I was just about to head off to bed when an email came through from the OU about a result being posted to the website. I wasn’t paying full attention so assumed it was my latest psychology assignment result (my tutor is remarkably quick at turning those around) and got a bit confused when there wasn’t a mark where I thought there should be one. I actually opened up the email rather than just read the title at this point and discovered that it was the result for my philosophy course that was in (pretty much just my exam grade as I already knew how I was doing on the TMAs and therefore what the maximum my overall course grade could be).
This time I navigated to the correct part of the website, held my breath a little and boom – 87% on my exam. People normally drop grades on the exam compared to the TMAs (usually around 10%) but I had done considerably better (hmm, wonder what that says about how my TMAs were marked?). The overall course result is the lower of your exam grade and your averaged/weighted TMA grade, so I got a pass 2 (aka a 2:1) due to my 72% grade for my TMAs.
They very handily gave a breakdown of what number and percentage of students fell into which gradings overall (A being 85-100%, B = 70-84%, C = 55-69%, D = 40-54%, E = 30-39%, F = 15-29% and G = 0-14%) and broken down for each question tackled. Looking at it overall I was one of only 21 students out of a total of 363 who showed up on exam day to get an A grade on the exam. For the questions I answered I was one of 6 to get an A on question 2, one of 11 to get an A on question 3, and one of 9 to get an A on question 6.
In conclusion, go me, I rock.
It was final exam day today for my philosophy course and 3 hours to write 3 essays. There were 6 topics in the course and each topic had two questions, you just had to pick 3 from these 12 and they had to be on 3 different topics. I hedged my bets slightly when revising and picked 4 topics to focus on (the self, religion, ethics and mind) hoping that I’d be able to find 3 questions amongst all of that to answer. I also checked out what had previously been asked in recent exams and particularly in the TMAs for the course (since they said that essay questions wouldn’t be repeated). When it came to paper turning over time I was pleased that abortion had come up in the ethics section and also chose to answer a question on science-fiction though experiments and personal identity, and the problem of evil. To be honest I could have probably answered the abortion and problem of evil questions before I took the course, but I had philosophers names to throw at it this time. So all in all I think the exam went as well as it could.
This was just as well as when I got home I found that my final assignment had been marked and I’d got my worst mark to date: 66. This is probably going to drag my overall grade down to a pass 3, so if I’d found out before the exam I may not have bothered showing up (the person due to sit behind me didn’t). It’s looking more and more likely that I’ll be transferring to a pure psychology degree and dropping this module entirely. Oh well, I was feeling pretty good until I saw that result, particularly when all the notes are about wanting more signposting in two out of a total of 7 paragraphs (having praised it in all of the others) and wanting an extra example (which I didn’t have the word count for). I have no idea how anyone gets any decent marks based on these criteria.
UPDATE: I just checked out whether any of my existing psychology credits could be transferred over to a pure psychology degree, resigned to having to study another 60 credits at level 60, but found that a total of zero of my credits are transferable, so it looks like my only real chance to continue with psychology is to start again from scratch or to stick out the philosophy course next year and just aim for not failing.
The final tutorial of my philosophy course before the exam since I am missing the day school on Saturday and I was reminded that it may not be a bad thing that I will not be attending that session. Lots of sidetracking by other attendees, mass contagious confusion and a seemingly (permanently) stoned frequent flyer thinking that the tutorial was (and therefore making it) all about them.
A few things to tweak my essay with since I am submitting it almost a week early what with going away and not being able to guarantee internet connection come the submission deadline. Mostly explicitly relating my evidence back to the essay question (as if I was explaining distributive justice to a 2 year old) and signposting what I’m about to argue before doing so (ugh, makes for a horrible read but it’s what the tutor wants), I’m pretty comfortable with my overall argument so nothing to change there.
The final week of book study this week, with the final chapter of the final book on justice and equality. To change things up we were looking at some more modern philosophers with Nozick, Dworkin and Anderson, but never fear, good old John Locke still got a mention. It was interesting to see where some of the scary ideas favoured by the far right in the US got a lot of their arguments from (and then corrupted somewhat), and Elizabeth Anderson seemed particularly angry about trying to account for luck (good and bad), but political philosophy all seems to come down to ‘nice idea, but wouldn’t work in the real world’.
