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1RowanWellie
Jul 16, 2011, 6:28am

Cor it's a bit quiet in here but I suppose everyone is reading and studying ;)
I'm Sam and have just finished A330 and A219 (both classics courses) and in oct am about to embark on the Empires and Global Heritage courses which will finish my history degree off.

2soniaandree
Ago 5, 2011, 7:41am

Hello Sam!

I have just been given the result of my final BA course and studying with the OU has been a real life experience. As far as I can see, I have been given between 85-99% for 'skills of independent study', so I must have done something right!
How's your studying going? Have you had your courses' results yet? I hope you managed all right and that you got what you wanted out of them! Best of luck with your two final courses in October!

3Booksloth
Ago 9, 2011, 3:27am

Hi there both of you! I'm working on A815 (Masters in Eng Lit) and tussling with Milton and Blake right now. This course has included some truly horrible stuff and yet the good bits still make up for the bad. You're darn right with that 'reading and studying' comment, Sam: I feel as it I'm paddling like crazy just to keep my head above water at the moment. The next block is Byron, thank god, whom I love, so maybe that'll feel a bit easier. Good luck to you both - hope you're getting the marks you crave!

4soniaandree
Ago 9, 2011, 4:41am

3 - I wish I was doing A815, but for budget reasons, I can only register with a French uni (it costs me around €300/€400 for registration). So I am embarking on a two-year Master in English with Caen uni (if they want me in) in English literature. Should be fun! Switching languages (again) is not fun either!

5jidgy77
Set 6, 2011, 9:49am

Just thought I'd say 'Hello!' and 'I've just signed up for A815!' I'm looking forward to studying again, but am wondering (only slightly nervously...) what the 'truly horrible' bits were, Booksloth?

6soniaandree
Set 6, 2011, 11:00am

Yes, I am wondering the same thing! :-)

7Booksloth
Set 6, 2011, 1:38pm

#5/6 Congrats on signing up jidgy77! Please don't anyone be put off by anything I thought was horrible, we all have different tastes. Try as I might, I just couldn't get into Robinson Crusoe and the block on Milton and Blake seems to have been a real struggle for pretty much everyone. The Bushman Tales were pretty horrible too but I understand that particular text is being withdrawn next year. The good news, though, is that my TMA on Robinson Crusoe still scored 80% and the Milton/Blake one is being marked right now. The upside to getting texts you find difficult is that you get an even bigger sense of satisfaction once they're done. Despite those wobbles I've enjoyed this past 9 months very much and can't wait to get started on next year's dissertation (that's after the ECA for this year is done - due in in January).

8soniaandree
Set 6, 2011, 2:05pm

We all have some books we like and some we don't! :-) Despite this, you're still doing alright! :-) In the meantime, I am having my Versailles degree ceremony on Saturday and I am looking forward to meeting a fellow OU student from Germany, as we sort of helped each other out those last few years. I ended up with a good mark on the last EMA (74%) and it sort of concludes the degree nicely; I am already missing all the OU stuff, as I am applying to join a French uni for the MA - it still isn't the same, without all the OU community for comfort! :-)

9Booksloth
Set 7, 2011, 6:27am

Have a wonderful time on Saturday! I will never forget my graduation ceremony - it's not every day we can feel genuinly proud of something we have worked for and all those years of home study definitely deserve it . And I do hope the fact of changing to a new Uni won't stop you posting here in the OU group, I'd certainly love to keep in touch with how you are getting on. I know this isn't the most 'buzzing' group here on LT but I assume that's because most of us are bussy with TMAs etc most of the time and don't have time to chat.

So is there anyone else out there who is planning A815 or A816 next year? Or any of the other literature courses? I just registered for 816 - can't really afford it but prices will never be lower, I'm sure, (and I will never be younger) so it's a case of carpe diem

10soniaandree
Editado: Set 11, 2011, 5:22am

Yesterday in Versaille has felt like a dream - I had prepared so many things to get 'things right' on the day, like booking the little Italian restaurant at the corner of the conference centre, the café place next to it, meeting with my UK and Germany friends (my German study buddy was also graduating there that day), that I thought the stress would probably get to me, one way or another! I hadn't slept for two nights in a row too, which did not help. But it was such a high (when standing on the stage) that what followed afterwards was just a way to relax and, finally, to accept that I had worked very hard to get to this celebration and that, from now on, no other graduation day will ever match that first one!

And, from what I have seen from all the foreign students (me included) in the conference centre , I can safely say that learning and studying in a foreign language (in English) has demanded from us so much more energy and time that we can be proud of the achievement realised up to graduation! And let's not even discuss the achievement of the disabled lady (who is blind) who managed to get her degree too - she had everyone's cheers, louder and longer than anyone else! :-)

I'll keep in touch with everyone on the forum, I have renewed my OUSA union membership for a further year (it's free and you can do that, apparently), so I'll be bothering people for a while yet! Who knows, I might even do some more courses in the future, and, as an alumna, I can share some study tips and all with people interested in the courses!

11Booksloth
Set 11, 2011, 10:11am

Sounds like a wonderful day! So many of the things in our lives 'just happen' so when you've worked hard for many years at something and succeeded I think you have every right to feel extremely proud and thoroughly enjoy the day. I do hope you join up with the OU again but even if you don't it shouldn't stop you from joining in here. Good luck with your course next year - it'll be really interesting for us all to compare notes on how the OU differs from your French uni.

