Falling short of the mark
Published: 22 Jan 2014
Final marks from last term's module are out and I’m disappointed to say I didn't perform particularly well. I don't know how well or poorly others students in my programme performed overall as I've only spoken to a handful of them about their markings, but as a standalone grade it is certainly nothing to be particularly proud of. Apparently I can 'write really well' but I'm also seemingly not a very well structured individual. That honestly doesn't have a nice ring to it and I'm not sure how I feel about the feedback, although, to be fair, I did resort to writing the assignment in only two days - the last weekend before the Tuesday deadline. Not particularly clever, no. But one of the downfalls of working full-time while taking a postgrad degree - and also of being a season ticket holder at a football club and travelling the country to see your team play.
I've never really been a slow-learner, and even though there is a short period of adaptation (the operative word being 'short') when it comes to, well, quite frankly just about anything, a full term just sounds a bit ridiculous. Yet if I had managed to write the assignment with at least a week to spare there would have been enough time to review what I'd written - but alas I was off traipsing in Newcastle.
In all actuality, despite it sounding a bit worrying, the lack of structure with which I was accused was likely entirely justifiable. The research had clearly been done - I'm still returning books to the library from last term - the real issue was actually lack of focus, which ultimately led to flawed structure. Not a result of lack of interest, but rather of a constant feeling that more research was needed, that a better understanding of the subject could be attained by reading just one more chapter or one more article. All the good it did me in the end!
I'll probably end up rewriting that essay whenever I find some time, but for now, it's all water under the bridge - the important lesson has been learned and I feel much better prepared for this term's assignment after that first false step. Nonetheless I'll admit to being anxious about the exam markings, which are yet to be revealed. Yes, I included all my references even in a handwritten exam, but two hours was simply not enough. Those I've rewritten already - twice. And in both cases they are immensely superior to what I managed to jot down during the actual exam. Of course had I known how I'd performed in the assignment I would have prepared entirely differently for the exam - I would have felt the added pressure, under which I admittedly perform better. Perhaps I should pretend (assume?) I am failing the course from now on and see how that affects my overall performance.
Having said all that I don’t exactly expect to cruise through this term. The lectures are admittedly too theoretical at times and not necessarily as engaging as they could be, despite the group seminars. Notwithstanding, (time allowing) I’m keen to put something of a study group together ahead of exams if I can manage to get a few of us in the same room outside lecture time. And most certainly start writing my next essay as early as next weekend, even if it means rewriting big portions of it ahead of the deadline!
Overall, I find it somewhat curious that there seems to be a sea of readily available information on transitioning from a degree into a professional career or progressing your career in a certain industry (whatever industry that may be), yet there doesn’t seem to be much information - at least not readily available or perhaps simply not as widely divulged - on how to bridge the gap between work and education, let alone applying knowledge from a degree back into your career. I’ll admit the latter is probably a private affair, but moreover, it’s something of a statement about the perceived natural progression of Undergraduate degree - Postgraduate degree - professional career; although this realisation hasn’t proved particularly helpful from a personal point of view.
Have you undertaken Postgrad education and have struggled with readapting to studies? Get in touch and have your say!