About two weeks from now my new module ‘International Security’ starts. I’ve never really been into that field really, as I became more of a theory guy once I realised how cool (of course!) theorising actually is. Unfortunately, there’s only one theory module available on my course; which is ok, because, seriously, how many modules that theorise theory could there be?
If you read this post almost three months ago, you learnt that I felt pretty awkward about that last module. While everything what I wrote back then still holds true regarding the limits of what you can realistically achieve as distance learner, it turned out that I was totally wrong about that “shitty paper” I submitted. In the end I achieved distinction! That was all the more baffling as the paper was actually full of typos. When I read it again I was actually embarrassed about the low standard of presentation. Given all those typos, however, I think that I must have made a pretty good argument then. Still, I’ll take this as a warning shot; the feeling you get after submission. These four weeks till the release of grades are awful in themselves—the uncertainty about the quality and consequences weighs pretty heavy on everything you do—this time they were even more torturous, as I expected to fail the course. So, with the next module I’m going to read a bit less and write a bit more so as to have everything in place three days before submission date.
That’s not gonna be a walk in the park either. My parents are visiting just before module commencement and we are going to travel quite a bit—from the centre to the north to the centre, the south and back. I won’t be able to do as much as would actually be necessary in the first three weeks. Yet, no one cares—as distance learner you’re pretty much on your own. Since there’s no one to take notes for you or keep you updated on discussions and such, distance learners have to make sure not to lose out on too much. The staff in the distance learning department would of course be understanding, and there are mechanisms that allow for some individual reshuffling of the module plan, should hardships arise. Taking advantage of such mechanisms because of holidays would justly be penalised, however.
In order to not fall too much behind I started with some readings already; and I must say I like what I read! And—who would have thought that!—there’s even some theory coming up. So, as soon as things calm down, I think I’ll be able to be a good student again and follow the course structure…oh, and update my blog, of course!