Archived Content: Diary of a Mature Student at Glasgow University

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Photo: francis rickus. My name is Frances Rickus and I live in the Westend of Glasgow. I started as a part time mature student at the University of Glasgow in 2006. Being more mature, I am not studying for a career but purely for enjoyment and to widen my education in the arts. Although I have studied in the past, these studies have been for vocational reasons and I thought it was time I had more formal structured learning in the arts. Fortunately, the University are willing to take on older students and I am writing this diary to inspire others to consider life long learning through a degree course.

Wednesday 23 Nov 2011

Autumn 2011

Diary of a Mature Student

I managed to qualify to enter Junior Honours in History of Art, a subject I am really passionate about. This semester, I am studying Caravaggio, one of my favourite painters. The history around his time is very colourful but it was a violent time for everyone on the streets and Caravaggio liked to parade about with his sword to denote a higher ranking in society. Anyway, I love the course and the lecturer is very passionate about Caravaggio so makes it all come to life.

We are an exceptionally large year in Junior Honours which I think has shocked the Department. It is a department highly ranked in the University league tables and very much in demand as it also provides for students who have completed level 2 History of Art at the Colleges of the Auction Houses, Christies and Sothebys.

Unfortunately, I broke my leg last week on the Cowal Way and I am now home after surgery but I am housebound so I have missed the last two weeks of lectures and seminars. The Student Disability Services are helping me out by providing a note taker for the last week. I was due to make a presentation on Caravaggism with two others. Fortunately, I was able to email my notes, handout and powerpoint presentation to the lecturer to be delivered to the class in my absence. I have been on the Powerpoint course and now feel quite confident using it.

Over the next few weeks I will be writing my essay as best as I can as there were more books I would like to have read. As the exam is not until May, it was essential to have as many notes as possible for revision purposes.Hopefully, I will be able to walk again in late December so hope to be fit to continue the course with Architecture in Modernity and Methodology.

Otherwise on the campus, the Mature Students Association is doing well with a record number of members. Ironically, one of the other committee members has a broken bone but in the arm. I am regretting missing all the Xmas parties and festivities but there is always next year!

Monday 4 Jul 2011

Summer 2011

It has been such a busy year for me with various family matters that I have not updated the diary so I will try to cover the Academic year in a few paragraphs. In 2010/2011 I have been studying level two History of Art. I have a real passion for the subject and I left it to the end of the subject credits that I needed to go into Junior Honours.

In terms of classes and seminars, it has not been a demanding year but in the second semester I was required to complete a 3,500/4,000 word essay with some original research as a practice for the dissertation required for an Honours degree. I did well in the essay and have been invited into the Junior Honours course. As I am part time, I will have to discuss with History of Art in the School of Cultural and Creative Arts how the course can be broken down to cover five years rather than two years full time.

I have enjoyed History of Art immensely this year studying specialist subjects that were all new to me. It has four components over two semesters. These were Gothic Cathedrals, Sites of Modern Art, Voyages of Captain Cook and Women in Transition in Chinese Art in the Twentieth Century. They were all fascinating and I particularly enjoyed Captain Cook as it covered new countries and culture with a backdrop of Georgian England. Most people would not regard Captain Cook's voyages as a History of Art course but it is very much with artists on board ships sailing to the New World along with convicts sentenced to the penitentiary in Australia who turned out to be excellent artists!

This year I discovered the Special Collections on the top floor of the library where many rare books are stored. Lectures were in the basement lecture room of the Hunterian Art Gallery and I managed to catch interesting exhibitions there such as Durer prints and Joseph Beuys.

In the Spring of 2010, there was an unfortunate incident in my little haven, The Mature Students Association, which led to a case going before Senate for bullying and harassment. I was pleased to find that the University has a very robust system for dealing with such matters. A new committee at the MSA was formed in the Autumn with excellent office bearers who have drawn up a new constitution and the Club is now on a secure footing. It is still a place to share experiences with students from other subjects and enjoy the social chit chat. Glasgow University Union allows us to use their facilities and we had a good end of term karaoke night there.

In September it is back to academia and I am looking forward to it. Anyone care to join me as a mature student? Ten years to study part time for a four year full time degree is the way to do it for us more mature students.

Weblog archive

Spring, 2010: Friday 7 May 2010

Autumn 2009: Thursday 15 Oct 2009

Spring 2009: Sunday 17 May 2009

Autumn: Monday 24 Nov 2008

Summer has arrived, June 2008.: Sunday 8 Jun 2008

Easter 2008: Saturday 8 Mar 2008

Summer 2007 is over: Friday 19 Oct 2007

Summer Vacation and Plans for Next Term: Thursday 12 Jul 2007

Exams: Thursday 5 Apr 2007

Diary of a Mature Student January 2007: Monday 8 Jan 2007

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