Coursework Fatigue

Guys, I am absolutely wrecked by the six assignments I’ve done for this course so far. In all honesty, I’ve had a rough few months anyway and so writing 13,000 words plus a presentation plus the most hideous group project ever (it should probably be used as a replacement for prisons*), has reduced me to a sweaty-haired, shivering, gibbering, emotional bag of sick. Ridiculously, if I were working I would be doing so much more work than this; it’s the futile nature of the assignments that has really got to me and their almost complete irrelevance to real library work.

I'm so tired by Jannes Pockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I’m so tired by Jannes Pockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For me, completing this coursework marks the halfway point. There is no way I am doing a dissertation (already written an earth-shattering 20,000 about animals in Middle Welsh that is basically the stuff of legend thankyouverymuch) so in a few months I’ll have my PGDip and the library will hopefully once again be my place of work and not the site of my daily emotional breakdown.

I’m not going to review the course just yet. It has been a disappointing few months but the second half looks far more promising – besides, I actually like some of my teachers here a lot and I don’t trust myself to write anything less than a total annihilation of every excruciating moment, which would actually be quite unfair.

I have found this unrelenting coursework, work that began in November and has only just ended now, ** to be the only thing that matters in this degree. All the hours spent in class, making notes and writing things on stupid fucking large pieces of paper*** don’t count towards anything, which is a shame because I just don’t have time to learn anything for myself and follow up my own interests. Instead I’m drawing an inane diagram about an imaginary antiques shop, which is about as far away from librarianship as my arse is from my brain.

So all in all, I’m at a bit of a low point. It feels as though I am paying £1400 to write nonsense about press censorship and intellectual property, just ticking boxes until I can get my very expensive piece of paper rather than actually engaging with the material and expanding my mind (ugh).

However, things are getting better. I have a pile of applications to write, which are lovely little pockets of hope that you send off into the world rather than shitty pockets of despair that you submit on the VLE. Indeed, the coursework for the second half of the term looks a bit better. I am relating everything I do to libraries, as far as it is possible, and to be honest I find it insane that everyone else on the library course isn’t doing the same. If I have to write a business plan you better bet your ass it’s going to be about a bid for something for an existing library service rather than a jolly little shop selling cakes or candles.

On a final note I just wanted to mention that I have been comparing this MA to the one I did a couple of years ago. For the first one, our coursework consisted of two essays per term (I only did two modules each time compared to the six on this course) plus some exams for my three language classes, which were just pass/fail. Overall, I will have written 20,000 words plus another 20,000 for the dissertation.

In comparison, for this course I am assuming each 50% assignment is worth 3,000 words, which comes out as 36,000 words for the first two terms alone. I know some of those words are actually contained within a blog or a presentation but the amount of work involved is far higher. Yet for the first degree I was reading a large amount of primary and secondary material – and y’know, thinking – whereas at MMU I am just doing coursework ALL THE TIME.

I have a long list of topics to blog about but right now I am seriously lacking the time and will to do anything library related. This course has seriously depleted my enthusiasm and naturally sunny outlook (lol) but to be honest, all I have to do is pop on Twitter, speak to my friends or read other blogs and I am reminded why I am going through this in the first place. Being a librarian is such a kick-ass, brilliant career that I would pretty much spend every day sticking pins in-between my toes whilst drinking pickled egg juice if that’s what it took. So what’s a bit of coursework in the end eh..?

* yeah cos it incarcerates your soul badumpschht

**I have a few weeks before the next lot of deadlines roll around and I’m just kidding myself right now that I can have a break and work on my blog rather than crawl back into my pit of empty Greggs bags, text books from the 1980s and the same unwashed coursework cardigan I have been sporting since 2007.

*** Let this blog serve as my solemn oath that I will never ever use marker pens and large flipchart paper as a tool in any sort of class or meeting – it is stinky and I hate it and yes I am a petulant toddler booooo