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My aims in doing A215 were to find out whether I could be an adequate writer, discover whether I can apply myself to writing (this is still in question), to improve my writing and ultimately take a step towards applying for a Masters in Creative Writing (if I still wanted to).

I’m moderately pleased with what I can achieve when I set my mind to it: I’m pleased with my marks and I am beginning to have a vague understanding of the very basic rules of writing. I work well to a deadline (but not at all without one, damn me), and I can write quickly.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that my first drafts (like most people’s), are absolutely awful but redeemable, generally.

And I have applied for places on three MA courses, starting in September 2010.

But very little of what I have learnt in the past few months is due directly to A215. True, the main things I have been writing are the assignments, and it is motivating me, but I’m learning more from self-editing, friends, and reading writing blogs than I am from the (occasionally vague and waffy) BRB chapters.

Admittedly, some are useful, and I am looking forward to the Editing section, but it seems that a prior knowledge or backup research is always necessary to get the most out of the BRB, and actually that the chapter content is better approached as a structural guide for further reading than an actual reference book.

I would love the interactive nature of the course if it worked. I’m sure that many people get a lot out of the forums and their tutor groups, but that’s not the case for me. My tutor group is silent (I’m as responsible for this as anyone, after my initial flounders), and the course forum is too huge.

My conclusions about this course are that I am glad I did it: it has fulfilled the role for which I wanted it. But I couldn’t recommend it to another prospective student, particularly not one working full-time.

Is this fair? What does anyone else think?

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Gone and done it

I posted my Activity 6.3 in the A215 Cafe.

I didn’t want to, and I tried not to. I don’t like the Cafe. It’s not as constructive as it should be.

But I posted both activities in my Tutor Group Forum four or five days ago and have only had one response on each. Those responses were helpful but one response for each isn’t really enough.

I’ve tried with the Tutor Group Forum. When I put the messages in order of Name, my name comes up most. It’s quite embarrassing. I don’t want to be one of those people on the Cafe who moan about their Tutor Group. Actually, when people post on my TG Forum they have really interesting things to say. And there are one or two active people, for whom I am very grateful. It’s just not as active as I think it could be.

I even drafted an email to my tutor:

Hi____,

I hope you’re well. I’m really enjoying the course, and thanks for the feedback on the TMA last week.

I hope you don’t mind me emailing you for something relatively trivial. Our TG Forum is really quiet, but I think it would be helpful to have more discussions and Activity critiques. Have you any suggestions as to how we could encourage some of the other TG Members to post on the forum more frequently?

I understand that not everyone enjoys posting their work or participating online, but there are definitely a few people who do frequent the forum and don’t post often – perhaps you have some suggestions for eliciting more active participation?

Thanks for your help,

Rosie

I won’t send it. I feel like an arse.

And now, posting my Activities on the Cafe for feedback, I feel like a hypocrite too.

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