Baby Steps Into Mature Adult Learning

Today is another day in which the excitement in me is quietly bubbling over. 

I WANT TO KEEP THIS FEELING! I don’t want to lose it but equally I am scared of trying to hold onto it! 

Let me explain!

I have spoken about it somewhat already in a recent post titled The ‘Off Topic’ Uni Student, explaining that I have enrolled to study at the Open University for a diploma in Higher Education in English. 

The excitement is all wrapped up in the anticipation of actually having my part-time fee grant application with SASS approved. I am trying to keep an optimistic view. That the grant approval is a given and that I WILL be studying next year. Such a positive view I am sticking to means I have already taken other steps in getting myself into the mindset of being a student. Purchasing the set books required for my course module, applying for a library card giving me SCONUL access to other university libraries, checking the OU StudentHome site daily. Familiarising myself with the OU website and where things are and just keeping myself primed and enthusiastic to make that start. 

Today my library card arrived. I have been to the University of Glasgow website this morning and was looking around the site for information on the university’s library and what I’d need to do for SCONUL access. Each university has its own criteria for SCONUL access. Disappointingly all I can see on UofG’s page about SCONUL access is their own students gaining access to other university libraries. No info on what is required of outside students wanting UofG library access. I think I will just have to visit the library itself one day soon. Hopefully in the next few days. It will also give me an excuse to see the Cloisters all lit up and pretty.

The main library is opposite the Huntarian and has TWELVE FLOORS! Yes. TWELVE! I think the biggest library I have been in up til now has had…maybe five? I think Luton’s central library has four floors, if memory serves me? And the main Liverpool library (back in Sydney – the nearest major “city” to where we lived was called Liverpool) had three, possibly four floors also. Most libraries I have been in have only had a single floor. I think the Mitchell Library only has two floors (correct me if I am wrong, Glaswegians)?

So, I am looking at the floor plan this morning and I am trying my best not to just want to dance about like a loon and go nuts! Lol. My excitement is palpable – but I need to keep it all measured and in check. I am so scared of being this excited and hyped and then it all disappears because SASS don’t approve my part-time fee grant application. These 28 days are going to feel sssoooo long!

Of course I KNOW I won’t have any need to use ALL of the UofG’s library services. I won’t be needing to visit all twelve floors of the main library! But it won’t stop me from having a keek at all the floors the first time I visit.

And, as a student from a different university, I can get access to the UofG’s other library branches – which includes the Library Research Annexe, which is only just down the road on Saracen Street! I can’t believe it is so nearby! It could potentially be an incredible resource for me as it holds microfilm and newspapers. Oh my days! 

Anyway, this is a rambling kind of “days of a uni student” post. I still can’t even get my head around referring to myself as a “university student” right now. It just sounds like pish! Lol

I’m trying to stop myself from running before I can walk. I’m scared that all this enthusiasm will actually put the mockers on it, instead of putting me in good stead to start my course. 

Certain aspects are still making me nervous. I mean, I did this tiny exercise on the OU site yesterday in which you had to give personal examples of three encounters you’d had with the arts and humanities in the past week and what made those encounters interesting to you – and my mind just went blank! I could come up with examples of encounters easily enough, but elaborating on what made those encounters interesting and not wanting to just answer “because” I found quite difficult. I am feeling daunted by it all too. And I am worried about if I will find my tutor someone I’ll get along with and be easy to reach out to. But of course all of that is all running before I can walk. But it’s positive to project ahead, right?

P.S. One day soon this blog MAY actually have some Simple Minds news to talk about!

The ‘Off Topic’ Uni Student

I’m sitting at my PC today wanting to continue with the exercise of writing. And I have things swirling around in my head. Bits and pieces of this, that and the other and just wanting to try and blurt all of these things out and try and do that in a quick manner before I lose all train of thought. But my mind is such a jumble of so many things I don’t know where to begin! And I would love to write to someone directly…but…you know, it’s a pure fantasy to think he would ever come to this blog to read what I would write. 

Today I can officially deem myself a university student. I am now fully enrolled in my Higher Ed. English diploma at the Open University. Never in a million years did I think I would end up studying Higher Ed. ENGLISH! Science, Maths…all the biological, chemical, astrophysical – all the sciences were where my interests lay when I was growing up. Never felt good at art. Never felt good at English. The humanities, I felt, was where my weaknesses were. Not that I by ANY means felt capable in the sciences either. I just had more desire to want to be good in them. 

History was the bridge. 

It’s taken so long for me to realise there is so much more to English than just storytelling. That it does open up things I am interested in – like history, research, working in a library, being a museum curator, and so on and so forth. 

I am ssooo eager to get started. Literally champing at the bit! And I don’t want to quelle my eagerness. I want to capture it. Bottle it! Give it an outlet in the meantime. So if for the next eight weeks or so this blog drifts wildly “off topic”, please forgive me! It’s a great creative outlet for me – but it can’t be 100% Simple Minds based. I mean – Jesus – some NEWS to actually write about would be grand right now!

