Were having a baby !!!!

Again sorry for the lack of posts but the last few months have been a little nuts. Top of the nuts list is were having another baby !! :)

We found out in October and told everyone just before christmas and its going to mean a lot of changes. One of the big things that will happen this year is we will both be scaling back on our study, (Lisa has just started a psychology degree with the OU) so even though I had planned to do S282 Astronomy in February, that wont be happening now. On the plus side, delaying it by a year wont have any effect on the end date of my degree so it’s not to big a deal.

So for the rest of this year I will be doingS283 Planetary science ending in June, and GCSE English ending in May. Then fingers crossed the baby will be popping out end of June and that will give me 7 or 8 months without any study and plenty of time for the sleepless nights :)

As for S155 Scientific investigation, that’s all finished and im very confident I have passes. I will post a full report on it today and im sure there will be plenty of people who disagree with my opinions on it. It felt like a Marmite course people either loved it or hated it.

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, GCSE English, S155: Scientific investigations, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 38,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I have been a bad blogger again this month!!

Sorry guys, I’ve been a bad blogger this last month. I have been getting into the swing of all the new courses and I just haven’t had time to do any new posts.

So I have started quite a lot with this last month, my English GCSE is now on week eight, am about to start my final experiment for S155, so only three weeks left to go and then I’m a few weeks into S283. So I have been a busy little bee this month.

I will try and give updates on all these courses over the next week and let use all know how things are standing.

One thing I had been doing the last few weeks is getting used to the Dragon dictation software, I’m actually using that to type all this out, well not type, speak. I’m finding that it is good of all the basics but I just have two teach at all the scientific terms, and saying course codes is a pain in the backside as well. But I have been told that you just have to stick with that for a while and it gets used to your voice. So I will give it a try for this month and see how it goes.

I will be back soon, I promise :-)

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, GCSE English, S155: Scientific investigations, S283: Planetary science

We went to a wedding yesterday, so thought I would bring the camera

This is a little off topic, but yesterday we went to a wedding and at the last minute I decided to bring the old Canon 400D with me instead of the normal “Point and Shoot”. After taking a couple of hundred photos, (its amazing how many photos you can fit onto a memory card these days) I enede up with about 150 or so good ones. So with a little editing im actualy chuffed with the results. This is a few of them but the whole lot can be viewed here http://photobucket.com/JonathanSimonewedding


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I went back to being a 15 year old this week.

This week I decided in my normal fashion, which is think about it for 5 min then decide sod it just do it, that I would go back to being a teenager again. Now I don’t mean sneaking out and getting drunk or trying to pretend that I was 18 to get into the local night club, “The North Gate” aaahhh good memories. No no no to bring back my youth I decided to ……. redo my GCSE English, how exciting is that !!!

So why have I decided to do it? mainly because if I do a PGCE after getting my degree I need A-C in Maths and English GCSE, the maths I have but in english I got a “D”. So if I wanted to do teaching, I needed to get it and taking it now was the best time for a few reasons.

Firstly, I would rather take it while doing the level 1 and 2’s than while im doing level 3 courses, mainly because the degree classification is heavily weighted on the level 3 courses so I want to do the best I can on those. If I had to do the GCSE at the same time it may be to much of a distraction and effect my result.

Secondly, I have 60 pts planned this year, well 70 in you include the short 10 pointer im about to start. This means it’s not to busy so I should be able to add in the extra hours for the GCSE without too much trouble.

Thirdly, it started that week so I was able to get cracking on with it, unlike my Open University courses where I have had to wait 3 months to get started on them again.

So I called up on Monday to see if there were any spaces and was told yes for all dates. So I drove up, the college is only 5 min drive away so very handy, I filled in the form and registered for it there and then. I picked a Wednesday night and went to my first class last week. I had been expecting it to be a lot of mature student due to it being the night course as NRC also offer it during the day, but when I got there and everyone had arrived I was one of the oldies !!! now being 33 I wouldn’t class myself as old but I was certainly old in that class.

The 3 hours went in quickly and was made up of intros, a bit about the course and what we plan to study, when the exam will be (29th May) and what other forms of assessment we have to do. It turns out that there is an oral part where we have to make a presentation or something along those lines, most people are nervous about that but it should be fun to do.

