What has surprised me the most since starting TU100 are the holes in my education and basic learning skills. I am certainly not academic and expected to have to re-discipline myself. However, the basic things missing like critical reading, mathematics and reflective thinking really gave me a lot of food for thought.
I grew up in a military family and was educated in many different service shcools around the world. When I was at school, Elvis Presley was alive and well, Concorde was still in development and Glam Rock was in full flow.
Service schools themselves are good except for the fact, that during my childhood, many of them used different National Regional Examination Boards. This might seem unimportant except for the minor problem, that subjects and syllabi changed from school to school. For example, you could either be studying French or German as a second language, physics or chemistry; I'm sure you get the idea. This mean't, I would either cramming or twiddling my thumbs in my new school.
Considering all of that, I did pass 5 GCE O Levels, (in old money); it could have been a lot worse! I then decided I would enter the world of employment instead of continuing my education. I then worked for 40 years until an accident at work turned my life upside down. Because I cannot drive National Express coaches around the country anymore, I decided to do what I should have done when I was sixteen and continue my education. So I did.
A second go
I had succeeding in all of my OCR Level 1 and 2's, two diplomas from NCFE in Entrepreneurial Studies and Online Marketing, so I thought, "Open University, how hard can it be?" I'm looking forward to the challenge, but am finding I am frequently navigating through the Open Learning website to brush up on my mathematics and other things I should know. (To actually calculate manually after years of calculators). This also applies to the critical reading skills and reflective thinking I need to develop.
The Swiss Cheese
Slowing myself down and then the further reading when I find those holes in my knowledge is, for me, at times very irritating, but at the same time, very satifsying when I finally "get it." The moral of this annecdote boys and girls, if you don't want a study skills and an education set like mine, Swiss Cheese, (full of holes), use the resources made available to you in Open Learn and the Library. It's great stuff! Just wish I was forty years younger to get the full value from it. There again, not many computers around in the 1970's.