Monday, 14 January 2013

The trials and tribulations of travelling to a tutorial!

Well, it's official, the festivities are well and truly over. The decorations are down, all the chocolates and cakes dispersed to the 'bird table' at hubby's work and time to resume normal life, whatever that is! After a week of trying to get back into studying, I was due to attend a tutorial in Reading where I was assured that we would be discussing dialects, accents and register. Phew, what a relief! I'd seen on facebook that another tutor group had spent the time discussing the recent wiki;- something I was looking forward to putting behind me as anyone who read my previous blog, 'There's no 'I' in team is there!, will understand.

Having already attended one tutorial, I was reasonably confident of how to get to Reading College where this one was to take place. The first time, I'd taken a train from Oxford to Reading and armed with the very simple looking directions from the ou website, I set out on the 15 minute walk to the college. Well, having exited the station I was faced with 2 possible directions to set off on. Unfortunately, neither street seemed to be sign posted. 'That's ok' I thought to myself, 'I'll ask someone'. the first person I asked spoke no English and the second was a visitor who didn't know the names of the streets. She did however know that John Lewis, one of the land marks that the instructions told me to look out for, was straight ahead. Turning left at this land mark, I set off on my 15 minute walk. 20 minutes later I asked the first of several people if I was still going in the right direction. The first person said yes it was 5 minutes away, 10-ish minutes later the next person also said yes but that it was another 15 minutes at least. The next person I stopped to ask, again spoke very little English and didn't seem to know anyway. Finally, with about a minute to spare, I arrived at my destination.

Having learnt my lesson from the last time, I decided to take the bus from the station to the college for my second tutorial. According to the ou website I should be able to exit the station and choose either a no. 13, 14 or 17 bus. to be on the safe side I decided to ask at the station information desk. 'A no. 20 or 21' I was informed! Thoroughly confused I left the station and saw a no. 21 waiting at the bus stop. Resolving to ask the driver, I approached the bus but as I did so the doors opened and the driver stepped down from the bus and proceeded to enter the station. By now it had started snowing and feeling completely fed up I hailed the first taxi I saw and instructed him to take me to the college. I once flew by myself to Los Angeles via San Francisco and found it easier than this!

 Feeling completely flustered I sat down ready for a tutorial on dialect, accent and register. The tutor greeted us all and then uttered the last words I wanted to hear; 'any questions about the wiki?' All I can say is thank goodness for most students' natural reticence to speak up in tutorials! The topic of my nightmares was swiftly dispatched and on we pressed to the delights of how language is constructed and used.

The rest of the tutorial passed quite pleasantly. We looked at Edward Lear's The Quangle Wangle's Hat, a very entertaining nonsensical poemPoverty, poverty knock, a folk song and also read an extract from Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Finally, after discussing  different registers, it was time to go home. Fortunately one of my fellow students took pity on me, as indeed she had after the first tutorial and gave me a lift to the station.

In March I have my third and final tutorial of this module. I have to say that if it wasn't for the fact that the tutor has promised to be talking about the exam, my first one in a very long time, I'd be seriously tempted not bother. Well, lets look on the bright side, it could be like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and it'll be a case of third time lucky! Surely after all the hassle of the wiki and my stressful attempts to get to the first 2 tutorials, I'm due a break. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!  

No comments :

Post a Comment