Moodled

It’s all about introductions this week. Getting to know the other students, figuring out who is in each group for classes, finding out what we need to read, submit, feedback on each week and, finally, trying to understand how Moodle works.

On Monday, I get my campus Wifi sorted and do a bit of work in the PostGraduate annexe in the Library. From the outside the Library looks the same as it did in the eighties but inside it’s full of extravagantly upholstered chairs, open access PCs, convertible seminar spaces with pull-down screens and electrical hook-ups. There’s been a wholesale shift from shades of beige and brown to primary colours. In the Craft & Experimentation class, the amount of reading I’m required to do starts to feel a bit overwhelming and I’m glad I ordered the first set of books in advance and had an initial read-through over the summer, despite my teenage daughter rolling her eyes in disgust.

The next day we find out what we have to do for our first Creative Workshop and meet those tutors for the first time. This bit is what I’m looking forward to the most. The idea that we can give and receive feedback on our writing is so exciting. The volume we have to submit means I can’t lose momentum. This seems more of an opportunity than a threat to me and I’m so glad that I’ve got work already drafted as well as lots of ideas stacked up in my mind’s filing cabinet.

That evening, the Creative Writing Department is hosting an interview with novelist Christopher Brookmyre. Technically, it’s part of our course but it’s not like hard work at all. I’ve read and loved lots of Brookmyre’s books and paid to see him talk a couple of times so being entertained for free is a treat. As usual, he’s really funny and interesting and talks in detail of what and how he writes. I like the fact that he’s irreverent and populist. It makes me feel at home.

And then, the taught part of the week is over and I have to knuckle down to preparing for next week’s sessions. This involves reading a novel, watching a movie, trying, and failing, to make sense of a literary essay, reading two submissions and writing my feedback on both and coming up with a couple of questions to post in advance of my workshop.

I still haven’t figured out how to sync my university email with my Mac and iPhone. I’m not convinced I’ll ever do it.

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