Tag Archives: Open Uni


Today I am pretty pleased with what I have managed to do – not least because I didn’t actually get up till 1pm, bliss! I have marked a couple of essays and did a little bit of work with my OU students (nothing too taxing), I have applied for another job online, I have written and submitted a proposal for a conference paper, and I have read an article ready for a twitter discussion this evening (like an online journal club). I have also managed within this to faff about and eat biscuits, so it’s all good.

The job interview on Friday was OK, but I am not holding my breath. They have another candidate to interview at some point next week, so I won’t hear either way for probably another week, but given my horrible week I wasn’t well enough to spend a lot of time preparing, and on the day I really didn’t feel in the mood for an interview and even contemplated not going. I’m glad I did though; it’s all good practice and actually spending a bit of time thinking about something other than myself and feeling sorry for myself was helpful and got me feeling a bit perkier and more motivated to get on with life. I’m actually looking forward to going back to work tomorrow (though I’m also looking forward to leaving work the week after!).

I can’t believe though, having been up less than 7 hours today, that I am already feeling tired and ready for a night’s sleep! What a lightweight.


Today I heard that the OU module I was interviewed for at the end of last year, and for which I was deemed ‘appointable’, doesn’t have enough students for me to be formally appointed. Which is disappointing, but not an enormous surprise – I think the current financial situation means that many people who were considering doing some study, and employers who previously might have sponsored employees to do so, are thinking again. The ‘appointable’ thing lasts a year apparently, so this time next year if they have an influx of students there is the possibility of work then. Ah well – a year is a long time, and lots can happen.

I have now got myself signed up to the nurse bank here, which means that when my manager returns from leave next week I am going to hand in my notice. This is the worst-kept secret ever in my workplace, as I have been trying to leave almost since I started, so it’s kind of ironic that I have worked out this is the longest I have ever stayed in one nursing job ever! In many ways it is a big big gamble – I have my current OU tutoring which will tide me over financially for a few months, plus any bank shifts I can get, but the OU modules only run till June and don’t start again till October, which will leave me with 3 months with no guaranteed income unless I can get bank shifts (not guaranteed). And if student numbers continue to fall I may not have all the OU work I currently have come next October. But. I have known for some time that I want to do research work, and in order to get into that field I need to be published (which, apart from one book chapter, I’m not at the moment). Before Christmas I had an interview where I came close, but the feedback I got was that one of the main reasons I wasn’t offered the job was because I didn’t have enough experience and publications. So I have decided to take this gamble. Without the regular health visiting, I will be able to do my OU work, do the odd bank shift, and have time left over to write and try and get myself published and ‘out there’. I am so lucky that I have the OU work and the nursing qualification which means that I am somewhat cushioned against the risk. But it is a risk nevertheless.

I was thinking about my early 20s (twenty years ago, eek), when I first graduated and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I ended up temping for a year or so, not knowing from week to week or month to month where the next money was coming from. But I managed, and survived, and managed to save some money even, and I remember that time as really ‘alive’. It did me the world of good, taught me to manage and fend for myself, and live without relying on a regular income. Later on I took similar(ish) risks, giving up good jobs first to do nurse training, and later to do the PhD, and both are things that I am so glad I took the risks for. Of course I am in a different position now, HD has a regular good income, so it’s probably not as brave as any of my previous gambles. But it’s still a bit scary. And I am sure that once again it will do me the world of good, in ways I am yet to discover.

2011 Project365 (day280)

7th October 2011

I had to eat my words today. Last week in my photo of my washing on the line I suggested that that would be the last time I could do that for several months. However, the washing has been out again today, and this is what was above it! Sadly the temperature didn’t match the brilliance of the sky, so much of it still isn’t dry and is now hanging up indoors, but is so much fresher for its hanging up outside today.

I’m easily pleased.

In other news, tomorrow I have my first OU tutorial of the academic year, and I have done much of the work for it today (should finish this evening) which means I won’t have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I am feeling mildly grumpy that I am doing all this work when only one student has said they are coming, but such is life, hopefully I have enough planned that the time will fly.

In other other news, our house move is well and truly on, and we are still hopeful that we will be moving at the beginning of next month.

2011 Project365 (days265-268)

Pictures from the last few days – we are hoping for an adventure today (we have a little local bank holiday today so aren’t at work) so another photo to follow later.

25th September:

25th September 2011

Current favourite listening. We saw the gig at Celtic Connections earlier this year, the highlight of the festival.

24th September:

24th September 2011

I was down south for the weekend at a briefing for my new Open Uni course. As usual it was very good and I am currently feeling very enthusiastic about it! (let’s see how long that lasts!). It was also nice to get the chance to stay with the parentals for a couple of days.

23rd September:

23rd September 2011

Course materials for the new OU course. Here’s my Project365 confession: although I had thought “If I can’t think of anything else I’ll take a picture of the books”, I totally forgot on the day, so this was taken on the 24th. The very first day this year I forgot to take a picture!

