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Memories of studying psychology

I was asked to write a short piece on my experiences of studying psychology with the OU and what I'd like to write about is a wonderful tutor and human-being Arthur Brown who was my tutor for my first course of study with the OU in 1997, D103. D103 was an introductory social science course and its purpose was to introduce and prepare students for the degree in psychology.

I had left school in 1983 and had taken part in no academic study since my school days. I left school with literacy difficulties and had been diagnosed with mild dyslexia. I found the demands of D103 very challenging, the material fascinated me but I was lacking basic literacy ability which made the course seem like pushing a very large bolder up a very steep hill.

Three quarters into the course I bowed to the challenge and gave up studying. I was in a terrible place at that time and my failure really knocked my confidence. Arthur rang my job and my home but for two weeks I ignored his calls. He persisted and left messages with my employer to contact him. Eventually, he caught me on the phone and convinced me to continue with my studies, which I did, which led to me passing the course and thus putting myself in a position to start the degree.

Although, I passed the course I realised my literacy skills were lacking and would not be adequate to get me through the degree programme. With this insight, on completion of D103 I signed up for two years of one to one basic literacy skills with the VEC. Arthur also gave me a personal reference which aided me in securing employment with a mental health organisation. With work, my literacy ability improved to a standard where I felt confident to continue with my OU studies and in 2008 I qualified with a 2:1 (Hon) psychology degree.

The day I received my results from my last course with the OU programme I was out walking with my dog in a local park and to my amazement, who did I bump into but Arthur. I was overjoyed to tell him the good news and I thanked him for all he had done for me. I remain truly grateful to Arthur and the OU for making such a profound difference to the quality of my life. Arthur saw a potential in me and with his persistence and nurturing skills he made it possible for me to live my dream and I remain extremely grateful to him.


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