## Coming towards the end of my first quarter as a student

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Christmas is coming and It almost marks the end to the first quarter of my life as a student.

How am I feeling today?
A bit nervous! Things started so well  - amazing score on my first TMA. Managed to push my first iCMA score up with hours to spare. Now in between TMAs and preparing for number 2 to be submitted.
But, I have found these last few chapters hard to deal with. Algebra, equations, formulas  - now did i ever learn and remember these during my school days? I'm finding myself spending less time in my amazing office space I set up pre study that I was so excited about simply because I fear the maths I have to do and do well in.

Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself. Other students keep trying to keep me up beat - " keep going, you will get it" , "once you click, it will be easy" , "keep practicing" - where am i going wrong?

I do all the above but all the methods are getting mixed up. Mixing up the solutions or not simplifying enough. I start off good then hit a brick wall and can't figure out the final steps.

Fractions are still killing me when they are introduced in equations.

Despite this, I did see the light a little today and managed to actually get some answers right when rearranging equations. But still lacking confidence!

Back to real life and we managed to survive another birthday - although the cake isn't going down half as fast this time round. My eldest turns 8 today! And he had, what he calls, a birthday treat - SCHOOL CLOSED!

Yes our school closed today suddenly after a fear in the spike of new covid cases in the area and the Local Authority can't decide on the action to take. This morning it was just for today - now this afternoon it's for tomorrow as well. Schools on the border county have closed for 2 weeks and I fear this is what is lurking around the corner. My 8 year old joining me in distance learning.

Poor little 3 year old I have - just started nursery school and getting into the swing of it - then this. Can't believe we are back here again with majority of local shops closing due to positive cases all traced back to pubs having private party! Bunch of selfish irresponsible idiots.

Right that's enough - going for a glass of wine!

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## When you think you are winning

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Couple of days have passed since my last post and while I left my last post in a happy place, it has since been swiped away by the introduction of factorising expressions, multiplying out brackets and algebra.
I though I was getting somewhere, but now just adding another concept to it has thrown me again.

My nemesis from my GCSE days has returned to haunt me from almost 20 years ago.
Despite this, I'm trying to keep my head up and continuing to ensure I make time for revision and practice.

Weekend birthday celebrations came and went and we are gearing up for my eldest birthday this weekend. MORE CAKE!
More cake and lack of exercise - not a good combo. Worse still lack of study time this weekend again. But it ok, still got my nose ahead and I have planned the next few weeks out (hopefully perfectly) to be able to spend a solid week and few days manipulating my second TMA into something worth a decent mark.

Also in the news this week, I'm a celebrity has returned, filmed in my home country of Wales. Never really watched it when it was in Australia but for some reason the location and the celebs seem to appeal to me this year. Although I must admit there are times when it is such a slow moving programme.
Last night was a big footie match between Wales and Finland, couldn't help myself flicking back and forth between the 2 programmes. Wales are playing so well (more that what I can say about our rugby team at the moment). A decent 3-1 win for the Welsh and a move to the top of the group.
However, this weekend sees Wales take on Georgia in the rugby. I swear, the way they been playing I'm not keeping my hopes up despite it should be a win for us. I will still be supporting the boys as rugby rules! Wishing them luck.

Right back to it, to fry more of my brain cells with the ever so exciting algebra.
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## Algebra is my friend

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Returned to my study space today after a couple of days off celebrating my youngest sons 3rd birthday. No studying - too much cake. Ooops!

But hey it all good, just keeping my nose ahead of the weeks.
Shock revelation today - ALGEBRA is not quite as bad as I feared. Although I fear it will become more complicated over next few months, but learning to enjoy it.

This weeks aims are to stay ahead of the weeks and push hard as we have another birthday celebration next weekend with my eldest son turning 8. Where does the time go!

More cake and more party food. Cant say no to that.

Working my way through these weeks seems to be going slow but the time seems to be going fast. Saturdays come round way too quick when I should begin the next weeks chapter.

Managed a gym session Friday - OMG first time in a gym since February. Achy muscles as a result so no cycling/running.

Good news though - Rugby is back in action this week again. Cant wait to get back to training again, just hoping we can keep going for longer this time. Please no more lockdowns. Getting fed up with it now.

Feeling for my English friends going through theirs as it really does suck!

Time for a lunch break I think... mustn't forget to eat while studying. I get so into my work, time flies and before I know it it will be getting dark. Guess that is what happens when you are so into your studies. Still early days!

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## First Tutorial and awaiting results

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:51

Well that was a great experience for my first tutorial last night - MATHS SUPPORT. Thought yeah I can nail this iCMA.

OOOOOPPPS!

