My next OU course is L120, actually LZX120, but that is a little picky. The course is Ouverture: A fresh start in French. Together with the (completed) L192 it will give me a Cert. French. The following course, L211: Nouvel Envol, is something I'm not particularly relishing, though it is necessary to have a level 2 language course as part of the BA in European Studies. I really want to be moving on to the other aspects of the BA, things like 'The Rise of Scientific Europe' and 'Governing Europe'. The reason I'm not relishing L211 is as I get the impression that it moves away from the mechanics of the language to look more at the culture - I realise that this is important for the understanding of a country, but I can get that by other means - I'd rather focus on language. I doubt if I'll do the level 3 french course.
The OU were due to send me the course materials over a week ago, when I chased them up, also requesting that it be posted to a different address I was told that it had already been sent, but they provided me with a reference number, and told me that if I contacted the courier they could arrange a new address for me.
I rang the courier, and was told 'Yes, we have a package for you, it is due to be delivered on txxth' (they gave a date around 8 days hence). I responded with incredulity, saying that this would mean that it would be sitting in their warehouse for a week. This met a brick wall. As I doubted that I would be able to make a start before then (lots of paperwork to do at the moment) I shrugged and requested the new address. I was told that this was not possible as delivery had not been attempted yet. I replied with 'Yes, but if you attempt delivery on that date you will not be successful, so let's save us all a little time!'
This met with a stony-faced implacable bureaucratic resolve not to be flexible.
So, when on Friday I came through the door to find delivery had been attempted I got straight on the phone. 'Can I arrange redelivery, to a different address, please?'
'Certainly Sir, What postcode?'
I told them.
'We deliver in that area on Monday to Saturday,' (no problem to me, I would be at work on Saturday) 'from 8am to 6pm.'
Now, with these ludicrously wide times, I could not guarantee there would be someone to sign for the parcel at work on saturday, I could not even guarantee that on a weekday! So, I told them tuesday.
What happened? They delivered on Saturday, in the afternoon - and it was just chance that the courier caught someone who signed for it and brought the parcel up to where I was working.
This is not a good courier company.
The package contains CDs, books and videos (which I will look into transferring to DVD so that I can work exclusively at my desk at home, rather than having to go downstairs to hijack the VHS). It's a rather full parcel! I would like to get an early start on it, however I don't quite know when - the next couple of weeks are going to be rather busy.
Once the official course start date happens, I shall be using the PC (windows only software, won't run on Linux) to access 'Lyceum', a virtual classroom where one can talk to other students, and also to tutors. The final examination will also be on Lyceum, I do hope that I don't have another computer failure then - I won't be able to sit the exam at work due to the firewall restricting outbound connections other than mail and the web.
It's another reason for getting the 'dumb' PC set up in another room, as well as being a media centre, it can be my backup 'Lyceum' access point. A while ago I was recommended which Wireless Access point to go for (I don't need a router or anything like that, just the bit to replace the long wire) - but not only is this information probably out of date now, I've also lost it!
Oh, and the fact that the Birthday Present which I got from my dad can also use a wireless net connection is purely coincidental.
With this OU course, time is a bit of a worry, but isn't that always the case? Little and often is ideal for languages, but the way my workload goes I am more likely to proceed sporadically. Not ideal, but it is what I've got.