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Light at the end of the tunnel

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Leading into my final weeks now and I'm collecting and working on my TMA02. Fallen a bit behind these last couple of weeks and could do with xmas break now to just type up some notes and relax a little. But first TMA time. T - 12 days. 

Mathematical problem is making my head spin and thinking and rethinking which formula to use to solve the problem. I know I know it but I just keep doubting myself. 

First, day school today and that helped a lot with getting to grips with algebra. Fingers crossed I'm making a breakthrough. 
I don't know what I'm going to do when I get exams...It is clear I can't seem to prosses and work out the maths quick enough. So slow. I read and re read, answer then doubt the answer, change it, change it back - argh! 
Need more confidence from somewhere. 

This week has been quiet. Covid cases have shot up, school stayed closed for 2 days as a precaution while the LA worked their way through contact tracing. Football and rugby cancelled. However, the eldest managed to get to his first swimming lesson since March. At last he is back in the pool if only for a few weeks. After all the fuss that he didn't want to go - he came away beaming and cant wait to go back. 

Changes are looming in work with unions wanting schools to revert to online learning for the last week of term (welcome to my world kids) to allow for potential positive cases to be identified or those needing to self isolate to do so before Christmas break. Not a bad idea. Last week of school before xmas term is pretty quiet and chilled anyway in schools. BUT, no xmas concert and no xmas party. This is so sad for staff and kids. But what will be will be for the coming months in the hope we can get out of these tough times safely and soon. 



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Coming towards the end of my first quarter as a student

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Christmas is coming and It almost marks the end to the first quarter of my life as a student. 

How am I feeling today?
A bit nervous! Things started so well  - amazing score on my first TMA. Managed to push my first iCMA score up with hours to spare. Now in between TMAs and preparing for number 2 to be submitted. 
But, I have found these last few chapters hard to deal with. Algebra, equations, formulas  - now did i ever learn and remember these during my school days? I'm finding myself spending less time in my amazing office space I set up pre study that I was so excited about simply because I fear the maths I have to do and do well in. 

Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself. Other students keep trying to keep me up beat - " keep going, you will get it" , "once you click, it will be easy" , "keep practicing" - where am i going wrong?

I do all the above but all the methods are getting mixed up. Mixing up the solutions or not simplifying enough. I start off good then hit a brick wall and can't figure out the final steps. 

Fractions are still killing me when they are introduced in equations. 

Despite this, I did see the light a little today and managed to actually get some answers right when rearranging equations. But still lacking confidence! 

Back to real life and we managed to survive another birthday - although the cake isn't going down half as fast this time round. My eldest turns 8 today! And he had, what he calls, a birthday treat - SCHOOL CLOSED! 

Yes our school closed today suddenly after a fear in the spike of new covid cases in the area and the Local Authority can't decide on the action to take. This morning it was just for today - now this afternoon it's for tomorrow as well. Schools on the border county have closed for 2 weeks and I fear this is what is lurking around the corner. My 8 year old joining me in distance learning. 

Poor little 3 year old I have - just started nursery school and getting into the swing of it - then this. Can't believe we are back here again with majority of local shops closing due to positive cases all traced back to pubs having private party! Bunch of selfish irresponsible idiots. 

Right that's enough - going for a glass of wine!


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When you think you are winning

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Couple of days have passed since my last post and while I left my last post in a happy place, it has since been swiped away by the introduction of factorising expressions, multiplying out brackets and algebra. 
I though I was getting somewhere, but now just adding another concept to it has thrown me again. 

My nemesis from my GCSE days has returned to haunt me from almost 20 years ago. 
Despite this, I'm trying to keep my head up and continuing to ensure I make time for revision and practice. 

Weekend birthday celebrations came and went and we are gearing up for my eldest birthday this weekend. MORE CAKE! 
More cake and lack of exercise - not a good combo. Worse still lack of study time this weekend again. But it ok, still got my nose ahead and I have planned the next few weeks out (hopefully perfectly) to be able to spend a solid week and few days manipulating my second TMA into something worth a decent mark. 

Also in the news this week, I'm a celebrity has returned, filmed in my home country of Wales. Never really watched it when it was in Australia but for some reason the location and the celebs seem to appeal to me this year. Although I must admit there are times when it is such a slow moving programme. 
Last night was a big footie match between Wales and Finland, couldn't help myself flicking back and forth between the 2 programmes. Wales are playing so well (more that what I can say about our rugby team at the moment). A decent 3-1 win for the Welsh and a move to the top of the group. 
However, this weekend sees Wales take on Georgia in the rugby. I swear, the way they been playing I'm not keeping my hopes up despite it should be a win for us. I will still be supporting the boys as rugby rules! Wishing them luck. 

