Open Eye: Open letters: The motto we're waiting for

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LOOKING for a motto? I had assumed that all Alumni Associations shared a common motto. Certainly, it is the concluding line of each missive I receive from the sundry colleges I have attended:

"Please Give Generously"

Graham Peters

Tetbury Glos.

Nice one! Except, that it doesn't apply of course at the OU and here in Open Eye where I don't think we have touched on fund-raising at all until this issue - and only then (page 12) because our fundraisers won an award for teamwork. But, now that you mention it -please do give generously, to the OU Foundation, at the usual old address. -Ed.

Out of the wilderness

I FIND that, once the novelty of being a graduate (BA Hons, 1996) wears off, a feeling of wilderness can set in. It isn't just a matter of missing the companionship and the summer schools, it's the academic isolation that I find a handicap. I suspect that this may not be an unusual problem.

It happens that my special interest (the subject of an intended book) encompasses political and moral philosophy as well as some of the social sciences, and is centred in questions concerning the outer limits of democratic possibility. Although my motivation is political rather than academic, I still need a grasp of current academic views on the subject if I am to argue my case at all knowledgeably.

So it is partly a question of how to find out what I should be reading, rather than taking a post-graduate course which would - as far as I can tell from those now available - deal only peripherally, or not at all, with my subject. I can see this kind of dilemma applying to other graduates trying to follow some private passion limited to a relatively narrow field, especially if it happens to call for interdisciplinary studies or methods.

As Open Eye is now my only contact with our alma mater it occurs to me that it might be a source for those sharing my position, even if that isn't quite what it was meant to be. Have you (or your readers) any suggestions?

Alan Roberts


Alan is right: this is not quite what Open Eye was intended for. A more useful place (apart from on a post-graduate course) to share obscure information and private passions - and one which might also produce a fairly instant response - is the discussion area on the OU alumni website: -Ed.

Don't read this!

I WRITE to protest about OU programmes transmitted as part of the BBC's Learning Zone. Thanks to the illogical, commercially distorted, views of the BBC's chiefs we all have to put up with the distraction of a continuously transmitted BBC logo stuck on each frame like graffiti on the side of a car. On graphical programmes, this logo gets mixed up with information; while artistic pictures are mutilated by what is equivalent to hearing terrier Nipper barking all the way through an HMV CD.

It is now surely time for the Open University to make an effort to clear the screen of unnecessary clutter, so that the artistic and communication standards of your contributors are no longer compromised. The sooner the commercially-minded people move to ITV, where they belong, the better.

Malcolm Everett


Aargh! Until I read this letter I was blissfully unaware of the existence on-screen the BBC logo. Now I am unable to take my eyes off it. Hopefully, it will appear to disappear, just like the Sky logo does on pub TV football. -Ed.

Looking forward to next time

AS AN Open University graduate I wish to say, as others already did, how much I enjoy your publication as a means to keep in touch. I look forward to each new issue.

Alina Goldschmidt BA (Hons)

London NW2.