Mixedmatt's Mixed Blog Adding a bit of confusion to your world!

15Jan/151

DD309 – Economics TMA2 Marked :)

DD309 - Economics TMA2 Marked :)

Econometrics, Economics Bleh!

Econometrics, Bleh!

My second assignment for DD309 - Doing economics: people, markets and policy came back marked yesterday (11th Jan) and I was pleasantly surprised.

I'd been struggling with this TMA as I left it too late. I did a lot of my research the morning and the night before it was due in! So, I really am surprised to get a 2:1 for it and I'm shocked I did so well in the gretl (statistical component) of the assignment.

I did poorly on the game theory part which was a bit of a worry. I'm considering doing Environmental Economics for my project, and am looking to incorporate some game theory. I really need to brush up on that now :(

I've started thinking of my project and just jotting down useful websites and books. I'm excited but also very aware of the challenge but I'm so looking forward to it! Who thought I could enjoy studying eh?? It's all down to the Open University. I'm not going to say that I'm shocked to have gone this far, because I started this to get a degree in something I love. It's just amazing how time has passed from late 2011 when I was considering the Open University to the stage I am at now.

Graduating next year! May 2016 :D

Anyway, this module still needs to be completed and so does DD313 - International Relations. If you are considering university, especially the Open University. Do it you won't regret it! I know so much more than when I began my degree. I find at the OU.. I'm treated like an adult then at the brick university I attended from 2008 to 2010. I'm responsable for my study much more, no lecturer whines at me. All my tutors either face to face, or over email (and phone) have been incredible.

To top it off, I do feel intellectually challenged with every chapter of my module materials I read, every external book I read and assignment I complete. I have more and more confidence in myself, the fact that I can have a fulfilling career, and not one that just pays well, but also helps a lot of people! :)

Running the level 2 and level 3 Economics modules one after the other was the right decision in my opinion. I was able to keep thinking about Economics over my small break between my Politics module ending and the level 3 Economics starting!

Tomorrow and for the next few weeks, there are lots of library days planned for my third assignment and research project! That's it for now. Have a great weekend readers :p

*Note: TMA stands for Tutor Marked Assignment for those not familiar with Open University terms.

1Jan/150

It’s 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone. I can't believe I bought the domain mixedmatt.com back in 2007. I never believed I'd still be blogging now.

Hope you all have a happy peaceful new year and all your wishes come true! :)

Matthew

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7Dec/142

It’s my Birthday!

Yep, Time seems to move too fast! I feel old.

At 0:02am a while back... the mixedmatt was born!

I'll let my readers figure out my age. Comment just below. If nobody does then I won't spill. Please don't make me look like a loner! Ha :)

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27Nov/140

FutureLearn – Simply amazing!!

The Futurelearn week schedule!

The Futurelearn week schedule!

It's all about FutureLearn.com! How many of you have heard of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)??

Simply put I'm finding them amazing. I've only done courses from Futurelearn at the moment. If you love learning about new things you will love MOOCs! I've signed up to so many interesting courses on Futurelearn. Not had time to complete them all yet. There are other MOOCs providers such as coursera.com, most courses are provided by US universities.

Futurelearn and their teaching methods!

Futurelearn and their teaching methods! :)

I'm a real geek and when I get free time (very rare these days) I like to drink a beer and expand my mind. It's incredible the depth to which topics are covered.

You can even claim a certificate (non-formal) once a certain percentage of the course is completed!

Khan Academy is another website I find extremely useful, mainly for university help at the moment (with Economics) but it also has many other interesting subjects under constant expansion. The way the instructor Salman Khan explains things is great, you don't actually see his face he uses an electronic blackboard to explain and draw diagrams.

I have a course that ran a month or two ago on Futurelearn called Developing Your Research Project from the University of Southampton. This will come in very handy for Economics for when I start my research project next year. I'm going to try and start that online course soon so I can be prepared. It's great for anyone who wants to expand their mind, prepare before they start their university degree, or just kill time! These courses don't have to be completed by the dates they run but it's best that way to interact with the other students. I have yet to do one according to schedule. I'm simply too busy!

Au revoir for now readers! :)

23Oct/140

It’s almost Winter

London in Winter

London in Winter

Winter is just on the horizon and it's the time of the year I loathe. It get dark early, the temperatures drop, we gain an hour of sleep (next week Sunday not too bad!) and it's just horrible overall. That's not even mentioning Christmas :evil:

I've kind of stuck to a few pledges I made mid-year. It's been very difficult though.

As this year winds to a close, I think I should be relatively happy with this year. Although I didn't compete in a single go-karting race or championship (mainly due to time commitments). I've overall done a lot of work towards my degree and actually feel a lot closer to May 2016! The results of my politics exam are due to be released this or next week! Fingers crossed.

I'm fully in to DD309 my second Economics module, it's level 3 and means I have only one module left to complete my degree! Whoop.