Note to self - DO NOT attempt an iCMA late at night. What an epic fail.

We had a great tutor and all maths totally anonymous. Great for when I was too slow to work out the answers or getting them wrong. Ha Ha

But using his notes for revision I'm sure I will get there. Still weirdly feeling positive (ish)

iCMA attempted again this evening and a slight improvement to 89%

Just that 1% to go for that minimum target I set myself and still a couple of weeks left to practice and improve.

Must give myself a little rest from this iCMA for a few days to try and absorb the maths required, hit myself hard this week with so much revision to try and understand things up until now - before things get harder.

Weather has sucked this week - no activities or sports and we are still in that blooming lockdown here.

Kids probably thinking I have abandoned them with my head stuck in a book most of the time. But the studying must be wearing off onto them as they seem happier to sit and read and colour much more recently.

I'm done for this evening - glass of red awaiting me in front of the fire.

Oh yeah must not forget that first TMA mark and feedback is due within the next few days. Feeling a bit nervous about it. Be interesting to see whether I did mess up the maths or not. Time will tell.

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## Growing confidence

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:49

This evening has been well spent revising mathematical stuff.

Squares, cubes, roots and notations - courtesy of open learn.

I must say I am finally getting over being so doubtful and feeling much more confident.

It may take some study time away from the week, but If it helps, I'm definitely sticking to it.

I think I may just about be OK during this first year.

Maybe!

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## Nobbling notations

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:48

Found myself with a few extra hours study today so I tackled that iCMA51 again.

STILL floating in mid 80 % range. God damn it.

Looks like it is scientific notation that is letting me down. So frustrating.

Will I ever learn - need to find a way to get this stuff cemented before things get harder and harder and harder.

Pre-course beginnings I was a dab hand at it - but now I just cant seem to get it right. Is it possibly that introduction to engineering notation throwing me out?
Didn't cover that on the open learn course - I'm sure of it.

All i know that for now I am struggling a little  through this particular section of the maths, but trying to stay positive and working my way through the help materials.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:55)
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## The struggle is real!

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:48

It's LOCKDOWN here in Wales again. Roads quiet, nowhere to go. Perfect time to study - MATHS - Arghhhh! Why?

What on earth made me take a math heavy course. We are only just getting started.

Stuff I should know, stuff I should have covered in school - GCSE stuff. why am I finding it so difficult to rack around in my brain for those little clues that helped me get through those my exams?

Even looking at GCSE/A level revision books is making me think - there was no way I knew how to do all this to sit an exam.

Oh yeah - it was over 20 years ago and I have had 2 kids since then. Brain mushed!!

Evenings are getting harder to concentrate and I find I don't have enough time in a day to revise.

Something has to change - revamp of that study plan.

Although, I do have a maths tutorial on Wednesday - hoping for some lightbulb moments there or it will be 1:1 tutor call for me.

Despite somehow getting 86% in the iCMA so far - I was too heavily reliant on the books with me.

TARGET: iCMA51 = minimum 90% with less use of the books.
I have just over 2 weeks to get myself up to speed
and I'm a week ahead of schedule. (Hope to get week 6 out of the way this week as well) then that will give me some good groundings before I return to work - if kids will ever leave me to get a few hours peace during the best time of the day to study.

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## Missed blog

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:48
Sunday the 25th October.

Missed blogging for this date.
Managed to get almost a whole day of studying done. General stuff after submitting my first TMA - reading and completing activities for the weeks ahead.

However, I sense my maths abilities are going to put me under some intense pressure. Already struggling to embed what I have learned. All those rules and equations to try and remember. Trying my best to do practice quizzes without checking the books. I just want it to stick! Is that too much to ask.

Onward to try and conquer this hurdle the best I can.

Today, trying to get some reading And revision in. Near impossible with a 2 year old that is so needy. Argh!
Hmmm childminder offering Wednesday - so tempting to get a decent day of study in. Really want to try and keep to being a week ahead minimum.

Exercise is lacking And patience with kids home wearing thin.
So much for getting a hard push on things during the holidays.

Need to get a plan of action set up for next couple of weeks.
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## Making good progress

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:45
Week 1, Day 2

Its a rainy horrid day and kids are in more than out. OMG save me now.

Couldn't resist uploading my Week 1 chapter 1 activity answers to my learning log. I find it odd not having a record of them nicely typed up.
Making good progress and moving onto week 3 already.
Completed the practice quizzes and nailed them. Although Week 2 did have some guesses.

Note to self: Must revisit and study up on fractions.

At least I have found my first major weakness.

Well onwards an upwards. Tuning off for today after a late session last night.

Still haven't managed to get to any of the fresher week activities.
Hope I can meet some people during week 2.

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