Right back to it, to fry more of my brain cells with the ever so exciting algebra. 
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Algebra is my friend

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Returned to my study space today after a couple of days off celebrating my youngest sons 3rd birthday. No studying - too much cake. Ooops! 

But hey it all good, just keeping my nose ahead of the weeks. 
Shock revelation today - ALGEBRA is not quite as bad as I feared. Although I fear it will become more complicated over next few months, but learning to enjoy it. 

This weeks aims are to stay ahead of the weeks and push hard as we have another birthday celebration next weekend with my eldest son turning 8. Where does the time go!

More cake and more party food. Cant say no to that. 

Working my way through these weeks seems to be going slow but the time seems to be going fast. Saturdays come round way too quick when I should begin the next weeks chapter. 

Managed a gym session Friday - OMG first time in a gym since February. Achy muscles as a result so no cycling/running. 

Good news though - Rugby is back in action this week again. Cant wait to get back to training again, just hoping we can keep going for longer this time. Please no more lockdowns. Getting fed up with it now. 

Feeling for my English friends going through theirs as it really does suck! 

Time for a lunch break I think... mustn't forget to eat while studying. I get so into my work, time flies and before I know it it will be getting dark. Guess that is what happens when you are so into your studies. Still early days!



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Growing confidence

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Edited by Christine Selby, Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020, 19:33

Feeling relieved and happy this evening. 

A few weeks back I was getting so frustrated with my inability to reach my iCMA target score of 90% and that the maths just wasn’t sinking in. 

This evening, my last attempt before the cut off date tomorrow I got it! I got it! 😁 

15 out of 16 achieving 94% 

So relieved I can now concentrate on my second TMA now. 

I have noticed that weeks seem to by flying by leading up to Christmas. Feeling so excited for Christmas already - possibly because not only do I love this time of year but also it is something to look forward to. Family time, hubby having a day or 2 off and the kids and of course Christmas Break from uni work. Ha ha like hell...I be busting my ass to get ahead a few weeks more and revising between festivities and games and baking. 

My youngest has officially started pre school and he loves it. Phew! Coming home with lots of stories and has clearly been very busy. Hope this keeps up. 




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Getting back into it

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Wooo feeling good this weekend. 

Managed to get out on the bike for a good few miles Friday and Today. 
Fresh and much needed. Still, doesn't help me consolidate my maths but all I could think of was all things engineering while out. Thinking about how the little cogs and shifters work, thinking about how many joules of energy burnt, how much wattage I'm producing. 

Moving on this week with studies and being back in work. Lockdown almost over again. 

Hope I can keep this momentum up. 

Nice glass of red with a beef dinner tonight and a close on the study time in exchange for family time. 


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Feeling disappointed with myself

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Edited by Christine Selby, Friday, 6 Nov 2020, 08:15

Over the past 5 weeks I have been concentrating so hard on TMA and nailing a decent score in the iCMA I have totally abandoned my fitness that I built up so well. 

Running was easier - cycling was enjoyable... I had a fairly good balance (or so I thought) 

Clocks changed, light hours changed, weather changed and lockdown returned. Before I knew it I was back in school working again. 

I am so upset and pissed off with myself for allowing it to slip away and I am paying the price. I feel fat, frumpy, disgusting and horrid again. 

Let’s look on the bright side - my youngest has started pre school. Meaning I have 3 hours on the morning of Monday and Friday free. What should be study time I have to do something for me to get me out of this rut I’m back in again. This morning I’m heading out on my bike to climb the local hills. Hopefully I will feel a little better and the little one will be tired enough from school to have a nap for me to study a little. 

Time to start my redemption and claw back the body I had begun to sculpt 5 weeks ago. 

I will be happy 😃 


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TMA01 Results are in!

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SHOCKED! 

TMA01 mark - 95

Cannot believe I managed to achieve this with all the doubts and panics. OK so that damned maths question let me down - that one I was pondering on and over thinking about way too much. 
But to get this mark... I will take it!
However, the down side - I may have set the bar too high!

Had a day off following the result - a well earned day off too. Stress levels were building too much leading up to the feedback.  
Nothing exciting really I could have done seeing as we are in LOCKDOWN! 
One more week to go then restrictions will lift again - in time for me to finish my Christmas shopping hopefully. Then that will be it - no need for shopping trips for the rest of the year. 

We have really missed not going away at all this year - would have had a few trips in the camper over summer and by now we would have been planning our trip away for Christmas winter wonderland, shopping and getting in the mood for it all. I can only hope we will have a near normal Christmas gathering. But first, we have a little problem - mine, my husband and our 2 boys all have birthdays before even thinking of Christmas. 

