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And it is goodbye from me.

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That'sGraduation photo. all folks.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Judith McLean, Sunday, 1 May 2022, 12:17)
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Changed the picture

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Not much to say, just updated my blurb to alumni status.

Added my graduation picture from the ceremony in Poole today.Graduation photo

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 4 May 2022, 07:35)
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Graduation ceremonies

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Well they have put in person graduation ceremonies back on.

I have booked Poole on the 30th of April 2022.

Who else is going to that one?

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The view counter just clocked 300 000 views.

Thank you everyone.

I am looking forward to starting my civil service career on the 1st of November.

Remember, keep plugging away, do not give up, getting your OU qualification will change your life for the better.

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I shall be released.

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021, 12:51

Results are in. I passed, so i now have a upper second class honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

I have accepted a job offer with the civil service, they will fund my masters study. So i am off to spend the last 15 years of working life in professional service with the Ministry of Justice, with my degree and hopefully with a master of science in Economic Crime.

So that is it for me and the Open University. It has been a long road, but it is now travelled.

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog  i ended up with 293,000 views.

If anyone comes across this blog long after i have finished with it, my parting words of advice are:

You can do it.

Be organised  it will help.,

Remain focused.

Work the problem  if you come across them.

It will change your life for the better.

Try not to study Philosophy, it is painful.

Enjoy your success when it arrives.

Message ends.

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That's all folks

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That's me done.

 Everything submitted. 

Just have to wait for my last ever EMA score.

And in 7 weeks wait for my classification award.

Six and a half years, what a slog.

I will not out stay my welcome.

Goodbye to the OU, good luck to everyone who still sails with her. 


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2nd offer

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Winchester, through UCAS finally got back to me.

I have a conditional offer from them for a MA Liberal Arts.

I think i will be going to Portsmouth, but at least i have a plan b now.

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Research question approved

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My tutor has agreed my EMA research question.

It is narrowly focused enough, contains the correct direct links to micro economic theory and relates to the course section of environmental economics.

So that is good news, now i can get on with writing my secondary data research project. It is about game theory.

I can't be any more specific without getting myself into trouble, the module is not over yet.

So one more of my last OU steps has been taken. 

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Crossing bridges for the final time.

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Tuesday, 6 Apr 2021, 21:18

My very last OU TMA is due next Tuesday.

I have virtually finished it, i will polish it off on Friday and submit it.

That will be my last ever TMA submission for the OU.

Only the EMA remains, my research project.

So is that sad, exciting or somewhere in between. I have mixed emotions, which i have written about before. It really is such a long journey, and i am at the final stretch. I am not sure how i feel really. 

It is all a bit odd really.

Looking at the view counter, i might fall short of 300,000 before i finish my course. I don't mind, when i first started doing this blog i had no real plans for how it would pan out, so i am delighted it did so well.

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Virtual open event at Portsmouth Uni

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I have just completed the virtual open day at Portsmouth Uni.

Had a zoom chat with the two module leaders for MSc Economic Crime.

What a fantastic opportunity.

I have already accepted my conditional offer from Portsmouth, and that is 100% my best choice now,

Sorry Winchester.

All i have to do now is make sure i secure my P.P.E 2:1 classification

Really hyped about my progression to Masters study.

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rambling man

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So i am on stand by tonight, giving my the luxury of a little time to do a rambling blog post.

Firstly, i am very proud of Son #1, he is on for a first with his degree, BA(hons) Politics and International Relations. He has his offer to do his masters in International relations, so all things being equal, he should get at least a 2:1 and go into the masters course. so that makes me proud, well done him. I think he is lucky, when my dad died, he left the kids the money to go to University, so there is enough to cover son #1's masters fee's, because he is continuing at Portsmouth, so he gets a discount on the masters. I wonder if he knows how lucky he is that he can graduate with a Masters degree and no student debt, although it is always a two sided coin, he could have got an apprenticeship after A levels and have had the £35,000 as a deposit for a flat or something. Looking at the data for incomes for people with Masters degree's, i hope he will fit into a good graduate programme somewhere with the option to have a good wage going forward, so who knows, it is a game of two halves. It looks like Portsmouth Uni are planning to restart graduate ceremonies, his will be in July hopefully. Followed by another one next July, with any luck.

