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Staying with the OU

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My application to the probation service was declined.

Not that bothered, so i will be staying on with OU till the bitter end. I will also be applying for a masters of my choice.

My views passed 170,000, so thank you to everyone who takes the time to visit. It is much appreciated.

DD 309 is hard.... really hard, and i am only on week 2.

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165,000 views

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Thank you everyone, my blog views counter just turned 165,000, which is amazing.

It might reach 200,000 before i graduate.

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One step nearer leaving to OU

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I had confirmation today that i have been moved forward to the next stage of the Probation officer application..

The next step is to complete an assessment day.

One step nearer leaving the OU.

Williams GCSE results were fine, he was in college today accepting his place there, A level Maths, psychology and Business studies.

Oldest son goes back to uni for his final year in  3 weeks time.

Everything moves along another step... 

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A bit of self reflection...

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Just a quick bit of self reflection.

It has taken me 5 and a half years to get to this point, it is a long time, my motivation has peaked and very much dimmed as the years have passed.

If i am being honest, i am unsure if i will miss the OU after my final module or if i will be happy to close student home and never visit it again.

For the amount of time, money and effort sunk in, i do regret not doing a vocational degree, i have some doubts about how much i will be able to improve my career pathway with an academic degree, that is not the OU's fault, it is mostly based on my age (53).

I have got to the point where i just want to grind out  the last module and be finished. My feelings are mixed about how much of an achievement graduating will be.

When i started 5 and a half years ago there were about 16 people at the first lecture who all were on the P.P.E pathway in South Central England grouping, here i am 5 and a half years later and there are just 2 of us left, and because my remaining cohort took the Philosophy and Politics pathway, i am left on my own finishing on the Politics and Economics pathway. So the isolation you feel studying at home on your own gets compounded by a shrinking cohort as well.  

Politics, Philosophy and Economics, an interdisciplinary degree that focused on the complexity and interconnectedness of society, but i shall finish it on my own, whilst the people close to me have no interest in how hard it has been.

On the upside, this blog might get to 200,000 views by the time i close student home down for the last time and delete the OU app from my phone. That would be an achievement. 

I am quite lucky, because of my age, Student Finance Hades will not get their money back from me, they might get about 50% of it back by the time i retire, so i am making out like a bandit with that one.

So i can see the finish line to my OU study, i am just unsure if, when i cross the line, i should keep on running or stop and celebrate, i think i have lost sight of how much of an achievement completing a Honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics with the OU might be. Is it something to just shrug my shoulders about and think 'well that's nice' or is it something that will significantly change my life for the better? 

Got to finish first of course, i can see the finish line, but have not crossed it yet...


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Predicted grades

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Son #2 has a week to wait for his GCSE results.

Having seen the mess made in Scotland, the problems with the UK A level results, he is very stressed that his results will be downgraded.

I have explained that he has a place at college whatever happens, that the college will understand what is going on, that they will let him resit exams if he wants, but he is still very stressed.


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Results are in

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Got my result back... 75.1 so i lost 0.9 to the exam board adjustments for previous years performance.

So not too bad.

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Waiting for results

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I did the calculator for my truncated module, i should get 76%.

I get do the special circumstances for the last tma , i was already working 6 days weeks by that point.

So, depending on any extra weighting the exam board decide to add or deduct, i should be on for a 2:1 with one module left to do.

I would be happy with that, if i get a place with the probation service it will become a mute point anyway. 

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Blog views

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Wow, just passed 155,00 blog views, 

Thank you everyone, it is starting to become a very amazing concept that so many people visit my blog.

When i first started i had no idea where the blog would go and could of only ever have day dreamed that so many of you would visit it.

Thank you all.

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Covering bases

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I have registered for my final module, DD309 Economics. I have also put in my Student Finance Hades application.

I thought it was better to be registered and then can withdraw if the Probation service make me an offer.

This weeks OU jobs fair was good. I also have registered interest with Network Rail, Hampshire Police, BAE and the Civil Service graduate scheme's, so that is quite interesting.

