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Michael Gumbrell

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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Michael Gumbrell

Personal identity as....confusion

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Okay personal identity.

Locke refuted physical identity as part of personal identity,

Locke decided that the continuity of memory is important to identity.

Locke decided we have a soul and it is a material thing.

But Hume...

Hume thinks we don't have continuity of memory as personal identity

The identity is made up of impressions (senses) and idea's (informed by senses)

Our identity is a mental stage that ideas and impressions float across like actors. 

Hume looked inside himself and could only detect ideas and impressions, hence he had no soul, he could only detect ideas and impressions. Hence the idea of a 'self' is only a fiction.

If I wrote my TMA1 today I would suggest that I agree with Hume, because when I look inside myself t the moment I just find confusion.

The self as confusion?

Now to wade through Taylor, lets hope Taylor proves insightful, because after that is Parfitt's bloody tele-transporter and that's not going to resolve anything!

'The self as confusion' so I must rely on the process of the study to see if it all becomes clear.

Perhaps Hume was right, my 'self' is the theatre that the ideas and senses play up, and only by having a organised process to make clear stage directions to those bloody ideas and impressions can I make a clear 'play' out of all of it.

The self as 'mental play- director, stage manager, orchestrator, lighting rigger, critic, actor, audience, in fact just the whole bloody theatre'.

So is, 'my self' just the auditorium that all the external impressions  and internal ideas perform in. The performance is a fiction, the theatre is not.

Can you quote Nick Hornby in TMA'S?

Rather than ponder so much about personal identity,

I could reference Hornby's 'about a boy'

'they say every man is an island!, fucking right, and if I am to be an island,

I will be I-fucking-biza, thank you very much'


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Michael Gumbrell

a new style of self reflection.

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Well level 2 continues to surprise me.

for our TMA 5 we have to post our essay plan in a online forum. This is quite a challenge for me, as I do not tend to write an essay plan out, I do a simple spider diagram of what I want to say in sections, why I want to say it and then sit and write the essay in one sitting, then save and revisit twice over a couple of days, making revisions at each sitting.

So to produce a plan was new to me, but I made an infographic of my spider diagram, so hopefully this is a correct submission. We then have to write a self reflection about how looking at other students essay plans made us realise the strengths and weaknesses in our own essay's. It carries a 15% chunk of the final mark. So it is quite an important element to get right.

Hopefully my essay plan infographic is strong enough to help other make the strength and weaknesses cases in their own self-reflections, otherwise I might let the side down.

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