My First Assignment


Not a bad start to my degree, but not as good as I wanted...

I've just had my result back for my first ever university assignment. I got 77%. Now, lots of people have told me that this is a bloody good start, especially at degree level. I, however, am not happy with it! As anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm a teeny bit of a perfectionist - nothing is ever good enough...

The assignment itself was split into four questions. For the first question, we had to quote the Open University's definition of 'environment' and then give an overview of what we thought were two serious environmental issues - one global and one local. For my global issue, I mentioned the problem of increasing CO2 emissions, and explained that the levels are at the highest in over 400,000 years. For my local issue I chose fracking. Rather than jump on the bandwagon of 'fracking is bad' (I believe that it is by the way, just in case you were wondering!) I chose to point out that both sides, for and against, use equally ridiculous arguments which lack any scientific basis.

The second question was largely a maths question, about CO2 levels. We had to estimate levels from a barchat, which wasn't exactly difficult. We also had to draw a conslusion as to how the data could be used to mislead the intended audience. I'm a fairly rational and logical person, so it was fairly straightforward.

The third question related to an article provided to us. We had to discuss the article, providing an outline of the main points, while discussing the link that deforestation has to negative environmental effects. We had to explain an additional effect of deforestation, by linking it with the study materials. We also had to assess the intent of the article - i.e. who was it written for and what was the author trying to achieve.

Question four was a self-reflection exercise, discussing why we were studying the module. We also had to discuss what we found easy and what was difficult for us. For me it has been very easy so far. In fact, I'm a little disappointed with it. I was hoping for more of an immediate challenge, but I can understand why it isn't - for me at least. Some people have found it very challenging indeed. My problem is that if I'm in education and not sufficiently challenge, I get bored. When I'm bored, I switch off and just do enough to get what I want from it. Hopefully I'll find the difficulty ramping up as the degree progresses!

I've looked ahead at the assignments coming up over the next few months, and I expect they'll get slightly more challenging. Perhaps I'll also learn to stop expecting too much of myself?

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