Trying not to think what else is on (or not on) in my life and continue studying the best I can. Learning more about myself each week and delving into the past to discover why I failed so miserably to get a decent education. Was it the teachers, the system, peer pressure or just me and my attitude towards it all. 
Time will tell as this course is going to push me way, way ,way out of my comfort zone and challenge me beyond anything I have ever faced before. 

Physical activities have once again this week been near non existent, with no rugby training and the fear that the season will be cancelled really put a dampener on things. The weather hasn't helped either. Even for the kids things may not start back up again after lockdown. Nice to see the end to the awful six nations that Wales had. Really need to sort it out - gutted that W.Gatland left - wishing we would have stayed forever. Felt a bit sad for A.W.Jones on his record breaking cap and no fans to celebrate with. But we are Welsh and we will return and make that comeback that we know we are capable of. 

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First Tutorial and awaiting results

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:51

Well that was a great experience for my first tutorial last night - MATHS SUPPORT. Thought yeah I can nail this iCMA. 

OOOOOPPPS! 

Note to self - DO NOT attempt an iCMA late at night. What an epic fail. clown

We had a great tutor and all maths totally anonymous. Great for when I was too slow to work out the answers or getting them wrong. Ha Ha

But using his notes for revision I'm sure I will get there. Still weirdly feeling positive (ish)

iCMA attempted again this evening and a slight improvement to 89%

Just that 1% to go for that minimum target I set myself and still a couple of weeks left to practice and improve. 

Must give myself a little rest from this iCMA for a few days to try and absorb the maths required, hit myself hard this week with so much revision to try and understand things up until now - before things get harder. 

Weather has sucked this week - no activities or sports and we are still in that blooming lockdown here. 

Kids probably thinking I have abandoned them with my head stuck in a book most of the time. But the studying must be wearing off onto them as they seem happier to sit and read and colour much more recently. 

I'm done for this evening - glass of red awaiting me in front of the fire. big grin

Oh yeah must not forget that first TMA mark and feedback is due within the next few days. Feeling a bit nervous about it. Be interesting to see whether I did mess up the maths or not. Time will tell.  

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Growing confidence

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:49

This evening has been well spent revising mathematical stuff. 

Squares, cubes, roots and notations - courtesy of open learn. 

I must say I am finally getting over being so doubtful and feeling much more confident. 

It may take some study time away from the week, but If it helps, I'm definitely sticking to it. 

I think I may just about be OK during this first year. 


Maybe! 


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Nobbling notations

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:48

Found myself with a few extra hours study today so I tackled that iCMA51 again. 

STILL floating in mid 80 % range. God damn it. 

Looks like it is scientific notation that is letting me down. So frustrating. 

Will I ever learn - need to find a way to get this stuff cemented before things get harder and harder and harder. 

Pre-course beginnings I was a dab hand at it - but now I just cant seem to get it right. Is it possibly that introduction to engineering notation throwing me out?
Didn't cover that on the open learn course - I'm sure of it.


All i know that for now I am struggling a little  through this particular section of the maths, but trying to stay positive and working my way through the help materials. 

Please, brain start absorbing things!!!! angry


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The struggle is real!

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:48

It's LOCKDOWN here in Wales again. Roads quiet, nowhere to go. Perfect time to study - MATHS - Arghhhh! Why?

What on earth made me take a math heavy course. We are only just getting started. 

Stuff I should know, stuff I should have covered in school - GCSE stuff. why am I finding it so difficult to rack around in my brain for those little clues that helped me get through those my exams?

Even looking at GCSE/A level revision books is making me think - there was no way I knew how to do all this to sit an exam. 

Oh yeah - it was over 20 years ago and I have had 2 kids since then. Brain mushed!!

Evenings are getting harder to concentrate and I find I don't have enough time in a day to revise.

Something has to change - revamp of that study plan. 

Although, I do have a maths tutorial on Wednesday - hoping for some lightbulb moments there or it will be 1:1 tutor call for me. 

Despite somehow getting 86% in the iCMA so far - I was too heavily reliant on the books with me. 

TARGET: iCMA51 = minimum 90% with less use of the books. 
I have just over 2 weeks to get myself up to speed
 and I'm a week ahead of schedule. (Hope to get week 6 out of the way this week as well) then that will give me some good groundings before I return to work - if kids will ever leave me to get a few hours peace during the best time of the day to study. 

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Missed blog

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:48
Sunday the 25th October. 

Missed blogging for this date. 
Managed to get almost a whole day of studying done. General stuff after submitting my first TMA - reading and completing activities for the weeks ahead. 