I've become more confident in myself. I've seen a lot of lives come to and end, some quite unexpectedly and it really makes you reevaluate how you live your life. I really need to just live it. I've put in a lot more work to become a more confident person, to achieve the things I really want to achieve. Things are good and life really is what you make it :)

I have an upcoming assignment due in next month so I'll be busy with that. Catching up on the reading I'm behind with too. I'm behind and I don't know how that quite happened!!

I'm looking forward to 2015 now really and starting everyday confident of myself. Heres to hoping we don't have a Cold Winter ;)

Someone messaged asking who my server provider was and I didn't get back to them. My provider is VPS.net. I've been with them a little over a year now. Mixedmatt.co.uk runs on a server provided by them, the customer support has been amazing so far :)

That's it! Love you all. I will write back soon...

1Oct/140

Brussels again, Alone :)

Traditional Romanian dancing outside the EU parliament

Traditional Romanian dancing outside the EU parliament

Yesterday, (Sept 30th) I went to Brussels again. I was a bit nervous the day before as I was going alone. My friend from the Netherlands pulled out because of flu.

It was my first time in Brussels alone and it was a success :D :D
I went and ate at my favourite restaurant Chez Leon. Took a trip to Porte de Hal/Hallepoort and went up The Halle Gate. Amazing place, so much history and the views were to die for! I walked around the top and could see the whole city. Only problem was my phone battery died. So I got no snaps of that :(

Went to the EU quarter again. There where lovely stalls selling Romanian goods. There was Romanian cheeses and foods on offer! Lot's of cheese on sticks.

Outside the parliament complex in the place, there where several placards about what action the EU should take on various topics from Agriculture to Syria (Bombardment of Kobane). All in all I managed to see a lot. Even though I hadn't planned on going alone.

Waiting for departure on Eurostar:

Video of Romanian Folk dancing near the EU parliament:

I hope to return soon. More prepared to go it alone. Love ya readers :)

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11Aug/140

It’s Summer! Exams over!

My last post here was back in April. Aren't I terrible? Since then I took an Economics exam and came out the other side. Against expectations passed the module (feel like I could have handled the exam better), went to Brussels (again) and now am deeply engaged in my Politics module. I'm fast approaching exam time for Politics. I have only one assignment left which to be done under exam conditions and handwritten. Ah, I hate exams!!

I took some pictures from Brussels (You can seem them below). I've put quite a few up this time. I also went to Bruges for the day. Loved the boat tour on the waterways! I'd love to live there once I complete my degree.

I've decided my blog will contain more entries in the way of Politics and Economics in the near future. So look out for new posts. I'll try to set aside time to post some of my thoughts and ramblings. How Mixedmatt sees things in nationally and internationally :)

Aside from this nothing else has really changed. I'm still single :(
Waiting for my level 3 Economics module to start and a bit excited.

I'll make sure my next post will not be too long now! :)

Waiting for the Metro at Hôtel des Monnaies/Munthof.

Waiting for the Metro at Hôtel des Monnaies/Munthof.

Fancy one? :)

Fancy one? :)

Sweet tooth!!

Sweet tooth!!

On the way to the grand place in Bruxelles again!

On the way to the grand place in Bruxelles again!

Mussels and Frites! Yum!

Mussels and Frites! Yum!

Frogs legs :)

Frogs legs :)

Bruges!

Bruges!

EU Parliament tour!

EU Parliament tour!

Reading material for a nerd like me!

Reading material!

Juplier :)

Juplier :)

Buildings in Bruges

Buildings in Bruges


Best way to see Bruges!

Best way to see Bruges!

You been warned! Ha!

You been warned! Ha!

Belgian Street Art :)

Belgian Street Art :)

Touching the Berlin Wall.

Touching the Berlin Wall.

At the European Commission.

At the European Commission.

k

18Apr/140

Love being so busy!

Heavy reading? Aiming for 100% in everything :)

Heavy reading? Aiming for 100% in everything :)

As I said in my previous post, I think I'd be more then a little busy this year this has turned out to be true.

I've bought two economics books as I really want too boost my grades in Economics. Andrew Gillispies book seems to be more lighter and suitable to introduce newbies into Economics.

Doing two modules at once with the open university was always gonna be tough. Economics much tougher then politics but on the whole both very engaging, interesting and applicable to the real world.

Today at work I had what I thought was the beginning of a good conversation going with a customer. She asked me what I was studying I told her PPE and she then asked what career options am I thinking of. I told her EU or civil service. She told me to keep quiet it's a dirty word then told me how soldiers fought and died so dictators at the EU wouldn't make laws for us and how the EU is undemocratic. I didn't say this but was just thinking as she was mouthing off... The EU is an example of representative democracy. Like our nation is. It's not a direct democracy. It has stayed true to its founding principles as laid down by Sir Winston Churchill and Robert Schuman amongst others. It's by no means perfectly democratic but what institution is? We can act to improve it. She then started talking or should I say SHOUTING about Mr Farage and she wouldn't stop. Rambling on about him being a man of the British people. Looking out for British workers. Much how a certain German politician promised to before the Second World War I guess. She sounded like she was brainwashed unfortunately considering I wasn't answering her at this stage because she was so ill informed and seemed so ignorant to anybody else.

