Added on Friday 7 May 2010
I finished my exam on History of Art last week so no more University until mid September. A very long holiday but well deserved as there was a mountain of work this semester in History of Art. I suppose you could get by on minimum work but I am passionate about the subject and did a power of reading on it. We covered nearly a thousand years of the history of art in two semesters and it has been an excellent foundation for study in the coming years. Not only was it a thousand years but we saw about a thousand images on the screen during the course of the lectures! Thank goodness for Moodle, the University facility online, where we can see all the images from the course and download them.
My memory is very poor when it comes to remembering dates and names so I devised a system of flashcards of works of art in chronological order to let me revise at any time and try and fix the details in my head. It seemed to work for me. Some of the questions in the exam were unexpected but I had so much background reading that I was able to recall information to address the questions and merrily scribbled away for an hour and a half. The results are not due for some time but fingers crossed I have achieved a reasonable grade.
I only discovered the Hetherington Club this year at the University and it was convenient to the History of Art department and the lecture theatre to have a lunch or coffee there and meet people. However, it closed in February but there is hope of it reopening and I certainly hope it does as it is a valuable resource for mature students. Meanwhile, I am making use of the Fraser Building for lunch. It is a lovely white, cool, refectory, although, in a recent newspaper article it was found to be more expensive to buy food there than in local shops. I hope the University take another look at their pricing as many students are on a very tight budget.
There are two other mature students I should mention as excellent examples of learning in later life. Sarah attended DACE (Department of Continuing and Adult Education) at the University on evening courses for years and as a part time matrculated student she accumulated enough credits to pick up an MA. She had left school at 15 years old and had no other qualifications so was delighted to graduate. Cathy is in a similar position to Sarah and is beavering away as a part time student working towards a degree. If you are older and would like to study, there is the possibility of starting DACE accredited courses in September, attending the University Access course or starting a part time or full time degree course. The University have advisers to assist you in making the best choice for you so don't delay in enquiring.
I am looking forward to going into level 2 History of Art in September. There were friendly, mature students this year and I hope they continue into level 2. I like the young students very much and some are exceptionally bright but it is nice to have mature students in my class to confer with over a coffee. The university has a lot to offer with an excellent gym facility and numerous coffee places and clubs.