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Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

Love music, history and politics? Want to dazzle your friends with your extensive knowledge of Latin American music and culture and win first prize at the next trivia night? Well look no further my friends, this is the course for you.

Based on a program taught at Massey University in New Zealand, our specially designed Open2Study course links various musical styles with key social, political and historical events, and provides students with an in-depth awareness of Latin American musical culture, while encouraging reflection on the cultural sensibilities in relation to history, society and language.

Lady with cigar

Throughout the course you will explore the four musical styles most closely linked to historical and political events: Tango, Bolero, Salsa, and Trova. And as you will come to learn, Latin American music is not only a flamboyant and colourful style of entertainment, but also a close link to the contemporary ideas of what it means to be Latin American.

Man and woman dancing the tango

Combining theoretical study with musical and song analysis, you'll progress through the course focusing on Indigenous, African, European, Religious, and Military music; emerging with a bounty of knowledge linking music to social engagement and politics. Perfect for filling those awkward lulls in dinner party conversation.

Elderly man and woman close dancing

Upon completion of your studies, you'll be armed with enough knowledge and skill to pursue a range of additional learning, including accredited training and university courses. Or maybe you'll simply be inspired to finally take up those Salsa classes!

Man and woman dancing the tango

Delivered by two passionate educators over four modules, Open2Study's Latin American Music: Translating Cultural Sensibilities course kicks off on 3 July, and enrolments are now open. Don't miss your chance to join in on this engaging, insightful journey into Latin American culture—secure your spot today, at www.open2study.com/latin-american-music.


Peta BradyThis post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at www.theword.bird.com.au or on Instagram @thewordbird_.

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

The origins of the ever-so-pesky error 404 are widely debated, but despite this there does seem to be a reasonably consistent story running through each. And because we've all no doubt encountered this particular error during our travels through the interwebs, I thought 'hey, why not share a little bit of the legend behind it'.

Open2Study 404 error screenshot

Ok, so back in the 1980s a group of clever scientists were busy working away on what would eventually become the World Wide Web, and needed to create a database that would offer open access to data in a variety of formats, or multimedia. This central database was supposedly located on level 4, in room 404 of the office building where they were stationed.

Mario Brothers inspired 404 error message

There were a few people on the team whose job it was to manually locate and transfer requested files over the network and back to the person who requested it. Sounds pretty simple, but as we all know, humans make mistakes! And as more and more requests started to come through, mistakes became more frequent as well. This meant some requests couldn't be transferred - say, due to someone entering the wrong file name - so a generic 'Room 404: File not found' message was programmed to display each time a transfer didn't go through.

Lego inspired 404 error message

Eventually these manual processes became automated, but by then the error message was destined to become the standard HTTP response for the future, and therefore kept the same room number. So I guess, error 404 is kind of a little tribute to the hardworking people who brought us the tool that we all now take for granted every day! I mean, how did people win trivia nights or shop for clothes before the internet?? Interesting to think how all this occurred not so long ago, when you consider how far we've come and how reliant we all are on the web these days.

Stormtrooper 404 error message


Peta BradyThis post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at www.theword.bird.com.au or on Instagram @thewordbird_.

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

Time management is a funny thing—we are all allocated the exact same amount of hours each and every day, yet the phrase, "I don't have time" seems to be thrown about rather regularly. But is it true? Do we really not have time?

vintage stop watch

As a self-confessed organisation freak, I thought I'd use this post to share a few tips to help you get a handle on your time.

1. Prioritise your time

I'm a big fan of the to-do list, but if you're not careful it can become overwhelming. To combat this, make a list of what you need to achieve at the start of each day, then prioritise the list in order of urgency, starting with what must be done through to the things you would like to do if you have time remaining after completing urgent tasks.

2. Avoid distractions

As much as we all love social media, unless you rely on it to generate business it's best to avoid being online. Other tips include disconnecting from instant messenger, and learning to avoid answering the phone just because it's ringing, or emails just because they pop into your inbox.

3. Focus on one task at a time

Multi-tasking is a great skill to have, but it can also prevent you from meeting deadlines and achieving goals. When you're focusing on too many tasks at once you are less likely to complete any of them! Focus on completing one task before moving on to the next.

