Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Don't Panic!!!

Okay, so I'm panicing!

Well only a bit! You see, last Friday a package arrived containing the first batch of study material for my Open University course, S104 - Exploring Science. I made the mistake of quickly flicking through 'Book 4' which covers chemistry! Blimey! There across the page I was confronted with pages of chemical formulae. You know the stuff: H2 SO4 - that kind of thing, except great, humungus, long ones. All of a sudden my 'O' level in chemistry seems light years ago. In fact it damn near IS light years ago - 32 to be accurate! It's quite shocking to realise, it was the spring of 1976 when I did my 'O' level in chemistry and managed a grade 'C'. In fact I remember my chemistry teacher trying to persuade me to go on to do an 'A' level in the subject, but I instead chose to do Maths which with the benefit of hindsight, was perhaps a mistake!

Anyway, now that I've composed myself a little, I reckon I'm suffering from the same syndrome that other newly enrolled OU students suffer from - 'First Study Package Panic'. That great idea you had ages ago about studying something that really interests you is suddenly happening! It's here and it's starting in just over three weeks! Gulp!

But hey, one only needs to follow the advice given on the Course Guide - read the guide first and prepare properly. Book 1 is obviously the better place to start and this covers a great topic to get things off and running - global warming! Now this is a subject that I love, not least bacause it always gets me arguing with my mum! She is convinced that there is no such thing as global warming, it's all happened before and is nothing to do with human activity. Well, that might be true in part. It has all happened before but I believe that it is the rate at which it is happening that is the problem and that surely has got a lot to do with human activity. So, once I've covered Book 1, I should be ready to take on my mother again in another heated debate on a Saturday evening over a bottle of Cabernet!

Yep, after flicking through the course materials, there is a lot of exciting stuff ahead including home experiments and studying rock samples and fossil plaster casts, so I can't wait to get cracking. So keen am I that I've bought a new pencil case - a lovely 3 compartment one in 'mock Croc'. Oh yes, new course = new pencil case! It's only right and proper in my book! Sure there will be challenges ahead, not least actually finding the time to do the studying amongst the detritus of the everyday working life. Oh to ditch the day job and devote ALL my time to it, but alas, that wouldn't pay the bills. So, I'll see how I go and review my progress regularly.

Meanwhile, if there are any other S104 enrollees looking in, do get in touch and we can share thoughts on the challenges ahead!

I'll keep y'all posted!

Cheers for now,


Grand Canyon, Arizona - very hot! Due to global warming?
Well, possibly, a bit, but what's certain is that this is the most pathetic excuse for showing ANOTHER photo of the wonderful Grand Canyon!!
(Photo by Grumpychops, March 2008)

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