longed-for English degree are not good!

When I left school I went to what was then known as 'teachers training college', stayed a year, decided teaching was not for me, and left to pursue a career in journalism.

I've never regretted that decision, but over the years I have toyed with the idea of studying for a degree. However, somehow it always seemed too difficult to combine with the demands of a high-stress job and a family.

Now The Daughters are grown and the job has been lost to redundancy, so it seems the ideal time to make the dream come true.

The idea still sounds a little scary, but last year I took a course at our local college to upgrade my IT skills and gain a BTec in Business Administration, and realised how much I love the gaining of knowledge.

To start with I was incredibly nervous - after all, it was a long time since I had been in a formal learning situation. But it was a wonderful experience which left me wanting to take on a fresh challenge, something I could really get my teeth into.

And what better than a degree?

The first module, which is mandatory, is The Arts Past and Present, which (according the booklet), aims to give students a 'thorough grounding' in the arts and humanities.

The breadth of disciplines involved is amazing: philosophy, art, literature, history... the list is endless.

Split into four sections, the course covers Repuations, Traditions and Dissent, Culural Encounters and Place and Literature.

First off is Reputations, where I have to consider what it is that makes some individuals famous - for example, why is Cleopatra still an icon some 2,000 years after her death? What about 'villains' like Stalin, or saintly men like the Dali Lama?

I'll also be studying musical divas, Cezanne's paintings and to study Marlowe's Dr Faustus, one of the most powerful dramas I have read.

I have to buy course books (including Faustus - I have an ancient copy somewhere, but it is not the recommended edition - and I am still waiting to hear who my tutor is.

But I have a box full of CDs and text/instruction books, as well as lots of enthusiasm, so I'm ready to start studying...

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