So, I am currently an OU student. I am enrolled in my first module – A111: Discovering the Arts and Humanities. I have already invested in purchasing the books that we’ll be studying during the module: The Faber Book of Beasts, Sophocles – Antigone, and A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books. I have applied to have access to the University of Glasgow’s library as an OU student. And I have also applied for a part-time student fee grant – something I believe is only available to students resident in Scotland.

It is now a waiting game. And this is the part that is playing havoc with me. Deadline for applications of enrolment on the course is January 13th. And although I am enrolled, it is still pending on my fee grant application being approved. It can take 28 days for the fee grant to be approved. Allowing for staff to be off over Christmas and New Year, it will take me right up to the application deadline. No problem if I get the grant. But if I don’t get the grant? One, I’ll be devastated! Two, I’ll be de-registered from the course and if I still want to do the course and somehow pay the fee, I’ll have to reapply to the course! So it really does all hinge on me being given the grant.

I have to “sit tight”. I’ve never been good at sitting tight. And I really don’t want my enthusiasm to wane! So everything that will go on at this blog in the interim that isn’t Simple Minds related will be me just wanting to keep at my creativity and writing and brain activity and…all of that. 

I have been wanting to discuss The Beatles documentary, Get Back – but I feel that every man and his dog has reviewed it now, or passed judgement on it. What else do I have to add or offer? Short of being brief and saying it’s a LONG documentary but well worth the effort, there isn’t much else I can add. Perhaps when I am a little more focused I can discuss it in more detail. After the initial dust has settled and there’s a bit of time elapsed from half of the world having just devoured it over the past week or two. 

I didn’t even think Jim was going to brush upon it at all. But lo, there he was this morning talking about it, mentioning his mum, his brother and a “mongrel dog” called Ringo. I love when he shares memories. I know not everyone in the fanbase wants that. Some just want…I don’t know what they want! For Jim not to talk from a personal angle, basically. Which I find perplexing, I have to say. Why don’t you want Jim to talk/write that way? It would be so…analytical and perfunctory on their social media if he didn’t. Jim may as well not be involved in the FB page at all in that case! 

I absolutely LOVE the way he writes and interacts (when he actually did do so) with us! It is the most special thing there is about Simple Minds having a presence on Facebook. Every other official band and artist FB page I have seen is, by and large (there are a few other exceptions – Gary Numan, for example), devoid of any real connection with their fans. 

I want band news, of course I do! To hear about new music on the way would be extremely welcome right now. 

Jim’s writing inspires me. And I don’t mean his songwriting, but of course that does too, in a more fragmented way. 

There is something else I’d love to say here but conversely, I don’t want to discuss it. Suffice it to say I had an epiphany recently about my writing and its cathartic benefit to me. That is as forward as I can be about that. 

I have been writing A LOT since July and not all of it has been posted here. I guess not all of it needs to be posted here. But an element of my writing is not just the feeling of expression that comes from it but wanting it to be read! The want of having people read what I am saying and feeling. And that is why now it is feeling like art. People in the visual arts – painters, graphic designers, sculptors, photographers, dancers – whether they realise it or not desire an audience. Desire their work to be seen and appreciated. I have felt that with my digital art. Always made it for my own enjoyment in the first instance, as an outlet of expression but then beyond that wanting it to be shared. Then, with any luck, liked and appreciated by others. 

So this is why I will be writing – off topic – here on this blog. I went to type “my blog” out just then. But I find myself reluctant at times to call it “my blog” because I still see it as a Simple Minds blog. And as a Simple Minds blog, I feel it shouldn’t be personal. But it always manages to seep in somehow. I actually don’t know what this beast of a blog is! It’s like liquorice allsorts. 

I just hope you enjoy liquorice allsorts.

Zoom Interview with Raymond Depardon Tomorrow – Conducted By The University Of Glasgow

There is an interview taking place tomorrow afternoon conducted by the University of Glasgow. They’ll be talking to photographer, Raymond Depardon, about his commission to photograph Glasgow in 1980 for the Sunday Times newspaper. And I will assume the interview will it extend beyond that, but I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

The interview starts at 5pm and will be viewed remotely online via Zoom. Access is via ticket only. But I believe it will be available for all to view sometime after the interview takes place. In the lead up to tomorrow’s interview, the University of Glasgow posted this video to YouTube, discussing some renowned photographers and their work on capturing Glasgow over the past 150+ years.

I don’t own a copy of Depardon’s book as yet, but I am sure I’ll be investing in a copy after tomorrow’s interview. I certainly have plans to go back to the Oscar Marzaroli exhibition at the Street Level Photoworks gallery at 103 Trongate before it ends on December 20th.

I know a certain person is a fan of the book. He did a post about it some time ago and in one of the more recent photos from…his house? (Dated May 23rd, 2019) there is a copy of the book on the shelf.

Photo taken from Simple Minds Facebook page. I will assume the photo was taken by Jim.