Finding the right study buddy…

Everyone that knows me well, also knows that I am a long time advocate for The Open University way of life. I’ve been a student with this institution since 2005, and would not have had the opportunity to study back then, if it were not for the flexibility of the distance learning style of teaching that the OU provide. However, having been a ‘distance learner’ for so long, I also get that the experience can become a bit isolating. The advantage of traditional brick universities and colleges is that you get to meet people in person, and share the experience with them.

For the last eight years though, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a study buddy who has joined in every step of my OU journey. Coco the Labrador is my faithful companion, most loyal supporter, and the best study partner that a gal could ask for. Admittedly, conversation can be a bit one sided, and she’s reluctant to take or share any useful notes, but when it comes to a nice leisurely walk in the sunshine to fend off those study blues, then she is absolutely always available.

With this in mind, the best advice that I have to offer anyone embarking on their own OU journey, is to try and be more dog: Continue reading

Oh no, not Menelaus!

So I have set myself the somewhat arduous task of writing a weekly post, which is all very well in theory, but requires a degree of inspiration to which I simply do not have access, despite regular pleadings to the nine muses and all that.  However a thought did occur to me this morning, not too regular an occurrence, and something which is often celebrated in the empty cavern like nothingness of this particular blogess’s mind.  I said to myself, as you do, I will open up my ‘Who’s Who of the Classical World’ each weekend and stick a metaphorical pin in it.  Problem solved.  So I did just that this afternoon, full of hope and expectation, and who did I get but Menelaus.  Oh no, I thought, back again in that empty recess where all the ideas and stuff should happen, not Menelaus, the most boring of all the Homeric characters.  Because in my opinion Menelaus might just be the dullest hero in the history of heroes.  But at least I have a chance to explain why… Continue reading

I am taught

I’ve always had an interest in teaching.  During the days of my boring old office job, sat counting beans and gazing longingly out of a nearby window, I’d dream of a different way of life, a better way of life, the kind of job that adds value to other people’s lives.  So when the afternoon slump kicked in from my over processed lunch, and I’d be in the kitchen hovering close to the caffeine and ranting about what it was to be a wage slave, my equally weary colleagues would ask: ‘so what would you do then, if you could go back and start again?’ And I’d say, ‘I would teach!’  Because obviously, it was just that easy. Continue reading

What is classical studies?

Sometimes I think it can be difficult to satisfactorily explain classical studies as a subject, but it seems like the right place to start if I want to blog about classics generally.  In my opinion, classical studies is a subject which examines the culture of ancient Greece and Rome, through a multi-disciplinary approach, so incorporating the use of methodology and theories from subjects such as art history, literary analysis, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and so much more!  But this short definition doesn’t seem even remotely to cover this very broad and interesting discipline. Continue reading

OU Lifer?

A few years ago when I decided to start over and embark on a retraining exercise in the form of a degree course, the Open University was a natural choice for me.  I had studied with them before, making the tangle of course related bureaucracy just a little less difficult to wind through, and they were cheaper by far than the local ‘brick’, sit in style, attend every day, sort of university with real people and classes.  I could learn in a flexible way, to suit my own lifestyle, which was handy given that I suffered a lot with migraines and headaches back then, and have a big Labrador that needs a good walk in the afternoons.  Continue reading