Over all it shouldnt be to hard but going through the course timetable its plain to see that english has changed a good bit since my day. When I did it in 94 it was all about how to write, paragraphs and punctuation etc, now, it looks to be more like English Literature. Now that isn’t something I have an interest in but should be a little change from all the science stuff recently.  Ohh and I have to read, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet so that should be easy for someone who’s Dyslexic!!!

So studying has started for another 9 months and im sure there will be a few times when im under pressure but as they say if it was easy everyone would do it.


Filed under GCSE English

Thinking ahead: Life after my degree

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about what im going to do after I get my degree. Even though it will take me 4 years to get to that point I have been looking at my options.  From what I can see I have two main options open to me.

Firstly I could do a PGCE after I graduate, this would give me the qualifications to be able to teach physics in secondary schools. The PGCE would entail me going to a bricks and mortar University, probably Queens University Belfast. One downside is that it would be full-time for 9 months. I could do it through the OU but that will take about 2 years and im not to sure what type of support they have here in Northern Ireland.  This route has been in my head for the last few months and I think it will be the easiest route to go down but it will feel like im not doing exactly what my degree was for, Astronomy and Planetary science, don’t think any schools have a GCSE in that.

A second option would be to go on and do a masters or even Doctorate, again at Queens. They have half a dozen different research programs listed on the Astrophysics Research Centre and even though these will change by the time im doing it they all look interesting. The main problems for this route are that I don’t know how hard it is to get onto these programs and also what happens after them. If I get a masters etc whats the next stage????

At this minute in time im heading towards the first option, getting a PGCE and becoming a teacher. Of course this could change and probably will change a few times over the next lot of years but at least its a rough plan.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64

Thanks for the Open University Course Reviews !!!

Open University Course ReviewsOver the past 2 weeks students have posted around a dozen course reviews, so thank you very much for them :) Hopefully its just the tip of the iceberg and we can get lots more added soon.

I will be adding the whole list of level 2’s and 3’s on this week so that every course is listed. If you would like to write a review on any course you have done with the Open University you can find the instructions in the “Course Review” section at the top of the blog.

Recent Reviews to the site have included

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Been very busy these last few weeks …….. but not with study.

So its been a week or so since I have done an update on the blog and for good reason…… I have been doing bugger all study. It’s mainly due to 2 reasons, firstly, I have been working flat-out with work. We have been doing a lot of website work etc and I want to get it all done before S151 starts in October. So im putting all my efforts into getting that finished off so that I don’t have to work on it later. Secondly, even though I was planning to get a head start on S282, I have found it very hard to get motivated. I think its due to there being no time limits etc. For some reason I seem to work better when I know, for example that in 10 days I have so submit a TMA, this gives me a target I can’t miss where as at the min with my self-made calender there is no targets or deadlines. I don’t like the fact that I can’t get motivated without the targets but sure nothing can be done about it.

On another note, my material for S151 should be getting posted at the end of next week so starting to look forward to receiving them and looking through whats in store :)


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S155: Scientific investigations, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science

Course Reviews: All Level 1 courses are now online

To make things easier for people wanting to post reviews of the Open University courses I have decided to just go ahead and add all of them without people having to ask.  So far I have added all the level 1’s and over the next week I hope to have the level 2 and 3’s on aswell.

If you would like to post a review for any of the Open University courses the instructions are in the Course Review section of the blog located along the top menu bar.

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Hello to all my new Twitter Followers

Final, with over a year of blogging under my belt I have embraced Twitter. Even though my account has been running and the blog automatically posts to it, I have never really looked for other people from the Open University on it. How silly was I, in the last 2 days I have found literally hundreds of students, not all doing science but OU student that will be going through the same experiences as I am. In these 2 days my visit numbers have nearly doubled so it looks like i maybe saying something that interests the twitter world.

If you are one of these twitter followers welcome to my blog, feel free to add your own thoughts at any time. I know you will all be at different stages and doing different subjects but your experience can help provide other with the help and advice they need when planning OU study.

If you would like to follow me on Twitter my feed is My_OU_Life

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64