12soniaandree
Set 11, 2011, 11:53am

Thank you for your kind words! I will stay here and will be delighted to contribute to the discussions in the future! It would, as you said, be really interesting to see how it compares between MA UK and MA France, as I dread going back to the French uni system, it can be so complicated (admin and uni-wise)! I am, as we speak, writing my covering letter (MA application for the MA in English culture, language and literature course, year 1) and it demands so many key words and political language to try to get in, it's annoying, but it's got to fit in one single A4 page, with all the letter trimmings and polite formulaes - it feels worse than looking for a job! :-)

13Booksloth
Set 12, 2011, 3:28am

Sounds awful. Do you know your reading list yet?

14soniaandree
Set 12, 2011, 4:42am

To know my reading list, I need to actually be *registered*, which is what I am aiming at with the covering letter. They are very suspicious of people who do degrees in foreign countries, despite the Bologna agreement and the european points system!

15soniaandree
Set 12, 2011, 12:20pm

Application sent! *fingers crossed* and all...

16Booksloth
Set 13, 2011, 7:08am

I'll cross mine too - I'm sure that will help :)

17soniaandree
Set 13, 2011, 8:27am

Cheers!

18soniaandree
Editado: Set 21, 2011, 8:47am

In the meantime, I am trying to post a piccie from graduation day:

19soniaandree
Editado: Out 12, 2011, 7:53am

Ok, after the university lost my recorded delivery application, after the post office lost my second Chronopst mailling for duplicate application, I finally managed to get registered (after a week of liaising from one office to the other, various forms etc.), my uni card should be sent to me by the end of the week.

I'd say, so far, that French unis are way below UK standards when it comes to admin. I am waiting to see about the course.

20Booksloth
Out 13, 2011, 5:17am

Love the photo! It looks like you had a really great day! Good luck with the new course.

21soniaandree
Out 13, 2011, 10:40am

Cheers! The picture was taken on the 10th September in front of the palace of Versailles, by the entrance gates. It was extremely sunny and hot, so excuse my red face and squinty eyes! :-)

22Booksloth
Out 13, 2011, 11:16am

You look like a proud and content woman - as you have every right to be! (And I can't help thinking Versailles might score a few points over Torquay, where I picked up my certificate).

23soniaandree
Editado: Out 13, 2011, 11:48am

Alas, the Versailles venue is to be scrapped one day - the OU, after consultation, has renewed it for next year, but financially, I can see it costs more than what it should, because it is undersubscribed. There should be up to 200 graduands + 8 guests each, but my graduation t-shirt says that we were only 172, and from what I saw, few guests. Nearer the venue, the guests' allowance went up from 8 max. to 13 max, in a bid to get more people to come, but parts of the upper galleries were empty. Because this is the only venue for the whole of Continental Europe, graduands would not bring so many guests as 8, because there is travel and overnight accommodation to think of, or plane travel, making the venue an expensive one for the EU graduand (especially if guests' expenses are paid for in everything) so putting up the list to 13 was unecessary, imo. Also, contrary to other UK venues, Versailles graduands also pay for their graduation place, same as guests.

24soniaandree
Editado: Out 13, 2011, 12:07pm

For me and my partner, the cost was:
£18x6 for the graduation places = £108 = €123.66
gown hire + mortarboard + postage + photograph and its mailling = £151.40 = €173.35
restaurant on-site = €18/p for 4 people = €72

Making a total of €369, without the drinks at lunch time + afterwards and the car park ticket for the day.
We did a full car share from Normandie (we were just 1 h away from the venue) and we tried to limit our expenses, so imagine people from Germany or Eastern Europe, Spain or Italy! :-)

25soniaandree
Out 14, 2011, 8:21am

P.s. I need a degree in Graduation Day economics! I suppose most graduates in the UK or elsewhere do go for more expensive lengths to celebrate, but me, as a penniless, part-timer, student and teacher, it is a huge sum.

26soniaandree
Editado: Out 20, 2011, 5:31am

This is it! I have now officially become an MA student! :-) Fingers crossed and all that for this year... The reading list includes:

Joseph Boyden ‘Three Day Road’
Marina Carr ‘By the Bog of Cats’
Joan Didion ‘The Last Thing He Wanted’
Umberto Eco 'Experiences in Translations' (for the 'translation' part of the course, in French)
Louise Erdrich ‘Love Medicine’
John Hawkes ‘The Cannibal’
Wolfgang Iser 'How to do Theory'' (for the 'literature' part of the course)
James Joyce ‘The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’
Jean-René Ladmiral 'Translate: theories for translation' (for the 'translation' part of the course, in French)
John McGahern ‘Amongst Women’

27Booksloth
Out 20, 2011, 12:07pm

Gosh - I've only ever heard of three of those (Didion, Eco and Joyce)! Good luck! By the Bog of Cats sounds interesting.

28soniaandree
Out 20, 2011, 5:26pm

I was interested to know what their choice would be, as Euro-centric perception of Anglophone literature can sometimes be very different. We're going to work on some theory too, and it looks more daunting than when I worked with the OU, not least because the system is all about working things out separately in course units (rather than having it all integrated as part of a single course, which was the case with the OU).

29soniaandree
Out 20, 2011, 5:27pm

I am reading Louise Erdrich and I am loving it!