Tuesday, January 20, 2009

OU marked paper number three

Well who would have thought it? Remember the last OU essay that I sent in; the one on William Wilberforce and his form of Evangelicalism that he called 'real Christianity'. As you can probably guess from the image alongside, the tutor marked it at 81%. So that's 81%, 82% and 81% for the first three submissions.

This whole marking thing has got me thinking. How can my second essay be worth a whole one per cent more than the first and the third. How arbitrary is that?. That's the disadvantage of doing the Humanities -there is no real right or wrong answer, it's all down to how you structure your essay and prove your argument. It's also about answering the question. You might think that a trifle obvious, but my first essay of last year - one analysing a passage from Pride and Prejudice (it was my Literature course) - only got me a mark of 55%. I wrote what I thought was quite a good essay but it didn't really relate to the question and I got marked down for that. However, by the end of the course, I managed to get 90% for an essay on a comparison between Henry V and Benn's The Rover.

I'm now well into the current month's block of study - this time about the concept of the sublime. My essay for that block is a compare and contrast exercise between the representation of the sublime in the writings of Edmund Burke and a passage from a long poem of Wordsworth's called The Prelude. It all sounds quite hard going but next month I move on to the origins of the study of chemistry and scientific I am not. I've also begun revision for the exam in June (the 15th in Paris) - at least it won't all be so strange this time. Last year I got myself into a right old state.

Getting nervous about things is such a useless waste of energy when you stop to think about it. Worry will never change the outcome of a situation, in fact it is so debilitating that it is positively harmful. It takes a very well-disciplined mind to push the negative thoughts away however. Let's hope that the Venetian holiday helps me to eliminate the exam nerves.

29 comments:

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Good for you! Well done.

Exam nerves ... too much of the jitters isn't good, but a little adrenaline always helps me feel more focused. I guess they're there for a reason!

Bill Stankus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dumdad said...

Congrats!

Mama said...

Congratulations FF, worry is a worry, but you have had three fantastic marks already and beautiful Venice to look forward to. I am proud of you, hugs, Kathy.

Henry the Dog said...

Well done FF. Mum says they are super marks. Consistently very good. Mum says you should be very proud of yourself and not worry 'cause you've proved you know your stuff. Mum says have you seen Francesco Da Mosto's 'Venice'? She says she wished she'd seen it before she went to Venice the first time. She says if not you should consider buying it. Mum got 'The Wire' delivered to her friend's house in the UK and brought it back with her but now she can't find it and hopes they've left it somewhere in Uncle Hugh's flying car so she's going to have a look this weekend. She's a bit miffed!

Frankofile said...

'the whole marking thing..' oh dear yes. Nice article on assessing the squishy disciplines: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2009/jan/20/sats-essays-literature.

Moannie said...

Perversely you are making me yearn for my OU years. I think I shall have to post about them...the anxiety...hardly understanding the rubriks...the excitement at the return of the TMA's...the nerves on opening the envelope...then the remarks...AND THE GRADES!!!!
You are getting fabulous marks...think my highest was 90, average 70. Good luck to you.
I did Humanities with Literature.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Congrats on the marks, this course sounds very exciting.

Desert said...

What a great result!!You kept that quiet today. :)

I think that your exam will feel quite different this time.....in fact, I'm SURE it will.Plenty of time before it happens anyway. Enjoy the learning between now and then.

Blu said...

I know nothing but they sound like good marks, well done.

lady jicky said...

Oooh, congrats!!

marc aurel said...

Full of admiration. If it were not for the exams, I would probably still be at University. I think they produced some of the major traumas of my life. Full of admiration.

Lane said...

Well done! And I'm sure your Venetian holiday will help you get into the right frame of mind for your exams:-)

Completely Alienne said...

Well done, that is a good mark. I have to send off the end of course assignment on a short course I have just done then I start a 60 pointer on Political Philosophy next week so I will be doing the monthly essays like you.

I found my first OU exam a bit nerve racking as it had been so long since I had done any but as you say, once you have done one it gets easier as you know what is coming. I don't feel the same pressure as I did at school and university because I am doing it for my own satisfaction rather than to help with a career.

French Fancy said...

Contem Troub - I'm really going to have to work on my revision technique. I found myself a bit out of my depth for last year's exam and only got 62% for it. My course work though - the monthly marked papers - brought my end of course result up to 77%, but I must admit to feeling disappointed when I saw the exam result.

Dumdad- thanks matey

Mama - thanks sweetie. Have you begun your interior design course yet?

Henry - I might know my stuff surrounded by my books but it's amazing how it goes out of your head under exam conditions. Last year it was a big room, 4 students, 2 invigilators and I was very worried.

