Sunrise on a run

Sunrise on a run

Friday, May 25, 2012


Since October, I have studying with the Open university, the Arts Past and Present (aka AA100). Yesterday saw the submission of my final assignment: a 2000 word essay on sacred space, tourism and pilgrimage. I'm now feeling a little Demob happy to say the least!

I've looked at OU courses now and again over the past few years and they came up again when I was looking at creative writing courses and distance learning. Anyway, on return from our holiday to the US, I decided to have another look and then book! The recommendation from the OU is to study a level 1 course first. Although I have studied at university level before, I decided to follow their recommendation and signed up for AA100.

I'm glad I did as its got me used to the OU way of doing things and the use of online and electronic resources. My previous degree was in the early 90s when the most technologically advanced students has electronic typewriters, most of which are probably now museum pieces! Referencing for those essays involved underlining all the cases and I don't think we ever had a word count to stick to.

AA100 has such a broad range of topics covered as well and you study subjects you might not otherwise consider reading about. We have covered the following:

The Dalai Llama

The Reformation
Pugin's Architecture
Benin Bronzes
Cultural resources and exemptions

General overview of philosophy including philosophical conceptions of leisure
The Experience Machine
Sacred space and pilgrimage
Roman concepts of leisure
The seaside

There's been more of a social element than I was expecting. It didn't
really cross my mind when I signed up that 100s of other people would also be studying this course, from all walks of life and all stages of life. The online world has made this very accessible, augmented by tutorials, a day school and a trip to the British Museum organised by my tutor.

So with four months until my next course, A215 (creative writing), I can read all those books which have been piling up, finish Lego Batman and start Lego Harry Potter, oh and I expect there will be a holiday or two...

What's interesting looking back over this blog is that I've not blogged about the course that much. I suspect that the fear of plagiarism has reined me in. That and the fact that the blog would probably have ended up being a page of popplets...

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