Work is back to normal now, 48 hours a week, 4 on 4 off. I am expecting the email from HR to sort out the huge holiday entitlements we have all accrued.

They also have ended the emergency contract for us to cover ward staff in cases of high levels of sickness, i am delighted about that, i hated doing 12 hours shifts on the wards, not my thing at all, and now i will not need to do one again.

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Change of pathway

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I have not selected my final module yet.

I have applied to the probation service with my Diploma.

If i am accepted i will credit transfer into the probation service program, do a bridge module to a different degree pathway and they will pay for my masters.

I should know by the end of July if i am successful in getting into the probation service program, so i might have come to the end of my OU study without finishing my degree with them. I will have to wait and see, if the probation service say yes, then i will transfer across to that program straight away 

Work have also decided we can have 2 days off a week now, so i am only working 60 hours a week.

Happy days 

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Views

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Thank you everyone,

150,000 views, that is amazing.

Thank you to everyone who visits my blog.

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6 days and 81 working hours later...

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Day off for this week today.

Happy days.

There are many more cars on the road again, lots of civilian drivers who all seem to have forgotten how junctions and roundabouts work.

My garden is all up together and the veggie patch is growing well.

I swap to nights for the next week, at least it is past full moon, so a week of nights should be okay.

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Day off today

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It's my day off today, back at work tomorrow at 6am.

Even though the prime minister will announce lock down changes tomorrow, i have noticed more cars on the road in the last 3 days. I think people are deciding for themselves what is acceptable.

I have been grateful for the lack of traffic, it will be a shame to see much of it return.

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Day off today

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It is my day off today.

Happy days.

Did the garden, put the last lot of potatoes in the veggie patch.

I even got to watch an episode of Westworld.

Back to 6 nights shifts tomorrow.

I am really, really tired.

Got a silly email from HR today as well telling me off for not taking enough holiday so far this year, which is funny because they cancelled all leave going forward in March, when the outbreak arrived.

So once the lockdown is over, and the R infection rate is down to 0.1% i will have enough holiday to take 2 months off of work, which i will not be able to do because all the crews will be in the same boat, and we cannot have 2 months with no Ambulances.....

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Nature returns, due to lockdown

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Lots of pictures around of sheep and deer entering towns and villages because people are not out and about.

Yesterday i saw a buzzard sunning itself on the side of the M3 at 6.30 in the morning, my ambulance was the only thing on the road, it just looked at me, then spread it's 4 foot wing span and took off.

The streams where i live are all now crystal clear, watercress is growing.

I saw a picture of the hot walls in Portsmouth harbour on facebook. The water was bluey green and completely clear. I thought it was faked, but i went to that very spot for my break yesterday, and the water was just as in the photo, you would have thought it was water from the Caribbean...

So one month of lockdown has had a visible and improving effect on nature.

Makes me wonder how much of a change to our lifestyle would be good after the lockdown  to try and keep the improvement going.  

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Day off today!!!!

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It's my day off today, happy days.

I have tried not to sleep through all of it.

Back to work at 06:00am tomorrow, up at 04:30am.

A full 7 days of day shifts ahead for me....

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Bone tired

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Saturday, 18 Apr 2020, 01:28

A comment i heard recently about the pandemic lock down.

'Some people have no work to go too, some have all the work and can't go home.

I am the latter.

68 hours this week so far for me, i get to home for about 7 hours a day, shower,eat and sleep a little, then back to work again... by the end of the pandemic i think i with have to be surgically removed from my Ambulance.

And thank you to the couple who were on the M3 junction 7 footbridge last at 8pm, your home made sign and clapping were appreciated by my crew, as we went underneath you.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Frances Caple, Saturday, 18 Apr 2020, 09:11)
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140,000 views

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The counter clocked 140,000 views.

Thank you to everyone who has visited this blog.

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Feeling strange

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It is a strange feeling to have finished my module two months early.

