I had the pleasure of attending one of the Open University's 40th Anniversary Lectures.. this one was given by Philip Pullman who is an honarary graduate of the OU.
Philip was to discuss the relationship between the story and the illustration, I have tried to read the Dark Materials Trilogy without success, nor manage to listen to the audiobooks, and as for the film...well the less said about that the better.
Philip discussed the borderland of a story, that's the bits that aren't written down to you and me. In other words, the story sets a scene, it may describe a place, a tavern, dark and warm with a nice fire and beer flowing. Your vision of the inn will be different to mine, drawing on our own experiences of life... I have always said that to me reading a book is like making my own film, I read the words and convert it to my own personal film show; I am caught up in my own imagination sometimes and it is hard to come back to the real world.
An excellent evening, I might even have another attempt at his books :-)
So otherwise why go, well it is a free evening out, includes tea and coffee, a chance to meet fellow OU students and Alumni and well I think that's enough to go on for now and yes as an Alumni of the Open University, I can recommend it to anyone interested in non-standard education and by that I mean going to University, yes you might miss out on the social life at many Universities.
Hmm that student that got so drunk that he peed all over a war memorial was at a freshers week and this was an organised piss-up... not something to be proud of in times to come.
Living in student accommodation, halls of residence away from the comforts of home and friends... can be depressing for some students trying to cope with the dramatic changes of being alone and stressed over course work.
The negatives of studying with the OU are many as well, sometimes lack of tutor support, distance learning can be isolating, particularly if you are in the higher level courses, ambiguous course materials, never ending assignment lists etc...
It is one heck of an achievement and one I am proud of being a member of this University with my BSc Open