What does one do when arriving in Thailand with the almighty dream of teaching English to little Thai children, doing a TEFL certificate, gaining full time employment whilst not having a degree, and realizing that full time teaching is not cut out for you?
Well… you chuck in the full time teaching gig, take on part time teaching and study online at Open University Australia of course! Not saying that the situation I am in would suit everyone, but it certainly works for me, and Andrew too.
Unit one of twenty four
SSK12 – Introduction to University Learning
June 1st 2009, I started my first University unit, SSK12 – Introduction to University Learning. Eight weeks in, two assignments and one essay later, with another assignment and essay due in two weeks time and an exam in five weeks time, this has been a learning experience. I have freaked out, stressed out, cried, smoked too much, drank too much and even demanded chocolate…
So far I have learned concepts such as worldview, university culture, critical thinking, many many many words that I have never heard of before including reification, epistemologically, coterminous, dualism, nascent and even pedagogy. Don't ask me what they mean now though, as i forget!
Along with other concepts, I have been reflective writing and essay writing. This takes up a lot of the unit's so-called 8 – 10 hours of study time one needs a week for the unit – I believe it more like 20 hours. Well it is for me anyhow!
Both reflective and essay writing has been interesting for me. I have never been one to just write. If I have had a ‘diary' – it has always been a visual diary, so the whole reflective writing started off as a chore, but now… look at me go! Essay writing is interesting, having not written an essay in approximately seventeen years, I was pleased to receive a Distinction for my first ever university essay. This just means that I need to get at least another Distinction for the next one due… high expectations anyone?
Starting and studying a university unit whilst travelling has been hard to say the least, it takes a lot of time management and reliance of loving and understanding family and friends and of course an internet connection. If the internet doesn't work, you lose a lot of study time.
As i said earlier, this situation would not suit everyone, but to be honest, it is very easy, yes the study part is hard, but in general it is easy. Andrew goes to work Monday to Friday, leaving me at home, in Thailand mind you. My day consists of teaching in the morning (if I am teaching), getting home just after lunch, and working on my assignments, essays, and reading all the readings up until the moment Andrew arrives home. Weekends are left free, to just be weekends, unless I am stressed with something uni wise.
In five weeks time, I complete my first unit out of a degree's twenty four. I then start another two, I have chosen and enrolled in one already – ENG110 – English Literature with an Australian twist – reading and discussing novels and plays such as Regeneration (going to war); One Day Of The Year (after the war – ANZAC day), a bit of Shakespeare and about 5 other books. Unsure of the other unit, perhaps a unit on gender, specifically women in Australia, or philosophy or even sociology. The study world is my oyster!
Therefore, welcome to my website page, just for studying whilst travelling. If I can do it, so can you 🙂
Open University Australia – www.open.edu.au