For once that’s easy to answer: it was eaten up by the S204 biology course which took loads more time than expected. OK, everyone said that it took a lot of time, but they say that about lots of courses and usually I end up doing it in no more than half the recommended time. This time though it was very much a case of doing as much as one could do whilst still omitting vast tracts of the course material.
Study guides? Who could read them all when they ran to 250 pages? I omitted the final one completely. DVD material? Who could possibly do all that was available? I only found about a seventh book lurking in one of the DVDs when I came to the final TMA. I was planning on saving the self-assessment questions up until revision time but ended up never fitting them in at all.
It’s now just over a month since the final exam and it’s only been in the last week that I feel that I’m getting over it. The revision workload was truly massive for S204 with the revision notes alone running to 80 pages, intended to summarise the 250 pages of course guides (themselves containing a fair chunk of information rather than just being a guide into everything else), the 2000 pages of course texts and the material in the DVDs.
Was it worth it? Well, I learned a lot of stuff that I never knew about before so it was very much a learning experience. Useful things too with rarely a day going by without some genuinely fascinating information so I know things ranging from why bananas go off in the fridge to why the trees change their visible colours in the Autumn. Strangely, although I went into the course intending to concentrate on animals and microbes, I found that the plant material was equally if not more fascinating than that for the animals.
Certainly a comprehensive course but one that attempted to pack just too much into the time available. If it had been run over 12 months rather than 9 it would have still been hard going but at least it would have been possible to cover the material on offer rather than having to omit substantial chunks of it.
That’s not to say that S204 was the only thing that happened during the year of course. Mum moving into a residential home made for a substantial change to our own lives and is continuing to do so.
Course-wise I feel that I’m winding down towards the end of the degree although there’s another three years to go. At the moment I’m in the midst of the chemistry counterpart to S204 which, frankly, seems like a doddle in comparison. Alongside that I’m getting back into psychology with the autism course and in the new year the signals & perception course. It looks like I’ll be overlaying the diabetes course as well alongside the two summer schools so it will be quite a full start to the year albeit with a bit of a slowing of the pace after the summer.
Career-wise, I should be starting in the new job early in 2012. The lead-in admin for that is taking ages: the interview was in May, I accepted the offer made towards the end of June and it’s basically waiting now. During the waiting time it looks like I’ll be able to fit in a 3 month web design course which is handy although in some ways a short pre-job holiday would have been nice too.
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