Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Salman Rushdie's Diary

I'm writing this with a feeling of sadness.

Today I completed the lecture sessions for the first third of my MA. The semester (referred to at UCF as a block) has truly raced by. Our course group has proved cohesive and I consider myself very fortunate to have come across such a friendly, positive set of people.

My sadness is because this is the last week we will all be together. Next semester we begin to specialise and split up into different groups. While we will all still get together once a week for a general course meeting, to an extent I will lose contact with some of my new friends. But ever onwards ...

My tutors have shone. Although I haven't encountered problems with the course so far, I know that in the future if anything came up, I would be able to go to any of them. Difficulties would be nipped in the bud. That's a nice feeling.

I have learned so much in these three months. When I say learned, to be truthful I mean I have received so much information. Not all of it has gone in, but I have doggedly typed up my course notes so I'll be able to refer back to them in the future with some degree of understanding, rather than having to pore over my scribbly notebook.

The subjects have been fascinating. I have been made aware of exciting structures and disciplines, and while I could claim to have been a writer in its broadest sense before I joined the course, I feel so much more ... well, educated in the craft. Without such information you can only take this writing business so far, that's for sure. And there's still so much more to learn.

As part of the course I've been required to create this blog, and also a personal website http://petelondon.webnode.com/ .
Before I started the syllabus I had no idea how to do either of these things. Now, I am enjoying them.

In fact our course relies heavily on the e-world, and the core of our work is built around a site called The Learning Space, on which we post our assignments, receive updates and so on. Just recently I feel I've been permanently on it, because I've had to complete a hand-in of my submissions for this Block, together with course assessment forms.
The Learning Space - a site for sore eyes. Yet it's now in my DNA, and I log on to it as naturally as I used to fire up my PC at work. Funny how things change.

Of course, all this grafting has meant that currently my social life is in free-fall, and now reads like Salman Rushdie's diary:

'Monday: stayed in.' And so on.

However, we hope to improve on this situation over the next few days.

Finally, a reflection on being a mature student. Many of my colleagues are perhaps twenty-five years younger than I, but I haven't been made to feel ancient, or excluded. They sometimes talk about things I don't understand or have no knowledge of, but that's natural and OK. Then again, some are more around my age, or a bit older. But there truly has been an unselfconscious intermingling of the course group. Backgrounds and age mean nothing. I am richer for it. Sounds cheesy? Try it, it's brilliant.

1 comment:

sara said...

I'm loving the website, Pete; it's very professional - may have to comandeer you to help me create a better one (I am soo ashamed of my measly effort...)
I also agree with your comments - we have been lucky to fall into such a great group. Time has certainly shot by...
sara X