I couldn't believe all that reaction came from my career path to be honest. It's scary to think we have ignorant and the ill informed in the country who cannot even reason or disagree in a polite manner without raising their voices to be heard. If I had been a ex-soldier or if I said I wanted to join the army how would she have viewed me then? Presumably in a positive light despite the fact I may have ended the lives of people with a gun or maybe going on to. Really is this what has Britain come to? Hmmm. Something doesn't sit right :(

So as you can see politics comes up even without intention. Maybe more so because of my pathway. I'm finding I've learnt so much more though. When walking around shops or any public place my economics and politics knowledge seems to kick in! I read the economist and understand more and more week by week. It's all very exciting :)

My exams for economics are in June so a lot of prep ahead!

I went to Paris on March 25th. It's a beautiful city but not as beautiful as Brussels! It was a rainy day but still it was nice to be away from London for a change. I can't believe it being only a train ride away I never been. Take a look at the assortment of photos below.

It was lovely though, didn't want to return home. Day trips do feel really long though. I'm planning to go racing again and go gym after I finish DD209 - Running the Economy. Then I can focus just on DD203 - Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics. Once DD203 finishes in September 2014, I will be moving on to DD309 - Doing economics: people, markets and policy this looks to be interesting.

I probably won't post again till after the 6th June 2014. When I actually stop going full-time and go part-time with my studies again.

Till next time. See you :)

28Jan/140

Full time student now & good result for TMA 2 DD209!

TMA-2-Hand-Drawn-Diagram

One of my TMA 2 hand drawn diagrams for DD209 - Running the Economy. Output and demand increase!

Happy new year readers! Hope you had a fattening Christmas and great new year. I've only got round to writing this now as I have been extremely busy :( .

First I feel I need to explain why my posts may be fewer this year. I am now a full time university student again with the open university and one module in particular. DD209 - Running the Economy is particularly taxing being so technical, it's consuming my time. I'm about to start DD203 - Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics this week!! My free time will be limited this year.

Anyway, so far so good with my Economics module. I made a reasonable start but really excelled in the recent TMA before Christmas. Achieving 80% which was a surprise to say the least. It was all about the situation facing the UK in spring 2013 economically. Quite interesting :P .

I need to crack on with DD209 - TMA 03 now which poses a even bigger challenge it seems. More diagram drawing. A collaboration exercise and an extract. The workload for this module doesn't feel like a level 2 it feels more level 3 to be honest. ICMA 42 (Online Assessment) is also due in on the same day as the TMA! I love DD209 but it's so time consuming. What I have seen of DD203 so far looks the opposite.

My DSA equipment request made by my assessor was approved and I received a printer/scanner, Dictaphone, Claroread plus, and a book stand amongst other things all without charge!! Very happy.

2014-01-15 13.12.05My DSA goodies :)

I want to get out and go gym and run. I want to be fit for when the go-karting season comes round but I have such little time it's irritating me to the max. I need to try and eat healthy!

On another note, just guess how long this blog has been running??? Seven years this February!! Amazing. I never intended to start this and have it up and running forever! Till next time peace and if I'm not back before Valentines day. Enjoy the day haha :P

9Dec/130

Assignments complete! Mixedmatt is back online.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

It was my Birthday on 7th December!

All my assignments for DD209 - Running the Economy are now complete and I'm back. I neglected the blog because I simply had too much to do. To think this run up to Christmas I was only studying part-time. After Christmas I will begin preparations to start DD203! My politics module meaning I will be running two side by side. I can't guarantee I'll be posting much at all :(

Anyway to other news before I return to this. On Saturday 7th December I turned 25!! Yup, I'm officially old. Please gimme some cake and congrats below :)
I don't feel old. I'm hoping to give myself a birthday pressie next month before I start DD203. Maybe go to Paris. I love a Eurostar journey.

I'm looking forward to next year. I am to take go-karting more serious (if I have the time), that means getting fitter physically and mentally.

Back to university. I've enjoyed the first run of this new module few gripes here and there. Apart from that I've enjoyed it. I've found out a lot about fiscal and monetary policy. How the different policy options such as government spending, reduction in tax rates, increases in interest rates, and quantitative easing work. I understand how the 2008 financial crisis began and why certain people didn't see it coming. So, Don't let the government tell you the last government left them with a huge deficit!! There was a global crisis. I understand unemployment and GDP a lot more. I also understand what Keynes was in favour for in terms of Economic policy for the UK. I can understand more articles in the economist and much more! So, I'm very happy.

Have a Merry Crimbo.

Till next time :)