Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Forays into the 21st century

Another really busy week starting with that last minute scramble to submit my essay before the deadline of Wednesday 4pm.  Re-sits are not an option for me as I have too much to do this summer! I was not happy at all with it and so I decided to get some help from the Study Skills tutor. I have been working in the Enquiry Unit today so I went along at lunchtime and took my last two pieces of work to discuss with the tutor why I am struggling so much with my written work.  He was really helpful and spent nearly an hour with me.  He says I am quite normal for a mature (how polite – I’m extra mature really!) student with lots of practical work experience and used to making firm decisions. After all, you can’t faff around at a home birth when you  have an emergency  situation in front of you! He explained how academic writing is like a bit of a game where you have to learn the rules and then be careful to cover all your bases with anything you say supported by evidence and sources and make sure to give all sides of the discussion. Often a conclusion is not a conclusion as such but just raises more questions.  I am such a solution focussed individual that this sort of ‘hedging all your bets’ stuff does not come very naturally for me.

I went back after lunch and Katrina, the orange haired fount of all knowledge that sits next to me managed to teach me how to do references using the wizard in  the new word 2010.  I only have the 2003 version at home so I found this new cleverness quite amazing.  She finds it amusing that I am so far back in the stone age the way I do most things.  I mean – I grew up learning to write with a stick pen and nib that you dipped in an inkwell at the corner of your desk!  At least it was a technological advance on a feather pen.

Anyway – Katrina is all excited because she won her position in the Student Union vote  - I expect her to be reeaalllly nice to me after I campaigned amongst my course students and got three votes for her – despite us all being mature and extra mature with a tendency to leave such things to the younger and, considerably friskier, members of the student body!

My school days were just like this and my plaits were too!

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