Those OU books on the shelf...

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Those OU books on the shelf...

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Dez 5, 2011, 6:24am

When I look at them, I can see how far I have managed to go for the degree and, for some reason, the sentimental value is such that I do not think I want to ever get rid of them. You see, I am quite tidy with books, I mean that I don't write in them or fold the pages, so they are just in pristine *like new* condition. With time, they will probably become out of date but I'd rather let them age with me rather than sell them then pine after them.

What about yours? Do they have a special place in your library? :-)

Dez 5, 2011, 7:19am

My course units are all neatly put away in box files on the shelves by the door of the study; the OU anthologies and the set books are dispersed to the appropriate bit of the library (fiction, history, law, literature, whatever). I'm also a non-scribbler, but I did (reluctantly) permit myself to underline and highlight in the course units themselves.

When I was doing A102, I found that my father had some of the material from an earlier incarnation of the Arts Foundation course in the bottom of a cupboard, probably borrowed from a colleague and forgotten - it was fascinating to look through it and see what had changed.

Dez 5, 2011, 10:56am

Oooh, your father studied with the OU too? He must have been one of the early students, then! I wonder if he had to watch those late TV programmes with teachers in 70's fashion, chalk in hand, etc.

When I read some of the early arts/literature books from the 80's (requested for free from my book swapping website, BookMooch), I could also look at how things had changed so much in such a short time. I think technological advances allowed us to share more informations on relevant subjects, so it was only normal that course books and the courses themselves had to be changed every so often.

But I also wonder if this change in technology hasn't demanded more from us in terms of workload and research output, as I can see that my MA has to compile a lot of articles, books, websites, etc. It can be easy to extrapolate and digress, when there is so much information around! :-) Keeping a clear focus and a straight line can be hard!

Dez 6, 2011, 10:38am

>3 soniaandree:
No, sorry, I see my post was ambiguous. My father didn't study with the OU, but since my parents were both teachers we had a lot of contacts with people who did take OU courses in the early days: the books must have come from one of them. I'm sure it was tough in those days: having to get up at 5 a.m. to watch BBC2 and so on. Not to mention that practically no-one around you would have taken what you were doing seriously. Getting a degree off the telly: perhaps only one step worse than going to Keele or UEA, but not to be compared with serious study (i.e. getting a hairdressing diploma from the Tech).

Dez 6, 2011, 11:37am

>Not to mention that practically no-one around you would have taken what you were doing seriously.

Some of them still don't! BUT more and more of my study buddies have managed to get registered for MAs in Oxford Uni and other big names, so things are getting there...
Seriously, though, things are no longer like 'Educating Rita' (that movie did more harm than good, as it portrayed OU teachers as drunken old gits and students as battered Irish women in a bid to escape their husbands).

Dez 21, 2011, 7:59am

Given the difficulty I've had tracking down some of the recommended works in libraries (public and university), I'm probably going to be generous and donate some of the books I've had to buy to a library. I wish I could keep them, but I just don't have the space! I'm only two months into my two-year course and already every available bit of free space in my home is overflowing with 'well-loved'-looking textbooks bought from second-hand bookshops (and charity shops have been surprisingly helpful too). Unless, of course, anyone else in the Newcastle area is doing A815/other literature modules - maybe I could open my own lending library!

I'm glad to hear that 'real' (sorry) universities are starting to take OU qualifications seriously - I hope that prospective employers are just as enlightened...

Dez 21, 2011, 9:22am

Re. 815, I just wish I had the set in hard copy! The OU A815 and 816 courses were too expensive for me (EU rate) so I got the pdfs and set books instead.

If you want to do something different with your books, you could always swap them on, as this is where I used to get my set books from. This year has been the only year where I had to buy books since August 2006! :-)

Dez 21, 2011, 2:22pm

Bookmooch is usually my first port of call, but it rarely has the books I want! Also, I've been a giver a lot more than a moocher over the years, and I'm loath to rack up even more unused/unusable points by offloading my no-longer-needed books there. I'm a keen supporter of local libraries, so I think that's probably the way I'll be going (assuming they're not all closed down by our beloved government over the next couple of years!).

Jul 3, 2012, 7:37am

I can't give up books (unless I dislike the content which is rare or unless I get a better edition which is more common) so have had to continually extend horizontal surfaces at home. I've developed a craze for Folio Society volumes too which has helped not at all. Still, as I keep telling my partner, there could be far worse acquisitions and addictions!

Jul 6, 2012, 3:15pm

Some of my favourite A/Ls are old, occasionally git-like or might be described by the uncharitable as a tad too fond of the hard stuff.

And the late, great Arthur Marwick, doyen of OU History was all three!

But that didn't stop them being excellent educators.

Incidentally none of them have borne any resemblance to Michael Caine.

Jul 17, 2012, 11:08am

You know, I have had very good A/Ls too, apart from one or two who felt awkward about me, and some even gave me a taste for studies; they helped me overcome my study 'shyness' (as I used to feel like I wasn't 'good' enough for studying at degree level). As a result, my grades improved from one year to the next, with marks going up to 80% in the end, which was a real challenge, especially since English is not my native language!