Category Archives: study

Reading about Raiders. It’s study!

So, I’m doing this course.

And I am a little bit behind (what with all the doctors appointments and Bordercon), so I am finishing off last week’s reading.

Which is about the kids that made the shot-for-shot Raiders of the Lost Ark movie all those years ago.

Fraser and I saw it a few years ago, and it was wonderful to watch.

And today, I was sitting at the hospital while Bigster’s tests were done, reading this article and thinking wow. Because I would read that article for fun.

And so will the rest of the family.

And next week, we study Games.


Posted by on June 20, 2012 in be happy, movies, study


Feeling old

I have been a student (at a university, as opposed to a school or language class or whatever) three times in my life.

First, when I did my undergraduate degree (and started a Masters which I failed to complete).

Second, when I did a Graduate Certificate in Software Development when the Bigster was 3. I got 6 of the 8 subjects for the Grad Dip finished but then I got pregnant with Otto and I was way too sick to contemplate study.

And now, when I am starting my journey towards a Masters in Internet Studies. (Or just doing a subject to see how I like it. No pressure or anything.)

And I’m having a “how times have changed” moment.

When I were a lass B.O. (Before Otto) Right now, this week
Education was free. At least when I was in first year. You paid up-front for each subject. You pay up-front for each subject but the government lends you the money to do it.
Staff could apply for email accounts, if they could demonstrate cause. Students had email accounts too, based on their student number. Students get a firstname.lastname email address automatically.
If you missed a lecture, you borrowed someone else’s notes. If you missed a lecture, you borrowed someone else’s notes. What is this “miss a lecture” of which you speak? Lectures are recorded – you watch them when you like. Actually, lectures WERE recorded – this class is taught from February’s recordings.
Classes (mine, anyway) were during the day. You went to them on campus. Classes (mine, anyway) were during the evening, 5-9pm. You went to them on campus. What is this “class” of which you speak? Discussion takes place in the online forums. Oh, and in the Learning Management System.
Mature Age students (anyone over 25) were horrible! I mean, they were very nice – but they always did all the reading. And everyone else’s reading, too. I was a Mature Age Student. And yeah. Always did the reading. And participated in dicussions. OMG! I would have hated me! I make no commitments here
You could usually find your friends in the Grill Room in the union building You could occasionally find your friends in the online discussion forums that no-one really used. But never on campus, except when there were classes. Campus is interstate. I may never go there. But there’s a Twitter hashtag for the course, and a Facebook group to join.
I could knock up an essay in an hour or three. We were doing programming. Essays? What were they? 001011100 I can whip up an x-page strategy document for you if you like? But I am a wee bit anxious about the 1500 word essay requirement.
“Slides” were, well, slides. If you were lucky, there was an overhead projector. “Slides” were powerpoint presentations. If you were lucky, you got a lecturer who didn’t just read them out to you for 2 hours. Powerpoint again, I think. Now with added YouTube!
Most assignments were hand-written. I had my very own computer and a dot-matrix printer. And access to a laser printer because I was staff. I got bonus marks on one assignment because I used Helvetica instead of Times Roman. True story. I still have a soft spot for Helvetica (only back then, we just called it Swiss). They were, of course, submitted in hard copy. Most assignments were submitted online. Assignments don’t just have a due date, they have a due time as well. (And presumably a timezone of their very own). They are submitted online, of course. And some of them get uploaded to YouTube.
At the start of the semester, lecturers told you where their office was. At the start of the semester, lecturers told you their email address. At the start of the semester, staff tell you their Twitter username. And their phone number. And their email address. And other stuff about their lives.
I did most of my assignments at the last minute, in the middle of the night. I did most of my assignments in plenty of time. Except the ones I did at the last minute, in the middle of the night. Middle of the night? Most productive time of the day, I say! And with the Uni in another timezone, it’s really 2 hours earlier.
I studied German Sociolinguistics. You could study computer programming as part of a science degree. I studied Software Development. You could study XML and Javascript and HTML as part of a parallel Internet Development course. I am studying Internet Studies. Of which there are undergraduate and postgraduate courses. And Departments.

TWENTY YEARS since I finished that first period of study. That feels like a lot of change in a little time – some clearly technology-driven, some a change in the style of the interactions. Which may be technology-influenced, especially in a course that embraces social media, but isn’t just about computing power and Internets and cables and stuff.

Sure, I knew this intellectually. Gosh Golly Goodness, I would mutter to myself, those young varmints are using The Twitter to talk about their schooling, as I rocked in a swing chair on my porch and spat tobacco. (*Note: Like so much I write, this may not be 100% true).

But it’s different now that I am doing it.


Posted by on May 29, 2012 in study


Back to the future?

OMG! As of tomorrow, I am a STUDENT again!

Which is mostly exciting and slightly a little bit terrifying.

I hear there will be chocolate, though.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 27, 2012 in study


Returning to study

Because I don’t have enough to keep me busy *cough*, I am thinking about going back to study.

Fraser, as usual, suspects that I may be insane.

There are a few reasons for this. The going-back-to-study, not the insanity speculation. There may be many reasons for the latter but they are not mine to explore.

The main one is that I have no formal qualifications at all for the stuff I do. I sort of fell into this field about 15 years ago and have just gone with the flow, learning on the job and reading up on new techniques. Which is not a bad way to be, especially since I don’t think there WERE formal qualifications back then, but it’s not the greatest way to be when you are trying to Impress Clients with how Fabulous you are. OK, technically, I have a Graduate Certificate plus 2 subjects (so *almost* a Grad Dip) in Software Development. But that is kind of the pointy end rather than the touchy feely end where I actually work.

Other reasons are about a bit of insecurity about the place where I work – our director is getting older & has said she probably has about 5 years left in the business. That means that I may be looking for a job in 5 years’ time – better to have a qualification when and if that time comes.

And then there’s the one about just liking to study.

Anyway. I found the perfect course which I could study ONLINE. And I thought maybe I could just pick a subject or two and go for it. Because a subject or two is better than no subjects at all. And then I could decide later whether I wanted to keep going or turn it into a degree course of some kind.

With this in mind, I contacted the university. I told them a bit about my background and what I do professionally and that I was thinking of doing a bit more study and this is what happened:

Melissa: I am thinking about doing a subject or two online, to see how it works.
Head of Department: Oh yes, you should do our Graduate Diploma. We can give you exemptions.
Melissa: Well, I was thinking about doing a couple of subjects online, because they are the same as the Grad Dip subjects, and I want to see how study works for me. And they are half the price.
Head of Department: Oh well we can give you credit for those towards a Grad Dip. Up to two of them. And also just give you credit for 2 subjects because we like you. And you could do a Masters of course. Actually, you should. That is only 4 more subjects than the Grad Dip. So you would do eight subjects with us and have a MASTERS. Tempt tempt.
Melissa: Yes but first I want to do two subjects to see whether I can fit them in. Busy life blah blah.
Head of Department: Of course. And then after you do your Masters, you can do a PhD with us too.
Melissa: Let’s start with the two subjects, huh?

So I have been trying to enrol for the two subjects. Well, for one of them. Which is a second-year subject and usually has a pre-requisite, which I am assured is not enforced.

Except, as it turns out, by the people who are actually DOING THE ENROLMENT. So I have been phoning them a lot this week to try to work out how to get myself enrolled. And quoting a student number and stuff, which is a bit of a blast from the past.

Apparently I am going to have to write ESSAYS.

Which should not be a huge big deal given that I can blurt out umpteen blog posts a week and write a report at 2am and have written a thesis in the past. But still.




Posted by on April 30, 2012 in study, work