Yesterday I fulfilled part of a lifetime's ambition - to be enrolled in a course in Queen's University Belfast! I began my MA programme with the university with the first class of Research Methods - we will be exploring how to construct Bibliographies and conduct research using Libraries, Databases and Archives.
Sounds dry as dust, doesn't it? But in these places are the most unlikely resources, and they're just as useful for someone doing Creative Writing as they are for someone researching for Medieval English - you just won't know until you start looking, what subjects will interest you and what inspiration could be waiting inside a book, or letter, or record of someones life.
We learned about the Library of Congress cataloguing system and how each writer has their own number assigned to them as well as certain letters. All reference books begin with Z, for example and literary books belonging to the UK and Ireland are PR. We've got our first assignment too due in three weeks, finding a bibliographic list of books on 1 of 24 possible subjects.
I was slightly bemused, as being so used to studying on my own with the OU with the odd tutorial or day school has made me realise how pampered the ordinary student in brick uni is, with lectures, hand-outs and the novelty of having other students to physically talk to! I think I will enjoy this year very much! Even the mornings with the cold and darkness that will come soon won't bother me now :)