STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.
WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility.
Being so ill and stuck at home, I was in desperate need of some intellectual stimulation. I decided to do an OU course…maybe get myself a second degree in philosophy or some similar thinking subject…I was doing a lot of thinking!
I was a little disappointed at the online presence of the OU in 1999 and that I couldn’t start a course immediately but I enrolled for an eight month course in Humanities, starting in February 2000.
I was further dismayed by the huge volumes of paper that descended on me from December onwards. I methodically ploughed through them, filed them and commenced studying.
It was all tortuously difficult. I was unable to attend the tutorials; there was little email contact; all assignments had to be snail-mailed to a tutor; nothing was available on DVD or the internet – all coursework was on cassette (!) or video (!!) tapes. I had to dredge out an old tape cassette player and watch videos on a tiny portable TV as well as recording programmes at ludicrously unsocial hours.
My hands were too poor to manage this so I was endlessly asking for help. I was soon chained to a tedious timetable of churning out essays, forced to replace my succinct bullet point office style of writing with ‘complete sentences and paragraphs.’ As requested!
There was none of the intellectual stimulation I had been hoping for. Sure, I was learning but it was all so un-involving! I had no forum to give feedback on the tutor’s comments on my work or to see how others had responded to the course content.
I did make it to the residential week away – EaZyD took some holiday and we did a daily commute to Reading. We both really enjoyed that even though I managed to totally embarrass myself by farting really loudly in one class - no-one laughed! This made it seem even funnier of course. EaZyD and me collapsed laughing as soon as the class finished!
And then, after all this, I relapsed and didn’t make the final exam! I had discovered that studying in isolation just bores me rigid.