It's about time too...

A blog about my (somewhat impatient and somewhat trying) experiences trying to start my BA in Theology through the Open Theological College via the University of Gloucestershire.

Monday, April 07, 2008

From the long land of no updates

8 months between blog posts. I am a seriously awful blogger.

OTC has been going fairly well--I am on the last two modules of the first segment (leading to the Certificate of Higher Education), Old Testament 2 and the final module: Making Sense of Reflective Practice which has, in truth, been interesting.

Next year I am off to the UK to study at a 'real' university, namely Newman University College to study Theology for Education. It's gonna be fun, I think, Theology and Educational placements in schools... what more could I ask for? :)

I originally applied to do Primary Education as a teacher trainee but was unsuccessful. First thing to note for EU students considering studying Primary Education in the UK--get experience in a UK government school. That's what they're looking for and why I was unsuccessful at three different places.

God, who is, after all, totally awesome in a remarkably huge number of ways had a better plan. Having spent time these past few months working at American Academy Junior school and thoroughly enjoying doing so, working with kids and young people has become one of the things I really enjoy. But Theology remains a passion and an abiding interest in my life. So rather than getting to do Theology full time, or Education full time, God managed to wangle a way to get me to do both. Really, really cool.

I'm getting in contact with the University as there's a chance I can apply in as a second year student. Tough decision whether or not I actually go in as a second year student or whether I go in as a first year. I'm leaning towards going in as a first at the moment, particularly as my other news is awesome.

I spoke to the Birmingham local Authority today and they told me I count as a British student, and as such... I'm definitely eligible for funding as a British Student! Which should mean I'm eligible for a complete maintenance grant.

Anne Ellis, the director of the Bournville Young Singers the choir I sang with in my younger years and one of the things I missed incredibly much when moving to Cyprus, contacted me recently asking if I'm available to help them out as a pianist for next year, having mentioned that I was available as an emergency pianist, I might be helping them out weekly, which would be awesome.

Everything is slotting into place incredibly, now all we need is to book our flights back to the UK in early July...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

University for British people living in Europe

I've not posted here in a while, but I thought I'd put some information up here that I discovered on my recent trip to the UK that I couldn't find anywhere else in the UK.

I visited Birmingham University's open day for the primary reason for trying to find out about what funding is available for British students who live abroad (and also to see if I wanted to transfer into their Theology course) as we live in the limit where we're eligible for a grant if I count as a British Student. Everyone who I had contacted prior to that had said they thought I probably counted as a European Student.

The Birmingham University people were unsure and put me in contact with a group--I'll put contact details up for them when I find them. These are the people responsible for all european students in the UK, I believe.

What they told me was because I was born in the UK and then spent at least a couple of years there, there is no legal reason for an LEA (Local Education Authority) to refuse funding to me. Every LEA acts slightly differently and they were unsure, but this is the end result: I /should/ be eligible for a grant. Yay!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Gospel according to St. John?

One of my favourite bloggers, Bigbulkyanglican writes recently:

"I have a growing love and admiration for John's Gospel - and regret that it only makes star appearances in the Anglican lectionary alongside the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew Luke and Mark.

We should really have had a four year lectionary with an additional year founded on John - then the full glory and diversity of the Gospel would have been revealed week by week."

I can't help but agree with him. My recent course: "Making Sense of the New Testament" which is looking primarily at the gospels has reminded me just how much I prefer John's gospel--from the opening which is possibly one of my favourite pieces of Scripture on the incarnation, through to the accounts of death and ressurection--to the Synoptics, and I cannot help but agree with his idea of a four-year lectionary which focuses more heavily on John.

David Wenham and Steve Walton in their book: "Introducing the New Testament, Volume 1: The Gospels and Acts" say the following about John:

"John's Gospel contains some of the most beautiful and powerful stories we know about Jesus, some of his best known sayings, and some of the most profound and mystical teaching that we find in the Christian Scriptures... Matthew, Mark, and Luke see Jesus in one way, whereas John is different."
I am thoroughly enjoying getting more familiar with John's Gospel about the post-resurrection over the past two weeks of our lectionary cycle, even though I think I (if I ever do get into the pulpit) would probably have preached on the Acts lesson (which we had the full extended version for) last Sunday rather than the Gospel as it would've made a more dramatic sermon...

