College - week 4)
My counselling classes are taking their toll on my slightly fragile confidence, which is bad news indeed, as there are another 8 weeks left to go… plus the very scary assignments to complete over the Christmas break.
I fear I’ve bitten off rather more than I can chew with that particular subject, but I’ll endeavour to inflict my anguish on whoever’s within earshot over the coming week, and attempt to find an appropriate solution. I feel a 'client role' coming on.
On a far more positive note, I.T. I felt, was highly productive for me this week. I certainly produced a high volume of A4 sheets from the overworked and sporadically temperamental classroom printer. What a joy it was, when I was presented with my marked work from last week, and I spotted the word "Excellent". O happy day….
Spell-checker is one of my favourite buttons on the toolbar, so I was rather pleased to discover that I would be playing with it throughout the lesson.
Inspecting the Access Main Course notice board, located in a rather dull and dingy corridor of F Block, I saw no evidence of any previously promised announcement regarding the exact whereabouts of our relocated numeracy class, so during mid-morning break I deliberately latched onto a couple of my unsuspecting chums who would shortly be heading off in that direction.
Fortunately, they already knew the somewhat complex route to the mystical lands beyond the car park that lead to the room known as' Rembrandt, and I dutifully followed, Pied Piper style, through J Block (or is it K Block?), along a muddy track, and up a slippery hill, until we finally arrived. Thank heavens I hadn’t worn stiletto heels! All very 'Carry on Campus'.
It’s no coincidence that the word 'fractions' bears a striking resemblance to the word 'fractious', however, I believe that I grasped the main gist of it by the end of the lesson. The generous portions of cake references helped to sustain my interest in an otherwise dreary subject, although by I was famished.
Lunch was another rather hurried affair that my delicate digestive system is gradually becoming used to.
On my way out of B Block refectory, I noticed the rather natty new paper signs on the toilet doors, stating "ladies cloakroom" and "gentlemen's cloakroom". I can only assume that they’re there for the benefit of the Open University students, who are apparently sitting exams somewhere nearby.
I find it quite amusing that a host can deem its guests too stupid to work out what the male and female symbols on a toilet door could possibly mean, particularly such academically-orientated ones. I hope that none of the visitors were mislead into thinking that they could actually leave their coats in there!
Plagiarism and referencing were the afternoon delights. I now accept that the words "Big, green sociology book, ….purchased last Wednesday….., Waterstones,
Chelmsford High Street… £19.99" is an unsuitable referencing method, which will be frowned upon if used in the bibliography of my sociology essay.
The final hour of the day was dedicated to spelling. Unfortunately we were denied access to the PCs for this exercise, inducing another mild panic attack in someone who never usually hand writes anything more substantial than a shopping list, and out of the 50 commonly misspelled words I only got a feeble 36 correct. Oh, the shame.
Thursday's class was a somewhat preoccupied affair, on account of the imminent arrival of the essay title. Marxism mostly flew over my head and out of an open window, while I fretted over what the joyous heading will be at the top of my first sociological composition.
It arrived in spectacular fashion ….an incredible 55 words of it, in two parts….. along with various handouts that’ll have to be read thoroughly and digested before they’ll assist with the task ahead.
Rather frustratingly, whilst in the process of grasping the concept of interpreting, analysing and evaluating, the unwelcome distraction of a mobile ringing out aloud meant that my train of thought pulled out of station F6 before I had the opportunity to climb on board, taking with it my undoubtedly brilliant flash of inspiration.
A second digital disruption just moments later simply added to my exasperation. I too have a nice shiny Nokia, along with a rather clever off switch. I’m reasonably confident that should the four-minute warning be about to sound, the college would, indeed, inform us.
Having an essay to write now gives me an ideal opportunity for me to indulge my obsessive behaviour. I’m highly likely to live it and breathe it for the next three weeks, nurturing it like an over-protective mother, and yet resenting its very existence. It‘ll provide the perfect excuse for not doing all the things I simply can’t be bothered to face …goodbye Mr Sheen… and I now embrace the fact that I’ve become a 'real' student.