Exams for the January semester fall in Ramadhan. I thought it would be no biggie until I find that the format for my exam question is a take-home examination, in the format of an essay (of course). I had thought to take leave on both exam days but competition is tough to apply for it. In the end, I managed to secure one of the days and wished hard that the roster maker would put me in a zone where it is less busy the next day. At the end of Day 2, I managed to write up my essay in between patients and complete them later at night at home.
Mental note: fight for leave. use whatever means necessary to have that leave. writing an exam answer in between patients is not a good idea.
On both days, the exam questions are released by 10am. Students have 24 hours to complete and submit it online. Therefore, on Day 1 I did have time to get groceries for my empty fridge at Lotus. The rest is the battle with time. To complete the essay, fetch the kids and prepare for Iftar.
These are the subjects I am taking this semester. Again, I dropped the OUM English subject. Perhaps, next semester I can take up to 4 subjects. We will see how the schedule and workload is at the workplace next year first. As usual, a renewed motivation to study every time. My preparation period has not changed much from previous semesters. Just that, part of the tracking has been shifted online. Been using Google Calendar more.
These are the things I have been up to this past weekend.
LOG IN TO THE MyVLE ACCOUNT
Open University Malaysia (OUM) has this virtual learning portal where students log in to get access to their module, digital library and keep up with announcements pertaining to their study. I would double check if I have paid my semester fees and if the exam results have been published fully. Semester fees must be paid dutifully in order for the exam transcripts to be released.
ACCESS THE DASHBOARD
I would download the subject module and keep copies on my laptop and also the given Google Drive. This is so I could read them at work if I have some free time. I would also print out my assignment questions because I am a paper person.
CHECKING ON MY STATIONERIES
It is therapeutic to sort my bundles of sticky notes and loose papers. I would stock up on my foolscap paper, A4 paper and the coloured ones. I’d make sure my pens are in stock especially the refills. My current favourite is the Sarasa Gel INk Pen. I am however also eyeing the Zebra Ballpoint pens as they seem to have very sleek designs. Minci needs cool stationeries to keep the motivation running.
OUTLINING THE SUBJECTS
Before the start of the first tutorial, I’d be sure to skim through the module and get a general overview of what the subject is all about. It helps me to map out on how much time I’d need to spend for every topic of every subject. I would then write down the outline on a piece of paper. Only then I am able to delve into the details. The reference lists are a good guide on the type of resources one could use for further reading and understanding. Once you’ve gathered that information, it’ll be easier to search for it from the digital library.
I still have one more subject to outline. After that, I can start reading the modules at a glance and start my literary research for my assignments. Wish me luck for this semester.
I have 3 assignments to be submitted on that day. I think I had thought that I wouldn’t be involved in the Covid-19 vaccination team for my clinic. Which explains my overzealous spirit to take up to 4 subjects this semester. Being part of the team, it means being on duty every single day. Which also means that if I ever have to take leave, I would feel really really guilty. Because there is only 2 of us running the show for our team. And this will be going on until next year. Therefore, I don’t think I should be that ambitious in choosing which subject to take for next semester. Ambil apa yang mampu sahaja.
A little update on my assignments.
For Cognitive Psychology (ABPK1203) I am choosing my mom as the subject to explain what Perception is all about. I am supposed to use the topics in the module to explain about her visual and auditory tasks. It is quite an interesting task actually (once you understand what it wants). It does take a while to kick it off.
The Child Psychology (ABPD1203) assignment on the hand requires a write up on Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory and an interview with a mother with regards to how she manages her kids emotions and discipline. I am planning to interview my sister.
I am leaving the 3rd subject towards the end as I figure out how to create a company out of thin air, make it sound authentic in a make believe work meeting. I am playing the role of a senior manager from the HR department making a presentation to the board members after a trial of Work From Home (WFH) period. It will be a play of creativity, which I enjoy, but due to time limitation I am not quite sure if I would be able to pull off what I have in mind.
Anyway, knowing myself – come what may, I will make it work at the end of the day. InsyaAllah.
Just like that I am already in my 2nd year of studies.
Undoubtedly the subjects are becoming more challenging. Thus, demanding a higher level of commitment and focus to the course. The assignments become more interesting with every semester too. After a brief rest period post-exams, it is time to pick up the pen, activate the brain cells and kick off the nerd mode.
I am thinking of utilizing the OUM student account google calendar more to track my study hours. All of my 4 subjects this semester carry 3 credit hours . That’s an average of 24 -36 hours of study of study time per week. On second thought, that’s like being a full time student! Now how do I squeeze in these hours into my already busy work schedule?
I definitely need to make time and block some hours of my day to study effectively.
First and foremost, I will try my best to attend all of my weekly e-tutorials LIVE. That itself should cover at least an hour for every subject. Sometimes the lectures can drag to another 30mins or so. Then the other strategies should follow.
Participate in forums on a certain date for at least 30 mins
Minimum 2 hours at night to read and make notes on my topics – excluding e tutorial hours. Hence, I will need to adjust this once the schedule comes out. These virtual classes are usually at night although this time I am anticipating that there might be sessions on a weekday night.
Weekend nights will follow the same rule although I may need to set some hours during the day to perhaps focus on assignments, do e-weekly lessons, listen to podcasts or read journals related to my tasks.
Opportunistic reading in between patients, lunch hours, waiting for food to cook etc..
Perhaps it would be clearer once I start updating my google calendar to see if I will ever achieve the total hours. This week I managed an hour for every subject as I go through chapter 1. I think that’s good enough for a warm up. After all, I still need to do my online medical CMEs on MIMS and Docquity.
In a blink of an eye, I am already in the 2nd year of my course. How time flies with so many things happening nowadays. I am so glad I took that leap of faith early of last year not knowing that COVID 19 will happen worldwide. At least I know I am walking, albeit slowly on the road not taken.
4 subjects are offered in Semester 4 which will commence in January 2021. I was torn between dropping a subject and taking them anyway. After much thinking between the 2 options over a week, I decided to just take all 4 subjects. I figured I just need to manage my time better and better. After all, there’s plenty of technological help and moments of opportunity for me to accomplish these tasks.
I have a Roborock S5 to help me do mini cleaning intermittently until I gather enough motivation to do them myself
I can do a Click and Collect at my nearest Tesco which is wonderful. I hope it stays like that forever and ever
Since school is still out – I can run errands during lunchtime and my parents in law can help mind the kids when I am desperate.
Now. The fees. It will cost me nearly RM2K next semester. InsyaAllah.. boleh diusahakan. Less shopping it is.