However, I sense my maths abilities are going to put me under some intense pressure. Already struggling to embed what I have learned. All those rules and equations to try and remember. Trying my best to do practice quizzes without checking the books. I just want it to stick! Is that too much to ask. 

Onward to try and conquer this hurdle the best I can. 

Today, trying to get some reading And revision in. Near impossible with a 2 year old that is so needy. Argh! 
Hmmm childminder offering Wednesday - so tempting to get a decent day of study in. Really want to try and keep to being a week ahead minimum. 

Exercise is lacking And patience with kids home wearing thin. 
So much for getting a hard push on things during the holidays. 

Need to get a plan of action set up for next couple of weeks. 
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Submission of my first TMA

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:47

No longer a TMA virgin!!!!!
That's my very first TMA submitted and gone. How am I feeling?

Bloody nervous.....took a lot of talking myself into actually sending it in. So many things to think about and ponder. 

However, now that I have done it, i can get back into my next few weeks reading, note taking and MATHS!

Preparing for my first iCMA. 

Next hurdle, next challenge lined up and ready to go.....once I finally get some peace. 


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Weeks are flying by

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:47

So this week study time has been a struggle. Still that last question to type up and proof read before submitting by next week. Still clinging onto being ahead with the weeks, but would have preferred to have submitted and moved on by now. 

Hey ho, 2 weeks half term and still no  evasive thoughts in sight...........yet,

Tomorow I hope to be able to get it done in between a child's birthday party and rugby training in the evening. 

I will get it done and I will submit it by the end of the week. 



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Positive vibes

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:46

Spend all day today in my cave typing up my very first TMA. 

TMA01 - almost done. Just that little niggly mathematical problem left to do and I am ready to submit. 

Feeling positive this evening after my stress yesterday. 

Shutting down on a high for quality family time. 

big grin

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Slipping away

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:46

Today was the first day I realised just how difficult (and frustrating) studying remotely can be. 

My first tutorial booked and I was feeling excited. Time booked 13:00 - 15:00

Went for a walk with the kids and pony this morning while hubby was in work then had Had help him and family with a bit of logging until 12:00. Enough time for lunch and getting myself set up online ready. 

Well, as you can imagine it went Tits up. Was anxious to leave the logging but ended up having to bring the youngest home with me. Praying he would sleep on way home after a busy morning. Did he hell. Hubby didnt get back until 13:20. Missed the beginning and then to top it off, when I turned the computer on it took a further 20 mins completing updates. 

I was so angry and annoyed and frustrated. Hubby knew I had this tutorial booked. Now I feel my excellent headway and pace I gathered at the beginning Is slipping away. Still a week ahead. Jut saw Ned to write up final draft of TMA. I was hoping to have been done with that today. Then tomorow I could concentrate on the maths. 

All I can say is thank god that I Am fortunate enough to work in education and now have 2 weeks half term To get TMA, iCMA and get myself a few weeks ahead in preparation for TMA 02. 

C'mon! You still got this. Knuckle down tomorow and get it done. 

Bit shit I may have to give my cycling a miss to get this TMA done - but I guess I better get accustomed to this for the next few years. 

#studentlife 

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De ja vu!

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:46
Here I am again, letting my studies slip. Still ahead of the weeks but kids activities and change in work not helping. Late night studying is taking its toll as I am struggling with the mornings. Life/study balance are scales not easy to balance. But I'm learning and trying my best to stick to the plan. Luckily my TMA involves me to reflect and review just that. Must keep ahead of the weeks to ensure I can keep up. Cant wait for the first tutorial to come round. Had a lovely bike and brunch Sunday - that helped so much with easing some of my stresses and frets about this first TMA. Nice to be abele to enjoy an activity without the kids or hubby and have a good natter with the girls. TMA: T-16 days
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Kicking myself!

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:45
Feeling more frustrated with myself for having a few days off actually completing activities. Managed to get a good bit of reading and note taking in though. 

Another week gone by with minimal physical activities being done. So frustrating - hubby home late so cant leave the kids, getting dark earlier and well the weather has just been pants. The red wine is back out as the log burner has begun to be lit over recent days and it is definitely feeling like the Autumn time with Winter not far behind.   

I have now finally made myself a to do list for the next 3 weeks, 
I must remember that we are still only in week 1 and I'm completing my week 3 activities and chapters. Things are not all that bad - so why do I feel I'm falling behind I have no idea.  

Tutor seems lovely and been offering up loads of great resources - particularly in maths. (Thank god!) Only hoping I can nail this first assignment and things will become clearer. 

Pressing on now this afternoon/evening with a bot of luck. 


