Saturday, September 05, 2009

My next course

Over the last couple of months I've had a bit of trouble deciding what my next OU course was going to be. It will be the fourth in a series of the six needed for me to get my BA Humanities degree, two of which need to be at Level 3. I thought about the new Level 3 course beginning this year which covers Children's Literature - everything from Victorian fairy tales all the way up to JK Rowling. The drawback with new courses is that until they have been going a couple of years and the necessary tweaks done with course work planning, you can find yourself with too much to cope within too short a time. It is better to enrol for them in their fourth year of syllabus inclusion. Then I thought about another Level 3 course - The History of Film and Television; the drawback with that is that it does not begin until February and I really fancied beginning sooner.

So the one I have eventually chosen is the one that all my family and friends (and previous tutors) have recommended I do - Creative Writing. It is a Level 2 course but at least there is no exam (you all know that my exam technique is my weakness) and it begins on October 3. I have to pay over £1500 as I am an expat and the money side of things was a bit of a worry until I had a spot of good luck. I was recently going through some of my dad's things and I found a little bag of coins. They looked like old farthings of no value at all and I showed them to a jeweller friend of ours who told me they were sovereigns and he took them off my hands for £1700. It was like a sign that of course I should carry on with the OU this year.


Anonymous said...

This all sounds wonderful....
How very fortuitous about the coins.
I think you are going to be whiz at this course.
I had to get an American MA to teach in the US as I only had a PGCE from England.
So I decided to to an MA in Creative Writing. It was a doddle but very thrilling too.
They got Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison as guest speakers.
Actually Children's Lit is pretty interesting. I taught it for 10 years and loved it.
Happy weekend.

the fly in the web said...

Well, you must be destined to continue....
Don't let that last exam result depress you...there can be big differences of opinion between people setting up a course and the examiners and moderators who come in at the end. It's the poor old student who gets it in the neck, though!
Enjoy yourself!

Cynthia said...

Wow what a find! I always think that it's too much trouble to sell and your coins were purchased right away. About your courses- children's literature would be's light reading and brings up a lot of memories. (I don't think the revisions would be that hard to cope with because of the subject.) If it meets a necessary requirement, I think it's the way to go. (There's my invaluable 2 cents worth of wisdom.)

Of course you should take a creative writing course, too...that's exciting! No exam! What a bonus.

Glad that you are nearing the completion of your OU course. How satisfying that will be!

Nora Johnson said...

So glad too you are approaching the end of the OU course! And what a stroke of luck about those coins - must be a lucky omen!

Have a great weekend!

PS thanks for all the great comments. Agree totally with you about Keira & those "chips"!! Don't suppose she had any clue what they were xx

Frankofile said...

I've looking forward to reading about how you find it.

Ayak said...

Of course finding the coins was a sign that you were meant to do the course...what a stroke of luck! Now you can go ahead and enjoy without worrying about the cost. xx

Lulu LaBonne said...

OMG - Jesus came to you, another bloody miracle.

That is great news and surely a Sign.

Well Done!

Mr Wolf's is the Bristol bar BB Bea went on about as being one of her haunts. When she decided to hippy Ken up I thnk thats where she said she'd take him (not that I watch that sort of thing you understand).

Mark said...

Hello FF

Courses are very difficult to chose I know.

Yesterday I got my grades for Creative Writing at level 3 with the OCA - I got a first! Ho hum ...

Boasting over (sorry couldn't help it) , if you'd like any thoughts on what its like to do level 3 creative writing you can email me (link on my profile page).

On a related note, it should be possible to do a course with OCA and transfer your points to OU - I don't think they charge more for expats so you'd save a lot of money. Fairly sure you can't can't transfer level 3 points though, so might have to be level 2 course - being frank, if you haven't done creative writing before that might be a better option as its usually the level 3 courses hat count most towards your final grade.

Sorry, I'm going on again. Feel free to email.


Ann said...

Oh FF, this was meant to be, from your beloved dad, he is looking out for you, take this wonderful gift, you know your dad will be so proud of you.

Ann said...

Pack it in with the loving the hoover, now I am getting really worried about you dearest.
Jeez you will be telling me you are dusting next.

Steve said...

That's definitely what I would have chosen and in fact did do a creative writing module on ymy degree - I loved every minute of it. Hope yours is as good as mine was.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for the windfall! You must have chosed the right course as the heavens seemed to have rewarded you.

Can't wait to read your first essay.

Larry M. Brow said...

Now you've got me wondering what "Non-Creative" Writing would be. The only thing I'm coming up with is plagiarism. Then you're just shifting it from one location to another. Otherwise, I'm always being asked to create something out of nothing when I have to write.

Still, I hope you get fun assignments, or find the fun in assignments that were never meant to have any.


French Fancy said...

Elizabeth - I always forget about your academic background and tend to think about you as a photographer. How fabulous to have hear La Atwood in person - jealous now

flyintheweb - thank you so much for your support. I'm still quite sad that I never did as well as anticipated - at least there will be no exam for this next one

cheshire wife said...

It sounds as if this was meant to be and I am sure that your father would approve.

Rob-bear said...

A course in Creative Writing? You're already doing that FF, and doing it beautifully. Besides, there is no Nobel Prize in blogging.

However, I hope you have fun with the course. I'm sure you'll undertake it creatively.

LadyFi said...

Creative writing - lucky you!

Carol said...

Finding those coins was definitely your Dad's way of saying 'Get on with it' :-)

I think you will be great at the creative writing course!! You do write beautifully!!

C x

A Super Dilettante said...

Creative writing sounds like right up your street. From the amount of books you read, I think you will be ahead of everyone in this course. I'm very touched by the coins that your father left. I can be very sentimental xx

claire p said...

