Mean As Custard (calico_pye) wrote,
Mean As Custard
calico_pye

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Spleen to Vent

Back in October, I had the same conversations with two different people about beginning my degree. One told me that I had to have a lot of brains to do this; the other said that she had a good grasp of the English language, but didn't have the opportunities to do what I was doing. Both said they admired me. Out of truthfulness rather than modesty (I am not a genius, by any stretch of the imagination), I said that anyone with a good understanding of English (including spelling/punctuation etc) could do an English degree.  With the steps in place and a lot of hard work, anything is possible. I meant it, too.

I may have sold myself a little short...

There are times that I really feel like I have overreached myself.  I tell myself ::: this should be OK, I need to do some research but it will come out in the wash. After all, I have had to blindly wade into a subject I didn't know before e.g. Level 3 (A Level equivalent) Psychology and made myself understand it - mostly because I had a hard task master in front of me.  With my degree, it has been a different case.  I am just past mid academic year 1 (Level 4) and I am struggling.  Usually, if I have handed anything in late, it is usually a matter of day/s; this assignment will run a week overdue (at least), because I have such a huge mental block on in. Out of all of the flounderers on the course, I maybe am floundering the least.

There are some who linguistically are better than me, specifically the A level students who are used to some of the more specialist academic terms.  Some are finding themselves unstuck.  True, there are some who are squandering their time, even a few of the mature adults are not coming to grips with their tasks.  People are dropping out, which is par for the course - but even a few of the hardcore ones are seriously wondering if they have bitten off more than they could chew.  Absenteeism is up and there are waverers (including myself) among the rest of the six-good-and-true foot soldiers.

So can anyone with a good grasp of the English language do an English degree?  I think they could, possibly.  Are ALL able to do it? I would say absolutely not.  It is not just about being wordy or having the intellectual capacity (although that will help).  There is a MASSIVE amount of time invested - I hardly see Hubby, sons and friends, lest enjoy time out with them.  There have been some days when writing has flowed more freely; there are some weeks like the past fortnight have been absolute hell.  I am trying to fight block after mental block and right now I keep slapping myself up against (but not breaking through) a huge mental wall.  There are days that I can write 700 words with quotes and research; then there are days that I have looked at the same 300 words for the past 3 hours and NOTHING has gelled.  It doesn't help that during this time, I get distracted or I will distract myself when bored, stuck or just plainly can't be arsed.

An English degree is not a soft option and most certainly it is not for the faint-hearted.  Along with intellect, hard work and overcoming obstacles, you need a massive amount of belief in yourself.

Right now, I am running out of that...
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