DAY 1: Quite surprised to discover only 5 out of the original September 2011 group had made it to second study school April 2012. This was a shame as it would have been nice to catch up with people. No problem though, I quickly made friends with some new faces, including some people in first school and as the evening progressed it was only fair that I show them the way to the pub!
DAY 2: The lectures begin. We were welcomed back and began our introductions top the next modules. One of our first sessions was with Pauline Rafferty for a module Information organization and retrieval. I had pre-judged this to be a ‘boring’ module having never considered cataloguing as something I would be interested in. However, Pauline spoke of the topic with such enthusiasm that it has made me reconsider my previous judgement, classification theory in fact sounds very interesting and it is now one of the modules I am most looking forward to even to the point of considering dissertation topics to do with classification theory (although perhaps I am influenced by Pauline’s enthusiasm and the reality of starting the module without her inspiration will revert me back)!! This lecture did prove the value of study schools, without the introduction lecture, I may not have realised the potential within it. The social meal was held in the evening, and, as last year, a very nice time was had by all (on my table anyway) the only minor embarrassment I had was asking the lady next to me which study school she was attending only to discover she was in fact an archives lecture, she didn’t seem to mind though!
DAY 3 was time for one to one with your personal tutor. Just two days into study school and I have quickly realised that I have slacked off a bit from my original schedule and perhaps wont be able to work my way through the rest of part one before dissertation school in September. I voiced this concern with Peter and although he said he would be “very impressed” if he saw me again in September it wouldn’t be impossible (providing I’m willing to sacrifice any social life). I will try my best to make it to September, but have realised that it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t. We also got a brilliant career development talk from a lady who works in the careers service department of Aberystwyth University. Apparently this is something distance learners aren’t normally provided with but I really hope they consider doing it every study school as I think the majority of us found it extremely valuable. It was also interesting to learn of the services that our available to us in that department including job application checks and mock interviews via skype, it is something I will most certainly use in the future.
DAY 4: The last day already! We attended a talk about preparing for dissertation school, during this week I have been starting to think about dissertation topics, but it’s difficult to properly think about it when potentially it’s a whole year away but it seems like they will provide us with all the support we/ I will need! In the evening we got taken on a bluebell walk – the weather during the day had been a total downpour but a miracle occurred and the sun broke through, providing us with a glorious evening for a walk! It has been lovely to get away from the big smoke and see the rolling hillside and coastline.
It can be a struggle working full time and studying (although this is nothing to the people who have children as well, I really really admire them!) but I don’t think I’ve done too badly, so I’ve worked through it apparently quicker than the average, but I’ve had good marks so far so I don’t think I’m sacrificing anything. Attending study school has been the kick up the bum that I need to keep going.
I’m still determined to complete the course in two years and whether that means sacrificing any kind of social life or accepting it’s going to take more than 6 months to get to dissertation school… I’m not sure yet.