Yes, I have watched some of the Da Mosto progs - they're fantastic but of course I'll remember diddly squat when we are actually there.

Frankie - thanks for that - it's in my Bookmarks now for tomorrow

Moannie - I would so love to read about your experiences with the OU courses you did. I'm going to do the modern lit Level 3 course next I think (the Shakespeare is a February course and I daren't overlap with this one).

Well done for the 90%. When I saw it on my marked paper for the last TMA, well, it was one of my proudest moments and I earnestly sincerely wished my folks had still been alive to witness such joy.Mr FF and his ma (almost) made up for it though - a pleasure shared etc etc.

Lulu - when I was sitting up in bed the other night reading Burke's treatise on beauty, the sublime, the picturesque - well, exciting was not a word I would have chosen. thanks though.

Desert - I found out the night before we chatted and I was more interested in how your week had gone.

Ta Blu one, ta a lot.

ladyj - how good to see you again. Hope little Kenzo is being a good boy and thank you.

marc - thanks a lot. I never knew they would make me so anxious - I thought I was quite a calm person but no, not last June.

Lane - let's hope so. Of course it could make me too relaxed and happy:)

Completely Alienne - Political Philosophy - wow. I just wouldn't be able to get my head around that.

Re the exams, if I was in the UK I'd take advantage of the revision weekends they sometimes hold - for a fee- at one of the old colleges. I could go all Bridesheady and swish around.

French Fancy said...

p.s. to Moannie - when I said my TMA that got 90% - I meant the last one of the last course - last year. A210 in fact (Henry V and The Rover)

Jennysmith said...

late again, FF, sorry about that.

I don't know about percentages and that but they sound bloody good marks to me. well done, you've worked hard and deserve good grades like that.

I don't know how anyone can do that OU thing. My husband did one with an MBA and what he went through.........probably the same thing as you. Good on you, FF.,

did that tag thing. hope its ok xxxxxxx

Julian Meteor said...

Stop WHAT lol?

French Fancy said...

Jen - Ta my friend. Your man has my sympathies - the MBA must have been much tougher than the BA I'm doing.

Julian - I was being silly, that's all.

Carol and Chris said...

Yay...go French Fancy Go French Fancy *done in a Ricky Lake stylie...with the arms and everything*

You are doing brilliantly!!

C x

Troy said...

Wow, those are really impressive marks for essays. I'm a "numbers" man myself (a retired Chartered Accountant) and essays were never my strong point.

The Dotterel said...

You'll adore The Prelude, if you're into poetry at all. It's a masterpiece. You're very lucky to be studying it; I'm envious.

cheshire wife said...

Congratulations on your marks. I don't know how you do it. I decided when I graduated at 22 that there would be no more exams for me.

Deb said...

Hi ~ Grades are only one part of the equation. I agree with you about the worrying part - and I am constantly trying to talk myself out of worrying. Worrying won't change anything :) You will do just fine!

French Fancy said...

Carol - It's good to see you around again, sweetie. I though about your departure quite often - goodbyes are so tough.

Troy - you were a CA? I used to find burgeoning CA's training contracts. The old adage about accountants being boring is so not true.

the Dotterel - I do like poetry (and in fact I am quite excited to find out that Byron's Childe Harolde is one of the exam texts - I adore Byron), but know nothing -although by tomorrow that will have changed - about The Prelude. You've made me more optimistic now. But how can one compare and contrast prose to poetry (the Burke to the Wordsworth)?

cheshire wife - I don't know what's happened to me re all this study. It's like someone else is inhabiting my mind - I've never been like this before.

Deb - thanks for this. Even now, some five months ahead, when I think about the exam I feel anxious. I've got to fight it.

willow said...

Kudos on the mark! I remember writing a paper in my college days and spending a massive amount of time on it, working hard to use my own words and thoughts and got a "C". Next paper, I totally copied word for word from other sources and received an "A".

nikkicrumpet said...

You're right...there is now sense dwelling on nerves and fear....it isn't going to fix things and it just makes your tummy go all spazzy! Good luck on the next one. I'm sure you'll do great!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Congratulations! Good luck with the holiday...I know I will get to Venice one day. We have friends living at Vicenza and Treviso...so fingers crossed. You'll deserve the break. Sounds as if you are working very hard. Hx

Cynthia said...

Grades are difficult. When you're face to face with an instructor/professor, you're constantly trying to understand what he/she wants. Along the way, your real voice/opinion may get lost-afterall you want to pass. I've been teaching for over 20 years but since I constantly take classes, I keep in touch with the students feelings about grades. I think it's the professors responsibility to be direct about the grading criteria. When a student is mystified as to why a particular grade was awarded, it is the professor's fault.