I am still waiting for Winchester to get back to me with an offer, i have confirmed my offer with Portsmouth, so grades willing that is now my plan A, both applications ae held up whilst i wait for Student Services at the OU to give both universities my academic references. According to the website, they aim to reply within ten days, so they are not outisde that window yet. My friend Tony, who got a Masters in procurement from Manchester Uni when we were young, wrote a lovely personal reference for me, so that is appreciated.

I am now up to date with DD309, i feel so much more comfortable now with what remains and my final project. I decided my research question with be based aorund game theory and assurance cooperation games, comparing cheap talking players to third party moderators and which provide the best untility (outcomes). Game theory is a subject i find very interesting (so much more than the vast lumps of neo classical theory in DD309) sp hopefully that fact that i find my research question interesting will help me get a good mark. It is quite liberating, having had several occasions when the TMA question was really something part of the course i had no interest in and so had to drag the essay out of the very bottom of my brain. so it is nice to have the chance to do somehting i am actually interested in.

I am still feeling the same way about the OU i have for a while now, 'lets just get this done and be done with it' i did have a look at the OU Masters programme, nothing really suitable for me. Also, having looked at quite a few graduate scheme's i have noticed that a couple of the bigger name financial firms do not list the OU as acceptable institutions for their programmes. So if i get a masters from Portsmouth, then that will be less of  problem. It is weird, i have eleven weeks remaining witht he OU, after 6 years and 4 months, i am really on the final eleven week stretch.

So reflecting on the journey, it has been fun, it has been not fun, it has been interesting at points, it has been dull in points. I feel it has been worthwhile, when i started i thought i would be satisfied with the BA degree. that has changed, now i feel like i should carry on, and get the MSc degree. I have recently started to doubt how much of an achievement the BA(hons) Politics,Philosophy and Economics qualification will be, i am sure other people would feel prouder than i will, however i think it might be linked to the isolating nature of the OU study. I have not had a tutorial face to face for over a year now, and i miss that. I think that by slogging away on my own, on the lap top that i am starting to lose the feeling of connection to value of achieveing the qualification. It is an up and down thing, i guess i am not the only student that goes through the journey. I imagine this feeling is shared by others about to graduate their qualification. I think i have also lost the context of how long six and a half years really is. Studying has become habit, habit become routine, routine becomes tedium and that is where i am at now. I am glad i claimed by Diploma of higher education last year, that gave me a little push along, i also think i should have left DD316, the Politics module until the last, and got this Economics module out of the way first, the most important thing is that i binned the Philosophy at level 3, that was a good choice, and doing Economics last was a bad choice.

Spring is here, my potatoes are planted, Covid seems to be far more under control than it was, half of all UK adults are now vaccinated, so as the seasons change so does my academic season. Bighter days are ahead, warmer and hopefully more content on all counts.

i was aiming for 1000 words.... did not nail it, tailed off at 953....

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Conditional offer

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Well Portsmouth University got back to me first

So i have a conditional offer to study MSc economic crime at Portsmouth.

I can get the 2 references, just need to achieve a 2:1 degree.

Still waiting for Winchester to get back to me.

Anyway at  least i have one offer on the scoreboard.

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What comes after BA(hons) P.P.E

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As i have mentioned before i wanted to go to Winchester next, as a part time student and do a Master of arts in Liberal arts. I have done that UCAS application and submitted it.

However Portsmouth University now offer part time online masters degree's.

So with my 20 years experience as a casino manager, i did quite a fair amount of money laundering training and due diligence checks on customers, so i also applied to Portsmouth University to do a 2 year, part time, online MSc in Economic Crime. The course looks very interesting.

How employable a 56 year old with a MSc in Economic Crime would be, i am not sure. But i can but try and find out. Portsmouth do not accept UCAS applications for courses, so i have applied direct to them.

So now i am sitting and waiting to see if Winchester or Portsmouth will give me an conditional offer, i do hope so.