A final TMA to write next week before going away, one more online tutorial then it’s just getting my head down to revise and smarten up my handwriting as much as possible before the exam.
So just what is distributive justice? The first two activities in the chapter of this week’s topic did not help as they referred you to audio which you didn’t have. After a lot of digging it turns out they they goofed in the editing process and cut out the section that the activities discuss, leaving just a transcript of what was said. Helpful.
After a few thought experiments about islands and pork pies it was finally time to look at John Rowl’s theory about distributive justice, which seems to have boiled down to equality for all unless everyone can get a bigger bit of cake by discriminating against someone else, but only up to the largest piece of cake that those discriminated against can get. If the amount of cake that those being discriminated against starts to get smaller, then it’s a no go.
There was also something about a desert base whereby no-one deserves anything as it isn’t desert (or possibly turtles) all the way down.
I think I’m going to have some weird dreams after this one. Or maybe some cheesecake.
The latest philosophy essay (on Descartes) came back from my tutor last night, and will my marks being all over the shop and different things wrong each time I had no idea what to expect. Surprisingly I got a 78 which matches my previous top mark in this course. Conflicting feedback (as per usual) with wanting more signposting and more explanation, but not about X and not without going over the word count. Ho hum. At least this puts me in a better position to try and scrape a pass 2 (2:1) for the module with one assignment and the exam to go. Maybe I won’t transfer to a pure psychology degree after all.
I am taking the scheduled Easter break to get a week ahead in my studies so that I can complete and submit my final assignment for this course before leaving for Bungay juggling convention (it is due during it), leaving me that time for pure revision for the exam. So this week it was more looking at political obligations and how they are created. Oh, and surprise surprise, up pop Messrs Locke and Hume. They’ll be getting their own set of index cards to revise from, I think they’ve appeared in each of the six sections that this course is divided into.
A lot of posturing from Locke about how a government should be formed (with the consent from those being governed by it), with Hume shooting that down with the evidence of history. Some amusing asides as to what can be considered “consent”, and how the “what if everybody did it?” argument doesn’t really work in the real world.
A little thing like the British Juggling Convention doesn’t get in the way of my running and also doesn’t get in the way of my studying. I need to use my official Easter break for Bungay, so am continuing to study whilst away at the convention, even if the promised quiet study room was locked and there were a couple of fire alarms in addition to workshop attendees to contend with.
This week started the final section of the module, looking at political philosophy. The first week is normally an introduction, which was helpful as the workload is often a little bit less. The very basics were introduced and we looked at a bit of Plato and Novick and the parental analogy and fair play arguments for political obligations. I disagreed with pretty much all of the examples, which was interesting, and made it look like I have philosophical anarchistic leanings, which was unexpected. I shall have to see how that develops through the rest of the subject.
The deadline for the submission of this assignment which was looking at whether being able to conceive of mind and body apart means that they can exist apart, has passed so I can blog about it. Well, I submitted an essay. It talked about Descartes’ argument for being able to have mind and body existing apart since he can conceive them apart. It included problems with Descartes’ reasoning, and some examples as to how they were wrong.
I have no idea if it is what my tutor wants.
Each essay has had completely different feedback, so I’ve been fire-fighting my way through, fixing one thing only to be told that something else is wrong. Ho hum. I’ll get a mark at least, and it should be a passing one, but with only one more assignment before the exam (which might not be marked and returned before the exam) I’m thinking again about switching to a full psychology degree instead of a combined philosophy and psychology degree.
A long tutorial this week, going on for two and a half hours before we were finally kicked out for the next people due in (including someone from one of my level 1 courses). Lots to cover including a fair few sidetracks, looking at mind and the upcoming TMA on Descartes. It seems like a lot of people have already started or in some cases completed their essays. I’ll be starting on Monday (lots of knitting and running to squeeze in this weekend). It’s not due in until Thursday.