So, I’m now two weeks into the Masters’ course; how’s it going? Once again, the doctrine of charity constraints what I can say about it. So this is the restrained version.
Thanks to a rather unfortunate timetabling error - one of my core modules was treated as optional and moved to next term - I have one module this term and three next term. So I have rather a lot of free time. On the positive side, it is teaching me to work more independently; since nobody else is teaching me this taught Masters, I’m having to teach myself. I’ve just finished the first essay I set myself, handed it in to myself and I’m just about to sit down and mark it. I think it looks pretty good.
Similarly unfortunately, the one module I do have this term is “Method and Content”. So far I’ve sat through two lectures of “Method”. Much of the material I’d studied before; we spent quite a long time today on distinguishing primary and secondary sources, which I studied in history at school - and since I only did two years of history, that must have been when I was eleven or twelve. We also took up quite a bit of today on sampling methods, which I’m sure we did in maths lessons.
To be fair, some of the material is new, particularly the parts on qualitative research, which is an area that has caused me much… surprise and astonishment. We haven’t had the time to critique the validity of these methods, however - although it was stressed that concepts such as “objectivity” and “statistical significance” were overrated, unnecessary and often undesirable.
Next week I will spend the whole two hours of my contact time learning to do web searches.
After that, we’ll get on to missiological content. I’ve been told that this will cover material to get us up to the standard of a missiology BA. Unfortunately, I already have a missiology BA.
So naturally I’ve been spending a lot of time in the library. After coming from ANCC where every article in every journal is catalogued with keywords, the electronic catalogue - unfortunately neither online, nor public access, and therefore accessible only from two (very busy) computers in the library - doesn’t list journal articles at all, and frankly you’re lucky if it tells you much about the books. All five rooms in the library, on two floors, are considered the “main library”, so that’s the answer you get when you ask a book’s location. And since everything at the college has social theological application, most books which aren’t explicitly theology are categorised under 261, social theology. A nice philosophical point, but a rather obscurant attitude to the Dewey decimal system.
Still, the food is good.