Category Archives: TMAs

An Ending

I haven’t written in here since NOVEMBER and I finish my final (if I pass!) OU course on May 31st. Needless to say, the end is nigh for this blog. That said, I want to keep writing, and more regularly. If you are so inclined, please do check out my very new personal blog over here.

Anyhoo, for my last course I managed to scrape a 2:1; hoorah! The hope is I can continue the trend with my current course (AA315: Renaissance Art Reconsidered). For my first two essays I received a 2:1 but I’m not that optimistic for the final two.

My next essay is due in April 5th, is worth 40% of my final grade, and I only have a week to do it (which I think is UTTERLY unfair). And I don’t understand the question. Granted, I haven’t asked for any help or checked out the forums so far, so hopefully my understanding will be better this time tomorrow!

I have received back my proforma for my final Independent Essay and things aren’t good that end either. The direction I wanted to go in is pretty much a dead end so I have to re-evaluate what the heck I want to write about. This isn’t easy as I have discovered I dislike Renaissance art greatly and don’t care about any of it – and if you don’t care, it’s unlikely you’ll write a good essay.

Having said this, I am pretty motivated to pass this damn course because I refuse to spend another second of my life studying; I am utterly fed up of it and just want a grown up job with some monies please!

This year, a few things have changed with the OU which I dislike: the main one being their constant fiddling with the submission time of essays. When I first started, it would be Friday at midnight. Then it moved to Friday midday. Now it has moved to Thursday midday. This effectively cuts out two days of essay writing for the average person and I am not happy with it, at all.

I also don’t understand my next essay being worth 40% and only having a week to do it, whereas the Independent Essay is worth 50% and for that we have six weeks.

I don’t understand such changes and I just thank my lucky stars that I have parents willing to support me because no way could I do this amount of work, hold down a full time job and still hope for a social life! I do sometimes wonder if this is why the OU appeals to the older student: at 24 I need a social life! Also, after being in education for twenty years, my motivation for textbook based learning left me a good long while ago.

Oh well, moaning over! Hope you’re all well and thank you for reading 🙂

Nikki x

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Art, OU, TMAs


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Jag lämnade mitt hjärta i Sverige.

Hej alla! I have just returned from my second trip to Stockholm, and it was AWESOME. I love that place so much. But you might be wondering; why the obsession with Sverige? Well, I am hoping to apply to study this course at Stockholms Universitet next year. Why? Well the two main reasons are the cost (free!) and the fact that I feel so at home in Stockholm, more so than even in England. I am sure we have all had holidays where we could see ourselves living in that country. Everything clicks; you love the people (and the men!), the weather (hot in the summer, freezing in the winter? Ja snälla!), the culture… it’s just bloody amazing.

I am also going to apply for similar courses in Gothenburg and Helsinki, but I want the Stockholm one the most. If I don’t get in, there is a good chance I will cry. But then I will work for a year and apply again the following year; post grads in Scandinavia are quite often 25 and over.

So to help me prepare, I am starting Swedish classes on September 14th. I am very excited! I am not starting in the entry level class, but the one up, since I already know some Swedish through Rosetta Stone. I actually tried speaking some Swedish this trip and I was pleasantly surprised; I had been told that once a Swede hears your terrible accent they switch instantly to English, and that totally didn’t happen with me! I’d say, ‘Jag talar inte Svenska’ (I don’t speak Swedish) and they would ask ‘Engelska?’ No presumptions or anything 🙂 I did meet two Swedes who said I had the perfect accent so here is hoping I will be top of the class haha!!

In AA318 news, I am waiting for my last TMA result. I can’t even begin to focus on the EMA until I have that result back and I have spoken to my tutor – we have a tutorial on Saturday which I need desperately because I don’t really understand the EMA at all.

Also, my last course books have come! I start AA315 (Renaissance art reconsidered) in October. I quite like the look of the books; unlike AA318, the text in these books is split into two columns. And strangely, it looks like I will be able to focus on that easier. It’s really bizarre, but I remember in college being given a right or left brained test and because I scored right brained, my law teachers gave me textbooks with pictures. And strangely, it worked! I got an A, and then when I tried a Law course with the OU I pretty much failed because their textbooks had no pictures. Strange, I know.

Anyhoo, I hope you are all good, och tack för läser!

Nikki x

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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Sverige, The author, TMAs, Universities


Essay submission.

I find it odd that no other universities seem to use electronic means of essay submission. My neighbour’s daughter is at uni in Manchester but was at home to finish an essay. She believed it was due in on Friday. On the Tuesday her friend texted her and asked her if she had submitted it. Turned out it was due in on the Tuesday. So her mom had to drive her all the way from Earlswood (on the Warwickshire/West Midlands border) to Manchester uni.

This is so bizarre. It’s 2011! Deary me. Thankfully the OU uses electronic submission which means you really can leave it until the last minute to submit your essay (although of course, computers and the internet aren’t infallible).

