Student blogger Carrie Walton (pictured) on dashing through the snow and why even the thickest snowfall can´t stop OU study...
Well the weather outside is frightful, but the central heating is so delightful. Blahdy blah, let it snow let it snow let it snow!!!
I actually quite like the snow. I’ve never been a lover of heat, I’d far rather cover myself up with a hundred layers than have to strip down dangerously close to my birthday suit so British winters suit me nicely. I’m currently sat in a nice warm site office staring out the window at what is rapidly turning into a blizzard and hoping it continues so I can build a snowman in the garden at the weekend.
On my way into work (slowly) this morning the local news station was reeling off a list of schools that were closed due to the snow; I live in Northumberland so quite a lot of the schools are rural and accessed by sketchy B-roads so it’s understandable that there were closures due to the bad weather. I wonder if the universities were the same? Presumably some of their academic staff will live in these rural areas or be coming from distances so I wonder if they had to cancel lectures or seminars due to staff absences or delays in getting into campus?
This, of course, is where the technological age shines; nowadays people are compulsive email-checkers and there are a myriad of different ways to get in touch with people at the drop of a hat so if universities WERE experiencing problems they would be able to easily communicate information to students.
The Open University, however, is different altogether. An OU student’s campus is essentially wherever they decide to sit down with their book, or wherever they can get access to their StudentHome page so bad weather causes no problems for getting on with study. The adoption of technologies like Elluminate, and the frequent use of Moodle and FirstClass forums running alongside modules means that even if you’re stuck in the house buried under an avalanche of snow you’ll more than likely still be in normal communication with everything and everyone related to your module.
I’ve lost count of how many cars I’ve seen at the side of the roads with their hazards on, and how many cars I’ve seen at the bottom of banks with their wheels just spinning and spinning and getting nowhere. Despite a gazillion warnings on the radio, TV, newspapers etc people still feel the need to try and drive places. I have no choice, my job is site-based so I have to travel to get there, but people just popping out for the sake of it, it’s crackers. And I bet they don’t take things like blankets, torches, a flask of hot water etc etc with them in case they get stuck. Because my job is site-based and I use a company pool car to get there the company is obliged to rescue me should I get stuck so I’ll never be stuck for too long. However, just in case I DO get stuck, rather than blankets and torches and flasks, I’m making sure I take my OU books with me – ideal opportunity to get some extra studying done!