my first attempt at study for many, many years. And I have loved it. I was mentally whisked back to school days where I was a hopeless, defeated student before I even began. Scared of failure, scared of not understanding, scared of what was expected of me – I never understood. So I was the class clown – the most important part of the school day was the spaces between lessons for me. So to find in the last period of my life I am neither stupid nor a reluctant students is quite a bonus. But it just proves we all weave our own life patterns and I regret nothing. In fact what a great time to start learning basic maths and learning how to use a calculator properly (and feeling your brain slowly using parts that have not been exercised for many a long year – I actually felt ‘brain-ache’ and remembered the old adage ‘no gain without pain’ but you also get the high when you realise you do understand and/or you have the right answer). Learning how you can diminish huge numbers into manageable size by describing them as being multiplied by 10 to the power of ? whatever (by the way ANY number multiplied by 10 to the power of 0 is 1 and if that doesn’t bring us all down to size I don’t know what does!). Anyway I now read graphs with interest, question on how the original data was collected and what was the source. I now question averages, those useful statistics that are thrown at us to prove anything and everything, and now ask how were these averages were arrived at!! Yes a little learning can be a dangerous thing but surely allowing you to form judgement based on proper reasoning can’t be a bad thing? Anyway many thanks to Open University it has certainly opened me up. I don’t intend to study during the summer as I am getting fired up to use all this new discipline and belief in working and enjoying my garden using all these wonderful mathematical structures and calculations.
But really I want to encourage anyone who feels they would love to learn something. I will probably go for either science next OR art history. The science bit is because I have absolutely no knowledge at all about the subject. Have never been near a bunsen burner in my life. And after the experience with this lovely, engaging Maths module I am just finishing feel it could open areas of unknown amazement for me. The way the Open University have introduced the maths is making it all relevant to our every day lives which really helped me not being overawed by all the topics and I feel sure the science module would have that same friendly accessibility. The art history would be a labour of love. But believe me folks it is all there for the learning and it is such FUN! And YOU can do it all from the comfort and privacy of your own home – BRILLIANT.