*Giving a deep sigh* It was coursework week. It seems as if all the odds of coursework was against us because we had to submit all course works back to back. The pressure to meet each deadline was intense. However, that is not what I plan to write on because I envisaged that when i got the admission for a masters degree, it would not be like eating a piece of cake- I already had my fair share of the stress related workload from my foundation program in September.
M96MC was one course I have been worried about because I was not sure of how to go about the principles of writing theories. Actually, this is my first time of been bombarded with so many theories I have to come to terms with all at the same time. My first coursework was to sketch the field of my proposed research topic. Sketching the field was difficult because I was just a few days into my classes when the course work came calling. I was unsure of what to write about but I had to write something. Since I have a love for watching TED talks, it helped me in a way to come up with a topic. I Choose a topic on the labelling of women. I must say that when writing the essay, i was unsure of what to narrow my research on. so here I was writing on the name calling of single girls who were unmarried to woman labelled as cooking objects and the need for men to be more intentional in the post-feminist movement. When I received the grades for the coursework I was sad but then again I knew before hand that the coursework was confusing to me but I could not think of anyone I could have met to help me with narrowing down my research. I told myself to make sure it does not repeat itself again- did it repeat itself? hell yes!
You know that saying of… Once beaten, twice shy… I my case i had to be beaten twice to be shy thrice. Coursework two came and we needed to look at the research beyond face value. Now the thing is as a masters student, it is expected that you have been spoon fed enough with baby food during your undergraduate days. Masters means it’s time to eat solid or semi-solid food- which invariably means that you have to just know certain things. For a Nigerian girl who was taught in a totally different way from that England, I was under stress to understand all the theories all at the same time. In Nigeria, we have just one method of writing a research project which is totally different from what I am asked to write as a masters student. Beyond face value – three words that were not confusing in itself but were very confusing to relate with my coursework. I struggled with understanding what I was asked to do. I asked questions from my lecturers and classmates but most of what I got was ”read theories on postfeminism and post-modernity”. Honestly, I had no idea how to write about theories in a 2000 words essay without it looking like I was reviewing literature (which I know how to do quite well). I read books on postfeminism and postmodernity but I had issues relating what I had read to my topic because there were no books on feminism in Africa yet most of the books are from British and American authors. It was a tough week of writing I was clueless on what I was writing on, I found myself reviewing literature again,I was panicking because I needed to meet the deadline at all cost. I met the deadline but I was unfulfilled. Maybe if I gave my work to someone to read through, it would have gone a long way (By the way, the centre for academic writing needs to have an office in every faculty. They are usually always booked which makes it more challenging to find someone who would be willing to proofread your piece of work). My lecturer was done marking and I must say she was disappointed with all of us- though, from my research on how others did, some people did really well. I had a meeting with her to explain my worry to her. She told me the same thing I knew I battled with. I was still stuck in course work one. She told me my grades were ok but little did I know that they were worse than ok. I wish she did not tell me they were ok. Days later, the grades came calling and it was TERRIBLE. By the way, terrible in my vocabulary means you are on a C.
Albeit, she gave me some constructive feedback which were:
1. I write with authority but I need to proof read my work more to avoid little mistakes.
2. I am in an academic environment which means my style of writing must be less chatty- I would have known if I proofread my work by someone else.
3. I need to link back to the theory and interpret some through the theory (I understand what I need to do but I have no idea of how to go about it).
4. I did not apply a method of analysis which I needed to infuse through a theory and how it has informed the way I would interpret data.
I must say that the grades made me devastated but it has shown me the areas I need to work on. I have found someone who would proofread my work and hopefully, give constructive feedback on how to be better.
My aim is to graduate with a distinction and as a valuable student to my classmates- and that I must accomplish!
Photo Credits: Jovi Jhash.