In other news, Son #1 is in for a first at Portsmouth with his Politics and International relations degree , and he already has his conditional offer to continue at Portsmouth to a masters in International Relations.  So that is good news.

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A bit calmer now

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Well 3 TMA's in and i am a little calmer about DD309.

I am between 2:1 and 2:2 grade boundary, i was 2:1 last year, so if i keep this up, with a covid special circumstances form submitted, i should be okay for a 2:1. That is fine, i really do not have enough spare time to get the hours in for a first.

I have finished the taught materials, i have one tma left to do this week, about environmental micro economics, and then onto my final research project.

That is likely to be secondary data project on micro economic game theory in relation to environmental economics, just not sure of the exact question yet...but that is what tma 05 is for on this course.

My biggest down fall there will be to submit a detailed plan for my research project and if i am being honest,  i have never planned an essay in my 6 years with the OU. I just sit down with a blank page, the text book and the guidance notes and just start to write. I have not had to do much of a rewrite on any essay, and quite a few times, my first draft is the version i submitted. So doing a full plan will be harder work for me than normal.

I have had enough of it by now, i am in the 'lets get it written and be done with this' stage of study.

I am a little frustrated that the OU have just tried to plow through this second national lockdown, expecting us to just carry on regardless, without any changes or support to our module study. That is frustrating to say the least. I think they will have to be very careful with the final classifications offered to my cohort year, without pragmatism and careful consideration it might blow up in their faces.

I have slowed right down with this blog, i really do not have the time to commit to regular blogging any more, i am 1 of 2 remaining students who study Politics, Philosophy and Economics in this cohort, the rest have all left or changed degree classification, so i feel quite isolated in that situation.

Anyway this blog is up to 267,000 views, which is amazing. Thank you to everyone who has visited it. I will try to write a couple of more blog posts before i complete my degree and graduate, perhaps i might peak with 300,000 blog views, which would be amazing, i am after all just a random student who has no interest in media or social influencing. I have always had my blog set to public, which inhibits many of my fellow students from commenting, and yet it still might get to hopefully 300,000 views.

I shall leave that here for now, the word counter in this post is close to 500, and that is more words than i was required to write in some of my YO32 access module TMA'S!!!! 

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Saturday, 13 Mar 2021, 20:35)
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Still struggling with DD309

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DD309 is very hard, made harder by the spike in covid cases and the new lockdowns.

I am back on working 6 day weeks.

With hindsight, last module the corona virus and the national lock down hit in March, and we had the OU cancel end of module assessments as a result.

This module, the second covid spike and lockdown came in December, right in the middle of the taught modules and with TMA's coming at 5 week intervals, and yet the OU have done nothing about making alternative arrangements. 

My TMA scores have been pretty bad so far, and i have had to ask for extensions for the first 3 TMA's.

This is my final module, so my final classification will be damaged by the events of December 2020 and onwards, plus having to work 6 days a week again, leaving little free time to study.

Since the pandemic spanned and disrupted my final 2 level 3 modules, will any adjustments be made to my final classification to reflect that?

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DD309 is really intense.

The ammount of information is huge.

The neo classical models are rather dull.

The evolutionary and behavioural models are far more interesting.

i really do gravitate towards game theory.

Industrial dynamics is also really interesting.

But it is really hard, with an oerwhelming ammount of potential extra reading if you have time for it.

It is very much harder than the level 3 politics module i did last year.

DD309 is very much the real deal, hard,intense and difficult.

In some ways it is a suitable final module, if i can get through it then i will feel that i have really achieved something.

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a quarter of a million views

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Wow, just wow.

i have so busy, i have not been on my blog for a couple of months.

Imagine my surprise and joy at loggin onto this blog and seeing 250,000 views.

A quarter of a million views, that is incrediable,


DD309 is really hard, and very dense, with a great deal of reading involved.

so i doubt i will have much spare time bewteen now and the finish of my degree in May 2021, to pop on here and blog.

I will try and blog as much as i can between now and my finish. I am 5 months out of gaining my politics,philosophy and economics degree, i just need to get to the finish line, sane and in one peice.

here is hoping....

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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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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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