It is a relief, i would never have been able to finish my EMA whilst working so many hours for the last month, and so many over the next two months, so from that respect i am happy.

But i also feel a bit lost now, having finished so early.

It is a difficult time for everyone, so just try and make the best of it.... and stay safe everyone.

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DD316 complete!!!

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Well i got my email...

EMA is cancelled. My result will be based on my TMA averaged weighted scores.

All my TMA's are in, so that means my average will be 75%, so a 2:1 pass.

And that's that.... DD316 completed, year 5 done, on for a 2:1 score.

One level 3 module left to do, with a September start, a choice between Philosophy or Economics.

A strange and aborted end to year 5, DD316. But with the Covid 19 situation and my working in the NHS, (as an example, i am working 60 hours over 5 nights next week, with 2 days off rota'd, but i might well end up doing 72 hours over 6 days), i would never have been able to complete the EMA, so for me it is a good outcome.

The Facebook groups are still melting down about it, but with such a diverse student body, the OU can only do the best they can, not everyone will agree with their decision. 

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Still waiting to hear.... ema

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Saturday, 4 Apr 2020, 17:36

Still waiting to hear about what is happening with my EMA.

the OU facebook page is flooded with people who have already heard.

I should get an email this weekend.

Really need to know, so that i can plan what to do.


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Waiting to hear about my EMA

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Still no news about what will happen to my EMA,

i am going to have no time spare to research or write it.

So my decision if i need to defer is in Limbo while i wait to find out if the OU expect me to soldier on through it, or if they are making alternative arrangements.

What will become of me and this years study?

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But what comes after

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Firstly, all the virus situations are awful, i work in health care and am currently doing 74 hour weeks to try and meet demand, 74 hours a week until i get infected.

With all the changes to how all societies are ordered across the world, and having just studied revolutions in DD316, the aftermath of the societal shutdowns we currently endure could be very difficult.

Shops in the high street were struggling before the lockdown, most will not reopen in the recession economy after the lockdown. That's 3 million people without work.

A lot of firms will realise that staff can work from home, office complexes will become empty, which puts service staff, such as cleaners/receptionists  out  of work.

With a recession economy firms that do survive with cut back staff numbers to save costs.

Product lines in supermarkets are simplified, international goods have/ will disappear. So although now the super markets are taking on tens of thousands of temporary staff, they won't be needed once the demand shock settles down. So more people will lose their temporary work.

Before the virus outbreak, the UK had 1 million unemployed people, 0.15% of the population. Once the lockdown is over, in the recession economy that could rise to 10 million, 15.0% of the population. That is a 10 fold increase....

How we will support 15.0% unemployed in a world recession economy is terrifying. Compounded by all the three month safety net measures currently in place from the government are based on borrowing, how can they then fund a 10 fold increase in unemployment benefits?

So whilst some officials talk about 'the economy bouncing back' once the infection rates fall, it seems that the aftermath will be more of a revolution in economic activity and social needs, things will be very different for everybody after the pandemic, not just a simple case of bouncing back to past practices.

So please do all stay safe, stay isolated and stay well.

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Might i have to defer

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I might have to defer.

I work in the Health Care Sector.

I have had an email from work to say that all holiday and leave from work is cancelled for the next 3 months.

If the Corona virus becomes critical, mandatory over time will be enforced, i will have mandatory over time enforced on me  that means working 74 hours over 6 days a week

This would continue until i become infected or infection rates of Corona virus start to drop in the population.

There is no way i will be able to do my EMA whilst working 6 day weeks, 74 hours a week.

So for the moment i am stuck in a waiting game, but i might well have to assessment bank and defer the EMA until later in the year. 

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Friday, 13 Mar 2020, 19:42)
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Tma 04

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So TMA04 is due in 3 weeks.

There is a big jump up in this one, much more independent research is required.

It seems like it will be very time consuming. 

This is the final marked tma of this level three module.

So i should not be surprised it is challenging.

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