On Friday an unexpected parcel arrived, which contained my course book and materials for my Open University (OU) studies starting in February. I had completely forgotten about this was coming in light of my recent difficulties. One thing I will say about the OU, you certainly get a lot of material for each course! This one comprises two set books (I have the first) and about six audio/DVD presentations on disc plus the associated, course guide, study guide, calendar, newsletter etc., etc.
The course that I am studying next year is DU301 A world of whose making? which has the rather wordy subtitle: Politics, economics, technology and culture in international studies. Phew! The only part which I am not much looking forward to is economics and looking through the assignments for the course there is a fair amount of economic theory covered including drawing graphs and such like. There is also a question on the curious sounding 'game theory' and I was pleased to note that there is also a question on American imperialism post-9/11. That should be interesting to get into.
This course doesn't have an exam at the end of it. Instead there is an extended essay to be written, which is one of the reasons I chose to study this particular course. My last three courses have all had exams, which while I did well in, I absolutely hate taking. Not that I find writing essays a painless experience but I feel I am able to better express myself and of course have more time to develop and refine my arguments in that format.
The study programme looks demanding but I want to make a start on it now, so that I am already in advance of the February start date. It'll give me something else to do while continuing my look for work and provide something else to focus on rather than my current predicament.
All being well and assuming that I pass the course at the end of next year, I will gain my first Open University qualification - a Diploma in Politics & Government, which will no doubt look good on the CV. As for my degree, well that's going to take a few more years yet but I am going to get there. That's a promise I made to myself when I started and I have no intention of not fulfilling that.