Oh I did that one, it's really good. I did their short one first then the level 2 one. I loved it x
Will you still speak to me when I'm tattooed?

French Fancy said...

Cynthia - I'm all booked on the Writing course now so have now put my brain in that zone. I will do the Children's Lit course as one of the two Level 3 that I need to do

French Fancy said...

Nora - well I've still got a few years to go - and then I'll be all nervous about my graduation ceremony (should I go to the Barbican or Versailles to receive it)

Frankie - I'll probably be posting lots of purple prose about it and everyone will get bored and my followers will desert ne, one by one

Ayak - that was just how I saw it; like my dad was helping me from beyond the grave. Mr FF was going to pay for it but to be honest these are not exactly hard times but a bit too hard for the extravagance of an OU course

Lulu - yay, a miracle lo - it occurred to me and I passed out of the state known as brassic

Mark - you are totally right to boast. I'm very proud of you and know how hard it is to attain that elusive mark (no pun intended.)

I do know of the OCA because my ma-in-law has done a few courses and mentions it quite frequently (the cheaper price in particular). I looked into studying with them a few years back but I prefer to stay with the brand leader.

Ann - I think my parents would have been overjoyed to know that I was at last doing what my teachers way back when said I should have been doing all along - applying myself and not getting distracted by trivial things

Steve - glad I picked the right thing; it is sometimes difficult to choose with so much on offer - you know first hand what it is like

Dedene - and last week I got quite a generous from some share payout that I didn't even know had been bequeathed to me - it is quite astonishing how 'heaven-sent' this money is

Hiya Larry - yes, it is a bit of a silly title for a course

cheshire wife - I've got to get through the dreary Breton winters somehow - studying is just the job

Rob - aw, thank you for such kind words

Ladyfi - you could do it as well. Go on.

Carol - thank you sweetie,

ASD - you should have seen Mr FF and I - we had this pile of old coins beside us whilst I googled old farthings. It said there were so many still about they were worth hardly anything but occasionally a certain year might be worth a bit of money. Hence me taking the little haul to our jeweller friend (he was going to repair a ring for me anyway) and then being absolutely astounded when he said (all matter of fact) 'oh yes, these are sovereigns, I'll give you £1730 for what is here!'

claire - even if you had a tattoo covering your entire body I would still bloggy love you - I know my views are very antiquated.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi FF, I think that doing the creative writing course is a must. Nice thing about the coins and your Dad. Heavenly sent coins!

P.S. Do you have an e-mail address at all? (I'm sure you do - it is not listed here though. Mine's on my blog...maybe you could e-mail me? Merci buckets if you can.)

Dottie said...

Hiya FF, sorry for the long absence. My next and final course will be TU120, a neat wee ten-pointer to finish off the Cert in Business Studies. Still trying to arrange funding for this - no treasure to be found in my attic, sadly! All the very best with the new course, it'll be a joy :)

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

HarD TO CHOOSE, I TOO HAVE BEEN LOOKNG TO MAKE UP POINTS, BUT i can't find the right one for me..

Creative writing I do like the sound of, but level 3 is tough and l dont fancy another 3 just yet...will plod on...

French Fancy said...

Hadriana - I never fancied doing this course originally and now I'm in the zone I can't imagine why I had those initial doubts.

Have mailed you

Dottie!!! hello you. A final course - how good that must be to type. As for the funding - I've been very lucky so far in that I've ended up with bits and pieces at the right time.

FFF - yes, once the initial excitment has died down and one is on a course that you're not sure about, it can be a bit of a difficult time trying to get through those TMAs. I'm still very disappointed about my exam mark this year - this writing course has an ECA so it will be much better. Good luck with deciding your next one

Phil Lowe said...

Oh wow!! That is fantastic news and the positive way the 'payment' came through. With actual coins. That was truely meant to be and a theme for your very first Creative Writing challenge. Sounds great... and not in French I assume. Brilliant news my friend.

French Fancy said...

in French hahahaha - the thought of doing an OU course in French (non-language study I mean) is daunting to say the least. I remember for one of my first courses having to read some letters of Marie Antoinette's and telling a (French) neighbour about it. She was so impressed - until I mentioned that of course they had been translated into English. Her face dropped rather.

Mark said...

Hi there FF thanks for comments over at the bike shed. I don't have special domain so suggest you try again with the URL, which is:

Understand about OU, especially if you are used to their systems and tuition which is very important - and I think the OU offers a very high quality product, more so than OCA. On reflection, I would stay with them too - pity about the outrageous fees though.

That said, OCA has one other benefit which is essential for me - the courses do not work to a strict timetable. Students can take as long as you like, within reason. With my work schedule that is very important - otherwise I would probably go with OU.

Just put you on my blog roll too

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Creative writing! Very cool. I tried one class my sophomore year of college and couldn't stop taking them after that.

Paloma Chaffinch said...

Poppy and Misty look like light snacks for my Misty! Aren't they cute? Good luck to us both for the course!

French Fancy said...

Mark - hello again. I've read the background to the OCA and am baffled why the OU did not include courses of a hands-on artistic nature. My m-i-l found them very good but then she is very artistic - I prefer to read about others doing it.

I think the OU have lessened their rules on continuous study now. I seem to recall receiving a letter about gaps in study being permitted now. As for the cost - if I hadn't found that the coins had been worth proper money I might have had to postpone the continuation until the February film course.

ContemTroub - You are an inspiration to me. All the studying you do, as well as teaching all your students - I don't know how you do it.

hello Paloma. I must come and find out more about your (bigger) Misty.

Indeed - good luck to us both (and all our fellow students)

justme said...

What a fabulous find! Definately a sign! x

French Fancy said...

Thank you just me - it was indeed a sign like my dad was helping me from beyond the grave