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Actively frustrated and feeling lost

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:45

The weekend has once again flown by. The crappy weather didn’t help. 🌧

Got some good bit of studying done, but I am severely actively frustrated. I.e: I haven’t run, cycled, hikes or ridden a horse all week ☹️ Managed to get to rugby training though in the rain and mud and thoroughly enjoyed it. 🏉 Sluggish in the morning when I should be going for my runs, weather not helping matters. 

Must try harder this week or I will slip into worse bad habit. I can’t not do exercise. 😬 love food way too much! 

The evening drew in and I found myself abandoning the sanctuary of my office and dedicated study area to the bedroom with my T192 book and a glass of red just to get away for the noisy kids. 😫 They are driving me insane this evening. Can’t get peace to read in this house sometimes. 

Still Feeling a bit lost as my first TMA submission date is drawing ever closer. 

Still unsure of how to set things out, the depth of knowledge/research required and to successfully get a decent mark. I just want to do well regardless if this TMA doesn’t count towards my final grades - at least I know what I’m doing to an extent. 

But that the joys of studying at home with a family.  

Onward and upwards 

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Making good progress

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:45
Week 1, Day 2

Its a rainy horrid day and kids are in more than out. OMG save me now. 

Couldn't resist uploading my Week 1 chapter 1 activity answers to my learning log. I find it odd not having a record of them nicely typed up. 
Making good progress and moving onto week 3 already. 
Completed the practice quizzes and nailed them. Although Week 2 did have some guesses. 

Note to self: Must revisit and study up on fractions. sleepy

At least I have found my first major weakness. 

Well onwards an upwards. Tuning off for today after a late session last night. 

Still haven't managed to get to any of the fresher week activities. 
Hope I can meet some people during week 2. 


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Official Start

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:44

Today is the day - 3rd of October 2020 - my module official start date. big grin

I have managed to get through week 1 online activities and made notes for the module book activities that I plan to write up. Feel better keeping a record of done activities. 

Completed week 1 practice - quiz. Feeling pretty good with 96% on my first attempt. Silly mistakes on last 2 questions but learnt my lesson. 
Completed a personal study plan - opening up 30.5 hours of possible study time in my week. Damn could have gone full time study with that! But what I see is an opportunity to be a little flexible if a random work day changes or kids have something going on. 

I know I can make sure I have the time available to really concentrate and do some extra maths activities that hopefully will help later on. 

Feelings today - pretty good, little more confident and looking forward to getting some tutorials done. 

Let the week commence!


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The beginning is near!

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:44

Hi all, 

After a couple of days off, I'm finding myself here once again. Catching up! 

Is this the beginning of what my year will turn out to be. NO!! Think I'm just waiting for that start date. Last think I want to do is do a load of work to discover I have not done it right, 

Nerves are severe now with what I have let myself into. What was I thinking? Engineering Degree and a maths failure - is that a good combination?

Well, yes - because it has made me even more determined to learn and get to grips with Math once and for all. I didn't try in school, I didn't like school but I was by no means bottom of the class and should have come away passing it. 

Had a wonderful few days away from this site - rugby training for both me and the eldest and being the taxi of mum to my son over the weekend with various activities. Little one got to ride his pony too - which was lovely to see.  

Plus side, randomly got offered a job by a friend of mine. Things could change as it maybe possible I will be breaking out of the Education sector sooner than I originally planned. 

Well best get back to my reading - until next time. 

Stay Safe, Stay sane! 

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Study - any time, anywhere

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:43

This week kicked off a bit of the new routine. Rugby and football training with the eldest is back on. 

As a result my timetable has changed already. 

Due to new restrictions I am now not allowed to leave the training venue and must wait in the car. 

Cha--ching! and hour of peace for some reading. Or so you would think. Cue my little monster child! 

Many kids these days like to sit in front of an ipad when you don't want them to....but when you would like them to watch something just for an hour for me to read in peace - nooooooo way! angry

So I have come to the conclusion that this plan will not work as I had hoped. 

Well battle on I shall with my quest to study anytime, anywhere. 

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Keeping myself sane

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Edited by Christine Selby, Thursday, 29 Oct 2020, 20:43

Here again, pondering about what the next few years will bring and what possible changes I have in store for my life. 

Managed to get out to join a group of runners last night to think about something other than my degree start date. Feeling good to be able to run with others rather than myself. (too much alone thinking time when I solo)

The dates are counting down and managed to get a little reading done, but still getting my head round the best way to approach studying. There is the way I think it will work, then there are the suggestions from OU and other ideas from others. Mind blown - haven't even got stuck in properly yet. 

Well off to work for me today....hope to get some hours in this evening. 


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