maths study via The Open University

Archive for June, 2010

Analysis block started

As predicted, the linear algebra block destroyed my time advantage. Coupled with a raging sick bug which took me out of the loop for two weeks, I ended up nose to the grindstone trying to get TMA3 (linear algebra) completed in time.

So, a week or so has passed and… the results have come back.

I had no idea what grade to expect – I felt it would be somewhere between 80% and 85% as I was sure I’d made a total mess of the final question which, IIRC, carried 20 marks.

To my genuine surprise, it turns out I got that final question completely correct algebra-wise.

I lost a few marks on not “explaining” what was going on – no narrative to back up my reasoning or methodology.

The same happened in another of the questions – where the amount of red pen from the tutor was shocking. 🙂

But it was all constructive stuff, even if it seemed a little overly-intricate as regards the use of certain words ie “it follows” vs “thus”, etc.

Still, when I finally had the nerve to look at the total score in the top right of the tutor comment sheet, I nearly fell off my chair. Major result.

As ever, I won’t publish the TMA score as I know the OU doesn’t really like this, but I will say that my mean average over the three TMAs completed so far is in the mid-90 per cents.

The analysis block has been started a week late as I’ve been redecorating the house and had the entire ground floor replastered, which meant loads of tidying up, cleaning and painting afterwards – amazing how paint disappears into new plaster – maybe I should have used a barrier sealant first. 🙂

So, by the end of today, I should be finished the first analysis book, putting me approx five days behind schedule.

Now, I might normally be worried about this, but there’s a dramatic sting in the tail here – I am being made redundant in July. So, study time should hardly be an excuse.

People are expecting me to panic about having no work and a sudden termination of pension accrual, but that’s not going to happen.

I have a couple of new avenues which should pay a similar wage although, cheekily perhaps, I am also approaching investment banks about RFP writing roles. No interviews so far (hey, I’m over 21, grrr), but lots of personally-written rejection letters banging on about an interesting CV but no direct work experience.

So, in July, I am going down to “The City” and simply walking into every banking and investment fund front door I can find with my best “gizzajob” impression a la Bernard Hill’s Yosser Hughes in Boys From the Black Stuff.

Failing that, I’ll take until the middle of October off to complete M208, take a decent holiday, then dial back into journalism/marketing/insert anything else to do with writing – my previous life.

I guess my next blog update will come toward the end of the analysis block, in about three weeks, when I should be chucking books at the wall, marching round a 3m x 3m back bedroom/office in a clockwise fashion, struggling with all this convergence malarky.

Oh, and don’t all go checking these pages out at once – the traffic counter hit the heady heights of “10” last week. 🙂

To fellow M208 students…. we’re over halfway now, folks. Keep ploughing…..