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anglican matters...

The url for my blog is 'cyprus anglican' so I thought I'd write some stuff about my position in the church here. I'm the Organist and choir director, and this sunday we have not one, but TWO special services coming up. In the Morning we are running a special service known as 'Music Sunday' in which we are celebrating the wide diversity of music which God has given us to praise Him with. We're ranging from the Old Hundreth ('All people that on earth do dwell') through modern classical choral (A unison setting of Rutter's 'Look at the World'--my choir isn't exactly up to complicated parts yet,) Graham Kendrick ('We believe in God the Father', makes a good creed!) A Broadway show tune ('Any Dream Will Do') and lots more besides. :) It's going to be good fun.

The evening service is going to be full-on Victorian Choral Evensong. We weren't able to get the Magnificat chanted, so we are going to do 'Tell Out My Soul'. We are going to chant the Nunc Dimmitis and the versicles, however. Unfortunately we don't have any choir robes, so we cannot be robed. The organ also is unlikely to handle the strain well, so I'm hoping to drive home the point that we need a new instrument. This sunday we are starting what is going to be our lenten appeal--replacing our organ. At 25 years old, it's getting really rather nasty.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Look at me...

I've just finished the first three modules. Talk about last minute--I was up til 11:30 last night getting one essay done, then this morning fixing all the last bits that needed doing. Now I'm exhausted and have a long afternoon ahead of me. I was bouncy and excited for about 5 minutes and now am just feeling really tired and old.

What have I learned from this course so far?
Firstly--I'm not a serious academic. I enjoy academia and theology, but I would get driven stir-crazy if I tried to do this long term. I need to find a job which involves people. Teaching is an ever-present option.
Secondly--I need to start writing assignments way in advance, and take massive copious notes of all the quotes I like. What took longest for my assignments was finding all the quotes I needed and footnoting. Fortunately I read VERY fast.
Thirdly--music helps. I listen to music almost constantly when I'm working. I LOVE my iPod as no matter what I'm doing, I can have music on. :)
Fourthly--Chocolate also helps. I come from bourneville, I'm a chocoholic. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sometimes I wonder...

I know, two updates in under 24 hours, what is the world coming to? Well I'm starting to wonder if I'm smart enough for parts of this course. The current module that I'm working for an essay on is called: Making sense of the modern world. It's about modernism and postmodernism, how the enlightenment ushered in first modernism and postmodernism, and how christian mission and culture should reflect secular culture and how it should be evangelised. All important fascinating stuff, but very confusing! Four books open at the same time trying to make sense of it. Fortunately when I get puzzled I just go to wikipedia as that has some great stuff in the language of the lay-man rather than deep philosophical science.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another blog entry at long last...

I never seem to remember to blog. Not very good at this whole thing really.

OTC chaos struck again this weekend, partly my fault, partly theirs. Mostly mine, in fact. I've been getting very confused about what order I'm supposed to be doing all this work in (turns out all at the same time and I'm getting a touch muddled) and managed to miss one of my assignment deadlines, which I didn't know about. Fortunately I managed to write somewhere in the realm of 1600 words on the subject over the weekend and got it in safely on Monday. I've got one more to finish (and it's already around the 1500 word mark, I've just got a wee bit of touching up to do) and then I have no more til late January/early Febuary. I can actually work rather than constantly trying to get essays done. The bit that was their fault was the course tutor didn't recieve my emails at first, some reason it seems to work now, so that's good news. :)

Can't think of anything else to update, only one request--if anyone's got some stunningly good links on Modernism/Post-modernism, I'd love to give 'em a read. That's what the current webCT is on and I'm having a blast although occasionally getting somewhat confused. :)