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Christopher Douce

A233 Journal - March 2024

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7 March 2024

This is a cheeky retrospective post, but I’m adding it to mark a date. In my spare time (of which, I don’t have too much!) I run a comedy night. Inspired by the TMA question, I have a go at writing a satirical and political fairy tale, called (unimaginatively) A Fairy Tale of Lewisham. After a bit of editing, and a poorly timed practice session, I read it out. It got a couple of laughs, and a round of applause. I’m glad I have done it, but I have no idea whether I can use the basis of what I’ve done in my TMA. To answer this question, I ask my tutor. 

15 March 2024

I’ve been a bit rubbish updating this study log recently, since I’ve been in what you might call a ‘valley of marking’; I’ve had to turn around the marking for two different important modules reasonably quickly. I also know that my new A233 tutor has been in a similar situation; she has since has returned my TMA 2 and TMA 3, and has provided some really helpful feedback which really got me thinking.

After what has become a mild study hiatus, I have returned to my books again. Today I’ve been working through understanding what is needed from the week 20 and week 21 online materials. I’ve nearly finished working through all the video and audio materials, which has helped me to understand what reading I’ve got to do.

I have, however, read the first couple of chapters of the module materials, but I need to go over them again, and then find my way to chapter 3 if I have any chance of keeping on track.

I think I know what TMA 4 option I’m going to do. As it happened, I had a go of writing something before I had thoroughly had a look at the TMA question.

I have four things to do. The first is to listen (and make notes about) the final audio recording in week 21. Next up (I think) is to return to the block text and return to where I was reading, and then to read a whole long list of tales I had noted down from the week 21 online materials. The final activity is to try to catch up on some of the tutorials, since I’ve missed a couple of them. I feel that my current study approach isn’t very systematic, but I feel as if I’m continuing to learn from everything.

There has been some various chats on one of the A233 Facebook groups: some fellow students are clearly enjoying this bit of the module. There are also some interesting opinions about Angela Carter. I don’t quite ‘get’ her stories yet, but other students and tutors really like her work. I’ve yet to work through the materials about Freud (which I’m a bit sceptical about, to say the least) but I’m hoping to get onto that today.

So, all in all, some progress. I am looking forward to the Shakespeare bit of the module when I get there.

30 March 2023

I think I’m getting behind since I have remained in my valley of marking for longer than expected.

I needed to decide how to spend my time. Rather than working towards writing TMAs, I needed to focus on marking TMAs. This said, a couple of weeks back, aware that thing were running away from me, I have read through a couple of chapters from the module materials – I just need to reassess where I am.

In addition to the work, I’ve had to drop everything to help my parents with a few things. This led me to ask myself another question: to help me keep on track, what can I practically do to keep on track, or to take a strategic approach with my studies? 

Knowing that I had a long car journey, I managed to listen to the audio version of Simon Armitage’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This gave me a very good idea of what the text was all about. Completing this, I also managed to find an episode of In Our Time which covered the same text and also featured an appearance by Armitage. I this programme to be really helpful, adding a bit more context.

Aware that The Tempest is going to be featured in the EMA, I had a thought: could I adopt a similar approach? I found a Royal Shakespeare Company production in an online service called Drama Online, which all students can access. I watched the performance and tried to follow the text at the same time. Although useful, my immediate and full blown exposure to the play did cause me to miss some of the important details, such as who the characters were. My excuse being that I kept getting distracted, to view the play in a number of episodes,

There was a curious resource that was helpful: the CBeebies production of The Tempest. There also appears to be a CBeebies Radio version, which I’m mentioning here, just in case I get the time to have a listen! These links may, of course, stop working at any point.

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