22nd September:

22nd September 2011

Lights over Buchanan Street.

2011 Project365 (day236)

24th August 2011

I’ve had a funny old day today. I had a job interview yesterday, I am not confident at all that I was successful (I am pretty sure I would have heard by today if I had been) and although I think I did fine and didn’t make an arse of myself, nevertheless it is a bit deflating. I was already feeling a little deflated as I have learnt that the two new OU courses that I had been interviewed for, whilst they considered me ‘appointable’, the realities of student numbers mean that they are not able to actually appoint me this time. We are also having (hopefully only) mild hassles (which of course I am being an utter drama queen about) related to trying to get a mortgage, and so all in all I am feeling really ‘meh’ about things.

But taking this picture made me feel better. Green and wet. Scotland in miniature. We are so lucky to be living here in this beautiful place, and have so much to be thankful for.

2011 Project365 (day207)

26th July 2011

Taken around 8.30pm. The temperature was just perfect then (at work during the day it’s just been too too too too hot).

In other news, I had a telephone interview this morning for some more OU tutoring. I think it went OK, apart from when I was talking about philosophy of evidence/knowledge, and found myself talking crap about ontology and epistemology (which I always get mixed up). Usually when I am aware I am talking nonsense I can back out reasonably gracefully, but this time even as I was thinking to myself “just shut up now” the words just kept on coming. Oh dear. We’ll see – they are interviewing throughout August so I won’t hear for a month. Fingers crossed.

2011 Project365 (days193-194)

13th July:

13th July 2011

This evening after work we went to a preview screening of this amazing documentary. It’s not a great photo, but it’s an amazing film – please please if you get the chance to see it, do. Though it is liable to make you very very angry. Not just about the vile Trump, though he is more than bad enough – I am horrified by the actions of the police and particularly by the lack of action on the part of the planning authorities in Aberdeenshire. There’s more information about the film here and more information about the Tripping Up Trump campaign here. After the film they had a Q&A session with the director, Anthony Baxter, plus a representative from the NUJ in Scotland and Glagsow University geomorphologist (and expert on coastal erosion) Dr Jim Hansom, and closed with our hero Alastair MacIntosh reading from his poem O Donald Trump, Woe Donald Trump. It’s long (he didn’t read it all, but did read a good chunk of it), but well well worth the read. And, in case you didn’t notice earlier, I really really really really recommend the film. It gives a voice to the locals threatened by Trump and his cronies, and moved me to tears.

12th July:

12th July 2011

Having said at the end of May that I wouldn’t be marking any essays till October, the other week my manager at the OU phoned to ask if I could take on some marking for a group whose tutor was off sick. No rest for the wicked. I just finished one lot, I have one more set of essays to mark which I will do by the weekend. Then that will be it till October (haven’t we heard that somewhere before?).

2011 Project365 (day144)

24th May 2011

Tonight I finished my essay marking, this is my last essay to mark until October. I just have to do a revision tutorial on Saturday, and a bit of exam support as required (mainly cheerleading and reassurance at this point) and that is me done till October. Although I do really love my OU work, I am looking forward to the break (not sure my bank account is though, but let’s not think about that!).


I’ve started to think about my thesis corrections (just as well, as I’ve only got a fortnight to go to hand them in now!) and mostly think they’ll be fine. However, a couple of niggles occurred once I (eventually) received the confirmation from the graduate office of what needed to be done when. Firstly the administrator said he’d attached the viva form when he hadn’t (luckily the chair of my viva had already sent me a copy in the post), and infinitely more irritatingly, the email was headed “Viva result C”, even though I got a B. I emailed him back pointing this out, and luckily so has the chair of the viva, even though he is currently abroad. It’s only a small thing, and relatively unimportant as it’s easily done if you’re dealing with lots of these things, but when it’s my pride and joy he’s talking about and downgrading I reserve the right to harumph a bit!

I’ve contacted my supervisors to ask about them sending me pdf files of a couple of articles the examiners thought it would be useful for me to incorporate. Hopefully they will be able to, as I can’t get to the library till next weekend and I don’t have remote access to the ejournals in the library collection – I think I will be having a big blitz on it this coming weekend, but would like to have made a start on the reading before then. The plan is that I will get my outstanding essays marked by mid-week, the car to the garage on Friday then work on the thesis from home on Friday and the library Saturday and Sunday, then the following week mark a few essays in the evenings and then on the Friday go to get the revised copies printed and bound and handed in, then home to finish the essays. That’s the plan, hope I stick to it! The revised thesis has to be received in the graduate office by 18th April, but as I am working that day it makes sense to get it done the Friday before when I am off work. Then on the Saturday there is a shipmeet, I have a telephone tutorial to prepare for the following Monday, and then with any luck it will all be over for a while. I have one more lot of essays from each of the two courses I teach due in at the start of May, and tutorials for both to deliver at the end of May, and then with any luck I will get a proper rest!