Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Oh God Oh God Oh God.

It’s exam time again.

I’ve been doing a part time English degree at nearby Warwick University for the last decade (I kid you not) and am facing yet another exam this weekend. Yes. All plans to disappear somewhere green and hilly over the Bank Holiday weekend break have gone boobs up as they’ve placed my exam smack back in the middle of Saturday afternoon. Gits.

3 hours of 18th Century Literature.

Oh goody. Swift, Pope and Johnson. And oodles of Samuel Richardson’s interminable "Pamela".

And do you think I can get my head around the revision?

Uh uh.

No matter how hard I try I just cannot summon up any enthusiasm for any of the works on this year’s module. I’ve found the year to be very heavy going, back breakingly dry and chokingly dusty.

Still. I shouldn’t complain really. Doing the course part time, I only have 1 module to revise for as opposed to 4 like the poor full timers. And in another 2 years I’ll be completely done and (hopefully) degree'd up like a good ‘un.

Next year I’ve got "Poetry: 1945 to the Present". Much more up my street.

Until then, in lieu of a weekend away, it’s back to Gulliver’s Travels...


-eve- said...

Wow, didn't know YOU had exams too! Good for you (it probably keeps your mind active;-)). All the best!:-D

Steve said...

Probably too active - I feel like I haven't had a proper break for years! It's my own fault though; all by choice. Maybe I just like to be busy? Full time work, part time web design business, novel, degree and then family life on top! No wonder I'm so tired... zzzzz!

Old Cheeser said...

Yes you are a real polymath, aren't you Steve? I can understand you feeling so snowed under...

English - wise choice of subject though. I did my Literature and History degree back in 1988-1991 (aeons ago), followed by a Masters in English and eventually trained as an English teacher! So erm, you might have gathered that English was my favourite subject.

This authors do sound a bit dull though - political / satirical writers aren't they? Actually I did "The Rape of The Lock" on my degree all that time back - I liked the subject and the analogy but God it was long! Are you studying that one? Also a text by Swift called "A Modest Proposal" which was clever but when I was an English teacher, had to deliver it to a Year 9 class - a tall order!

Personally I prefer more modern 20th Century writers like Waugh. Although I have got a soft spot for the Brontes and Wilkie Collins!

Okay, rabbiting over!

TimeWarden said...

My advice, Steve, is to stay calm, take deep breaths and just do the best you can. I tended to get stressed out under exam conditions, too, and actually found doing my second degree easier than O-levels! Reason being, I was actually studying a subject in which I was interested rather than a whole set that were effectively chosen for me!

But, I understand, obviously, that within a single subject there are many specialist areas! Even at A-level, Eng Lit was already a case of studying several subjects simultaneously as Chaucer and Milton can be like a foreign language compared to Hardy and Dickens! For some, even the language of Dickens is a closed book.

Anyway, good luck with the Lilliputians this coming Saturday! Let us all know how you get on...

Steve said...

Hi Old Cheeser, I had no idea you trained as a teacher... wow! I've been considering doing the same once my degree is finished.

Yep Rape Of The Lock and A Modest Proposal are all part of the course. I was amazed at how much hard work Gulliver's Travels was. It's so unrelenting in it's mysanthropy. I prefer Bronte too and have a soft spot for Blackmore. Hardy is a bit of a favourite - I love Jude The Obscure even though it's so depressing! Anyway We also had to study Tristram Shandy too which was funny but an absolute marathon to get through... doesn't make for easy revision!

Steve said...

Thanks for the advice TimeWarden. Usually I'm ok (touch wood... or Torchwood?) in exams as I have a pretty good natural memory but I feel I haven't really connected with this course on a deeper level. I'm not expecting a first! But I'll try for as close as I can get!


Your revision sounds quite interesting compared to what we went through on my Welsh History Welsh studies degree. The least exciting was Medieval Welsh literature but the most interesting was a history of rugby in Wales, I even did an essay on the subject.

Steve said...

A history of Rugby? Wow. What a great subject! Karen and I would love to move to Wales... if they do degree courses in Tom Jones and Charlotte Church I'll start packing right away!

Old Cheeser said...

Steve - Yep I did train as a teacher some ten years ago! Time flies. But in the Secondary sector, which I wouldn't recommend. Teenagers are a handful! Take my advice and teach an older age group instead. I ended up teaching adults later on which was much more rewarding (and you don't have all the discipline issues!)

I'm not familiar with most of those texts you mention i.e. I haven't read them! Sounds like you've got a lot under your belt though, at least you can claim that! Very well read is you!