Category Archives: TMA’s

And it’s my best score yet!

For a change, I got my TMA 06 results back within a week, so it was a huge surprise for me, to see the email informing me that I could upload my marked essay. To add to the surprise, when I got to the relevant place, I saw that I’d managed to score a whopping 80% for this final TMA!

After only having two weeks to read all the relevant chapters, work through the various assignments on each chapter, and then write my TMA, it really was a shock for me to get such a high mark – especially as I posted it, thinking that I’d be really happy with just a pass mark 🙂

As usual, my tutor wrote in depth where I hadn’t expanded the information that was needed, or I’d missed the opportunity to write about this subject, or that one and, as usual, I wondered where I could fit in all she asked of me, with the limited word count we had – and that’s without the fact of her being lucky that I remembered enough of the facts to write anything at all!

I’m really pleased with my result, albeit puzzled as to how I could get such a high mark when I can’t remember what I’d written, at least, not without having it in front of me! But, as I go about getting everything together, ready to begin writing my EMA (End-of-Module-Assignment), I can’t help feeling relieved that the torture that is this module, is soon to be over and done with! 

As usual for this stage of my writing an essay, my mind is a total blank, and so I’m, once again, having to trawl through all of the course books and study guides, along with watching and listening to the CD-ROMs, in the hopes that something will spark an idea for me to write about.

I really do feel that every TMA I’ve written for this module, has been a rehash of the one before and, with the instructions given for this final essay, it looks to me to be exactly the same kind of thing again :/

One of my fellow students got it very right when she said that E301: The art of English, can be likened to Marmite – you either love it, or you hate it. I’m afraid, unlike Marmite, which I’ve always loved, this module is definitely on my hate list!

But, provided that I can get a 70% pass rate for the EMA, by August, I should be the proud possessor of my degree and, as the OU have kindly renamed my degree to reflect the work I’ve put into it, I’ll be awarded a BA (Hons) Literature with Creative Writing 🙂

It has taken me 6 long years to get to this point, and there have been a lot of ups and downs along the way but, all-in-all, I’m so very glad I started studying with the Open University. It has opened up my whole life in many ways but , more especially, it has enabled me to be in contact with like-minded people from across the UK, and even Europe. This has been vital to me, as I live my life stuck between four walls, a prisoner of my own body. But, with the aid of my trusty laptop – another gift from the O.U – I am able to roam all across the world in my search for knowledge, and the companionship of others in the same position as myself.

When I weigh it all up, I have to admit that I wouldn’t have changed this experience for the world – but it is definitely time for me to move on, and for me to start to use all the things I’ve been taught!

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Yay! 78%, and nearly at the end!

I was both shocked, and delighted, when my score came in for TMA 05. I managed to get a score of 78%, the highest score so far for this course!

I’m both delighted, and very nervous now, as this raises expectations for the next, and final, TMA, which I know I won’t be able to match 😦

Not only am I 2 weeks behind with this next one, but I won’t be able to have an extension to catch up, as that would eat into my End of Module Assessment, and there’s definitely no extension’s allowed for that!

So I’m going to have to skim-read a couple of weeks work, and hope I absorb enough to be able to write at least a coherent TMA 06. But, whatever happens with it, at least I would have tried! 🙂


I’ve also had some great news from my daughter, who is a professional stilt-walker, based in Bristol. 

She’s had the chance of getting to the 2012 Burning Man festival, in the USA, as she’s teamed up with the Fireworks Collective, a group of around 40 performers who use fire in their acts, and who go out there regularly to perform.

They’ve just launched an appeal for funding, which will pay for developing and building the props they’ll be using, the cost of fuel and safety equipment both here in the UK while they practise their routines, and in the USA for the performances, the costumes for the performers, and the cost of transporting the props and gear to the USA, and back again.

All of the performers will be paying their own fares and living costs, so the money raised will be going just for the above. 

I’ve already donated my bit towards it all, and am looking forward to receiving a sticker designed by a top London Graffiti artist as a gift for my contribution 🙂

The link for their site is:

Hope you go to the site, and see the wonderful photos already posted, and you’ll be able to read up all about what’s happening so far – and see how awesome it’s going to be! 🙂

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Filed under Celebrations, Daughters, Learning, TMA's, Travelling, Uncategorized

Getting there, once again . . .

Well, I’ve managed to get back up to 2,717!

Not as far forward as I’d hoped, due to fighting the usual bad health 😦  
But I’m really pleased with it, as I’ve also managed to tighten up my writing, to add even more details to the essay, so that’s an improvement for me 🙂

I’ve now got until 26th April, 10 more days, to get it finished and posted off to be marked, but I’m really hoping to have it done before this week is out, as TMA06, and the EMA, are looming horribly on the horizon 😦

As there’s no substitution on 05, I really need to get as high a mark as is possible for me so that, if 06 is disrupted by my health problems, I can then have the substitution marking used for that one.

I just need to get the energy together and, really soon, I’ll be free of the whole course!


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Filed under Disability Issues, Learning, TMA's, Writing

And the results are in . . .

For the first time in my 6 year history with the Open University, I’ve got a mark below the 60% level 😦

I went onto the OU Studenthome, and saw that my tutor had posted my mark this morning and, although I hadn’t expected a great mark, to get the one I had was a real shock – I got 58%!

I sat and read the summary my tutor wrote, and then all the comments on my TMA itself, and then I have to admit that I sat there and just cried.

