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Christopher Douce

A230 Journal - March 2023

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9 March 2023

Has it really been so long since I last got my head down and did a bit of proper study? The answer is yes; there have been a few things going on, including a lot of TMA marking for the modules that I’m teaching, and also helping out my mum and dad with a few things.

Anyway, today was TMA results day! I’m very happy, and dare I say it, surprised with my results. My tutor offered some helpful comments, which suggests that I should consider the wider themes within a text when writing a thematic essay. I need to re-read his comments to really take them on board.

10 March 2023

I have a day of leave, so I’m going to do a bit of study.

There was a bit of chat in the WhatApp group about an audio book of Dubliners. Not having a subscription to Audible, and not really wanting to go through the fuss of setting up and account, and then cancelling, I’ve discovered a site called LibriVox, which has the subtitle: Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain.

It turns out there’s a version of Dubliners which can be downloaded. I’m going to give this a go.

Onto the block about The Twentieth Century. Before I go there, I’m going to have a rummage around the module website, to see how far behind I am.

11 March 2023

A day of catching up. I’ve noted the date of the next TMA. I’ve realised I don’t have much time. I briefly read the TMA question, which will help me with my reading of Dubliners.

After reading first two chapters of the blocks, I start re-reading Dubliners (which I had read over the summer), with help from LibriVox. It is going in this time; I’m making sense of it.

I also listen to a documentary about the publication of Dubliners that I found on BBC Sounds. This was both interesting and helpful. One expert claimed that Joyce uses the word ‘confused’, only once, within each of his short stories. So far, this seems to be the case, except ‘confused’ doesn’t feature within the first story, The Sisters.

12 March 2023

It’s back to re-reading Dubliners. I begin with the story, Two Gallants.

13 March 2023

It’s tutorial day! I start the day with another story from Dubliners.

15 March 2023

It’s strike day, which means I’m in a position to do a bit of uninterrupted study.

I’m now up to the final short story, which is actually quite a long story. When I’m done, I’ll then make a choice about which story to choose for the TMA.

I went on a slight study diversion, and found a web page that shares what is described as James Joyce reading from Ulysses https://lithub.com/listen-to-the-first-ever-recording-of-james-joyce-reading-from-ulysses/

I’m heading away tomorrow for a short break. I am, however, going to take my study block, and also the reading supplement. I need to get things together quite quickly, since TMA 5 is coming up quite rapidly.

18 March 2023

I spent a quite a bit of quality time with my books. I think probably four or five hours in total. I finished rereading The Dead. I read through the last chapter of the block I needed for TMA 5, and then had a good read of the poems in the reading supplement, getting through most of them. 

I really liked the New York texts; they really spoke to me. Whilst I appreciated the structure of the sonnets, I really liked the poems by Langston Hughes.

19 March 2023

A few more readings to get through, which didn’t take too long. I think I’ve chosen my texts for TMA 5.

20 March 2023

I had a quick read through chapters 1 and 2. I ask my tutor a question, who immediately responds; he offers me a helpful steer, which I am really grateful about. My next step was to create two notes files, filled with notes I’ve pulled together from all the text. There’s one for the final TMA, and another one for the EMA.

My next step: tomorrow, I’ll dig into the text of the text I’ve chosen, relating words back to the words of TMA question. I’ll begin with Dubliners in the morning, and then I’ll have another look at the texts I think I have chosen for the second part of the question. I should then have a set of ideas that I can start to mould into my TMA 5 submission.

26 March 2023

TMA writing day. A couple of days earlier I had collated a whole bunch of notes into my Word file; I have section headings, quotes from the module materials, quotes from the Joyce story, quotes from the poems, and all the references sorted out.

I begin the day with a printout of all my notes. I re-read a short story for a final time, and discovered a couple of elements that I had missed. Letting things sit with me had helped: I’m starting to get an idea what modernism is all about. Although the ambiguity that some elements are presented can be frustrating, it also become fascinating too.

I move paragraphs about, delete a whole set of quotes, write some linking text, added a couple of new bits, and write a short conclusion. I’m nearly done. I edit up the introduction, and get the word count down. I’m slightly over, but it’s okay. It’s good to go.

I go back to the website, to see what next: Sam Selvon and Lonely Londoners. I work through the video materials, which I really enjoyed.

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