I got my latest TMA back on Thursday and it was great to be able to check my result on my iPhone on the train on the way home from work.

Well, what else have I been up to? On Saturday I had a few friends round and we watched Eurovision. I was unimpressed with Azerbaijan’s entry, and I voted for both Sweden and Ireland. I really liked Jedward’s song, which disgusts me in so many ways haha. I was sort of gutted Sweden didn’t win because I had planned to go to the Eurovision next year if they were hosting it.

I also booked my Stockholm holiday for August on Saturday! 25th-30th and we’re staying on a yacht! Well, it’s a yacht that is permanently moored and has been converted into a hotel. It’s in the centre of Stockholm, and we picked it because of the price. For a hotel within walking distance of Gamla Stan you’d pay triple what we did. The hotel is called Mälardrottningen and this is it:

I went to Stockholm last year and I am going again because I hope to study for a masters there. I speak a little Swedish and am hoping to take classes at Brasshouse from September instead of doing drama. It’s a little bit more beneficial than being in the chorus for Me and My Girl 😉

Nikki x

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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in OU, The author, TMAs


The Royal Wedding.

So I do hope everyone’s Royal Wedding day was nice, whether you are a monarchist or not. I’m apathetic about the monarchy, but I must admit I do enjoy the history and tradition, and no one, no one, does pomp and circumstance better than the Brits.

We had a party in the field next to our house. Lots of people came and we had food, Pimm’s (of course!) and played rounders. My throat is a bit hoarse today though thanks to getting a bit too over excited during rounders and because I was used as a raffle announcer, since I know how to project my voice 😉

I think the wedding ceremony was nice but it did drag on a tad; the pair of them looked exhausted bless them. I bet they had next to no sleep the night before; I know I wouldn’t have. And that dress; my god. Stunning. I’d love to get married in a similar style dress, but in blue. Oh well, there’s always Harry! 😉

Anyhoo, I was reading a blog about today’s front pages and how almost all papers put the same image on the front cover; that of Wills and Kate kissing on the balcony. Nice, but safe. The Independent went with this by Tracey Emin, which I must admit I depsise:

I think I dislike it (a) because it looks like it was traced, (b) because it looks smudged and (c) it’s so impersonal! They’re a beautiful couple (even if Wills is losing his hair) and this just completely depersonalises it. I have never been a fan of Emin though so no surprises there.

However, The Times went with a fantastic photo which is completely candid and really captures the spirit of the couple. This is what good photography is all about:

Who could not be moved by that photo? Gorgeous.

I have a TMA due in on Friday and I haven’t even looked at the question (so disorganised at times), but I’m hoping to make a video about the process so look out for that sometime next week!

Nikki x

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Art, The author, TMAs



I am a terrible procrastinator. Always have been, probably always will be. I like to think it stems from being an only child; being alone is not some terrible punishment, but a chance for me to relax and indulge myself in all my favourite activities (which only really consist of reading, arguing about politics and watching American dramas because of the attractive men). So when I make sure everyone is out of the house (I don’t study in my room, it’s too cold), I find I can’t make myself study. Especially since my TMA is not due in until the 11th and it’s only the 1st today. I need the pressure of an immediate deadline hanging over my head to make me work.

Yesterday I managed to make some notes for my TMA. It was pretty easy; just writing about the art works and the artists. Today, however, I need to somehow start bringing theorists into it, which is always the difficult part. Tomorrow and Thursday will be my days to type up my notes and put them into a coherent order, but not today. Today is a thinking day.

I usually try to put off writing an essay until I have a flash of inspiration, which, ironically, only comes from making notes. This in itself is difficult; the house I live in with my parents is very odd and there is no dining room (it’s a wooden house that was sent over from Sweden flat pack; true story). This means we have no dining table. This in turn means that I make my notes sat on the sofa, cross legged, with all my books and papers strewn around me. It does work for me, but it doesn’t make for a peaceful and relaxing work environment.

I try to get inspiration sometimes from the course forums. These are very handy, but they can also be quite daunting. At the moment there are some brilliant discussions about modernism versus postmodernism, and what actually is the artwork in Ana Mendieta’s Siluetas. But sometimes you come across a discussion, and it takes me back to my time at Kent, where I would be sitting in a seminar surrounded by people who had read hundreds of more plays than I had, and were discussing them in great detail. I would sit there silent and dumbfounded, and would eventually end up switching off and doodling. Sometimes I get this with the forums; these are people older than me, with a great deal more life experience, discussing things I could have no hope of understanding due to the fact that I am only 23, live with my parents, don’t drive, and my parents never really took me to art galleries anyway.

I like to think that these people are either reading into things too much, or just have great flashes of inspiration and need to think out loud, and it is something I needn’t worry myself about.

So, in a nutshell – the forums: an invaluable resource, but daunting at times.

What am I doing now, anyway? Procrastinating. I really need to ‘pull my finger out’ (as my mom would say) and make some notes!

Nikki x

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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in OU, TMAs

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