Part-time study peeves

I shouldn’t grumble, it is my choice to study on top of a full-time job after all and I’ve been doing it for about 7 years now. BUT there are just some times when stuff piles on top of stuff and you start to seriously question your sanity at taking it all on.

It’s been one of THOSE weeks.

This week I finally tuned my brain into the fact that I have one more assignment to complete before the summer and time is zipping by. That is just about manageable; I mean it IS the final assignment and a bigger deal mark-wise and I’ll fail the entire module if I don’t get it in, but I’ve got five weeks. That’s fine, I can do it (voice getting slightly higher pitched as the denial and hysteria start to show).

Also this week I finally managed to find a new home. Again fine, as I’ve been searching for months and need to leave my current place by the end of June. BUT living in an area with ridiculously high rents and very little choice where property owners  literally rule the roost, my new landlord would only agree to my letting if I could move in the next five weeks.

Final assignment, organise removals, house packed  and moved, oh and keep up the full-time job that includes evening meetings. So yeah, quite a lot to be getting on with really!

On a plus side, the sense of panic is helping me find focus for the final assignment and I’ve had a fruitful weekend of reading and tweaking my subject. This has included firing off an email to the Ashmolean for a bit of background information on an interesting collector of Japanese ukiyo-e prints. I don’t know if I’ll get a response, but it’s worth a try.

I’ll write more on the ukiyo-e prints, specifically those of Hiroshige in my next post (and I promise to stop grumbling about part-time student life).

Happy studying to all my fellow distance-learners x



First post. Why am I here?!

I’m brand-and-shiny-new to blogging and admittedly nervous at the idea of putting myself ‘out there’ at my ripe old age (I’m a ‘mature’ student); but I know that this will be a good way for me to expand some horizons, commit to working beyond my student experience and, with luck, make connections with others who want to recommend exhibitions, share works, ideas, tips and even arguments about what has and is happening in the art history world.

I’ve put off starting this for a while, I’m already halfway through my MA after all, but I still think there is mileage in getting disciplined to write on a different platform. My aims in doing this:

  • to help reduce the isolation of being a distance learner and hopefully connect with others in a similar position to share the pain of balancing work, life and more work
  • to boost the motivation to learn beyond the parameters of my course
  • to encourage me to visit and engage critically with more exhibitions, museums and galleries – particularly those outside my normal comfort zone!
  • to build confidence in using my voice and ideas as an art-historian (my tutor tells us we are all art historians now; I remain to be convinced!)
  • to use the gaps between studies more fruitfully and keeping the learning momentum going
  • to make connections with others in the field – fellow learners, those with art interests, museums, curators, artists and so on.

I know that art history is seen as a light subject, scoffed at for being suitable preparation for a job in McDonald’s, but I really don’t care. I’ve come to the subject almost by accident. I’m a professional in a completely separate field, so I’m not in this for the money or the career prospects (though maybe one day…), but the pure enjoyment of learning, exploring and having my previously narrow perspective of art widened. I’m loving it!