Open University students will know that the acronym ‘TMA’ stands for ‘Tutor Marked Assignment’.
Anyone who’s read deeply of Arthur C Clarke (author of many SciFi classics and founding father of diverse sub-sets in theÂ genre) will know that ‘TMA’ stands for Tycho Magnetic Anomaly.
Yeah, you do; you know what one is.
It’s caused by the large black obelisk discovered on the moon (in Tycho crater – get the naming conventionÂ now?) in the book, film (and T-shirt) ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ .
But back to the other kind…
TMA01 was presented to the OU this evening; it is an almost incisive,Â not terribly witty (I thought it might be best for the time being to hide the shallowness of my intellect and keep my sense of humour powder dry) examinationÂ of how the author of a lacklustre ‘set piece’Â uses language to highlight and contrast scenesÂ of an exceptionally moribundÂ piece of naively packaged, anthropomorphic, idealistic, drearyism it’s been my misfortune to read since…
pause, itch, scratch, ponder, doze…
Well, a very long time.
It’s not badly written, as such.
And all of the other things above.
But it was fun, writing the essay. It was a challenge.
I’m looking forward to the next part – Art History.
Speaking as someone who would, if he had one, wear an ‘I Love Brian Sewell’ T-shirtÂ and, alsoÂ speaking as someone who thinks Gainsborough is the wittiest artist we’ve ever produced, I think I’m going to find Art History a bit of an uphill struggle too.
I have a tutorial next week.
I have to slog all the way in to Brum on Saturday for said tutorial.
Bearing in mind how mentally worn out I am by the time Saturday comes around, I’ll probably end up presenting myself in a slightly less favourable light than Eddy Grundy at parents evening.
They’ll just have to take as they find.