It wasn’t so much the mark itself, but the fact that the comments made me see just how badly my health has deteriorated. Even a year ago, I wouldn’t have had the type of comments my tutor made about my work. I’ve forgotten so much of what I’ve learned, and I have made mistakes in my formatting, sentence structure, and various other things that make up the basic knowledge of how to write the English language. I had missed out too many criteria, hadn’t explained what I had mentioned in enough detail, and had generally made a complete hash of my work!

It has made me think seriously about giving up the course, as the next TMA is a double one, with 3,500 words to find, and then there’s another TMA, and the dreaded End-of-Course-Assessment, with each one getting progressively harder 😦

As I haven’t been able to rely on my tutor for any help, as she’s having to cope with a family bereavement, I can’t think of any other recourse than to give up the module, and just accept my BA, without the Honours I was hoping to achieve.

If I had been able to continue on with another module later on this year to get my Honours, I would have done but, as I’m in my last year of financial help towards my learning, there’s no help to be had!

It’s definitely not the way I foresaw the ending of my Uni life. 

I didn’t expect to go out with a bang, but I certainly didn’t expect it to end on a whimper, either 😦

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I’ve been saying this every time . . .

. . . but I can’t believe the mark I’ve just received for my TMA!

When I came online earlier, I hadn’t even thought about the last TMA. I had gone on to the OU site to look something up, and just casually glanced over the page that shows my scores – and there it was – 76%!!

I have to admit that my jaw dropped, and I didn’t realise how I must have looked, until hubby came into the room, and asked me what was wrong. When I told him my score, he said: “See, I told you not to worry, Kate, you’re so much brighter than you think you are!” (Oh, I so wish that were true!)

I decided that I’d go to the TMA site, to download my marked TMA, and the summary that my tutor writes to let me know where I’ve gone wrong, or right, in my writing. As usual, there were absolutely reams of advice, and so many things she had wanted to see within my essay – which definitely brought me down to earth with a bump!

I have to admit, after 6 year’s worth of writing TMA’s and EMA’s, it would have been so very nice to get one that gave a lot more word count than we ever do get – mind you, I expect that, if we did have it, I’d just waffle a bit more, or add another so-called unnecessary quote that’d take it over the count again {grin}

And that’s another thing that drives me nuts!

If I don’t use many quotes, then I get criticised about it, and have done in past modules but, if I do use what I think is enough to get my point across, then I’m also criticised as using too many of them – I guess this is just another of those ‘no win’ situations so many of us students find ourselves in {wry grin}

But, now this TMA is in the bag, so-to-speak, I shall draw a thick and heavy curtain around it, turn my back, and try to get on with this second half of the course – I hope!

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Filed under Learning, TMA's

And so it’s off!

As I pressed the button that would send my TMA winging through the aether towards it’s final destination – in my tutor’s computer – I breathed a huge sigh of relief for it going at last. 

I’d had to ask for some extra time to complete the thing and, frankly, don’t hold out much hope of a really good result once it’s marked – but I guess the point is, that I did actually finish it, and send it off, which was something I had grave doubts about doing over the last few days!

The one good thing about it all, though, is that I realised as I pressed the ‘send’ button, that this meant we were actually half-way through the course at last! Yay!

I do actually find it sad that I’m feeling this way about a course, though as, although my previous courses were hard, I was still enjoying them very much. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about this one 😦

I can’t really even put my finger on what it is that’s put me off of this course so much – apart, that is, from the fact that all the theorists in it seem to have a terrible urge to make life as complicated as possible – to the point where we all seem to be digging in the dark without a torch to hand. Or they just contradict both themselves, and each other, to the point that there just is no point anymore!

As you can read, I’m really not enjoying this course at all! 

Trouble is, I’m just too donkey-stubborn to give up on it, and let it beat me – not likely!

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Filed under Exams, Learning, TMA's

The results are in . . .

. . . and I got a quite healthy 70% for my TMA 02.

More than I thought I would get, truth to tell, and probably more than I deserve, given that so much of what I am reading isn’t sticking 😦

In all truth, I was on the point of contacting the OU and giving up this course, especially with my health being at an all-time low right now. I have just been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as Lupus, so I’m not a very happy bunny, to put it mildly. In fact, I’ve slept so much over this last week, that this is the first opportunity I’ve had to actually write in my blog, especially as my results came in a week ago.

I wrote to my tutor, setting out my problems, but she seems to think that I’ve actually got a better grasp of the course than I think I have, and she is encouraging me to keep on trying, as she says things will be a little easier, the further along I go in the course. 

I’m not sure I believe her, to be honest with you, but I’m giving myself a couple of weeks study free, so that I can try to recover a little health-wise, without the stress of the course making things worse for me. But I know that I really do need to keep on studying, as TMA 03 is due to be posted by noon on 12th January, and I’m already a week behind in my course work again.

I guess, all I can do is try each day to do a little bit, working on the next TMA as I go along, hoping, and praying, that I get enough right to keep passing each TMA, until I either recover enough to catch up, or, please God, find the course easier to absorb, as my tutor tells me I will.

I’m finding the idea of this being my last course with the OU rather more pleasing than I have ever done in the past but, rather than looking forward to a completely study-free future, have decided that I’m going to concentrate on my story writing in the future, with the research needed, for this to be a success.

No matter what happens, though, I know I will always be grateful to the OU, for teaching me how to do proper research, and then to be able to write a decent story from the results of my research, and I’m hoping this will hold me in good stead when I make the attempt in the future 🙂

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Filed under Disability Issues, TMA's