4. Learn to love your calendar

If you class everything as an 'appointment' and allocate time for it in your calendar, you will feel more in control of your time. Schedule in deadlines, meetings, and block out time for high-priority tasks. You can even schedule time for making phone calls and sending emails.

diary

Once you've mastered the basics of time management you can apply them to all aspects of your life—both at work and at home. That said, remember it's literally impossible to get everything done, so don't be too hard on yourself!


Peta BradyThis post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at www.theword.bird.com.au or on Instagram @thewordbird_.

Mira Staff

As many of you may know, we ran a competition recently where current and past Open2Study students had a chance to win 1 of 5 single undergraduate unit scholarships with our parent company, Open Universities Australia.

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the competition a success! There were a lot of amazing entries, which made it incredibly difficult to narrow it down. But there could only be five winners.

Huge congratulations to Allan D, Bradley C, Kerin S, Nathan H and Wendy M, who each won a single-unit scholarship! Best of luck with this next chapter of your study journey!

How did we choose the winners?

A panel of judges assessed the responses, with name and other personal details hidden, and selected the winners based on how well they exemplified the entry requirements.

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

No matter what you're studying, a long intense session is bound to leave you feeling a little frazzled. But how to unwind? You might be tempted to hit the pub, or reach for a sweet treat of some sort—both of which are great ideas, no one's debating that—but believe it or not there are healthier ways to recharge your weary brain.

1. Go for a walk

A bit of fresh air never hurt anyone, so once you've put down the books why not put on your walking shoes and get out and about. Grab your headphones and take a stroll with no particular agenda in mind.

2. Meditate

That's right, time to get your zen on. The best thing about meditation is you can do it pretty much anywhere. Find a quiet spot in your local park (or any other place that makes you feel good), close your eyes and get busy thinking about nothing at all.

3. Take a power nap

Sleep is obviously a great way to rejuvenate your tired brain, and who doesn't love a good nap? The key is to not sleep for too long, or else you'll just end up feeling extra tired. Set your alarm for 20 minutes and curl up on the couch—you'll wake up feeling rested and reenergised.

stree less by sleeping

4. Eat all the brain foods

Eat to unwind? What a great idea! And when you've drained your brain studying you really do need to feed it afterwards. This doesn't mean inhaling a cheeseburger, but rather reaching for some healthy, tasty brain foods. There are plenty of options when it comes to replenishing your grey matter; get your hands on some avocado, leafy greens, blueberries, eggs, salmon, walnuts, coconut oil, and high quality dark chocolate and you've got the makings of a delicious pick-me-up.

5. Stretch it out

Not your brain, your body. Stretching is an excellent stress-relief, and is really good for general health. You could take a yoga class, or do some simple stretches at home. Just 10-15 minutes of stretching can help to relieve tension, promote blood circulation, and decrease stress levels.

Stress less by stretching

6. Hit the gym

Even if you don't feel like it, once you're there you'll start to feel good. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and gets your blood pumping; a winning combination for busting stress. Plus once you're done exercising you can go home and eat all those brain foods you bought earlier as a reward for your hard work!

7. Keep it clean

Yeah I know, cleaning doesn't really sound like a lot of fun or a way to unwind, but it can actually be quite therapeutic. It's much easier to focus when you're not surrounded by mess or distractions, so taking the time to tidy up your study area is bound to make you feel more relaxed.

8. Take some 'me' time

This one sounds like a free pass, and it is! Take some time out to do something you enjoy, whatever that may be. A long bath, reading a book, watching a movie, listening to music, cooking or baking—the list is endless, and the choice is yours!

9. Write it down

If you're labelling your stress as 'study stress', try writing down what aspects are actually giving you grief. Once you see them on paper they might not actually be as bad as they seemed—but if they ARE, it's time for a to-do list.

Stress less by writing

10. Laugh!

When you feel super stressed it's hard to find things funny, so jump on the phone or visit that one person in your life who can always make you laugh. And if that's not an option, well, there is an abundance of laughs to be had via our good friend YouTube.

Stress less by laughing

And hey, just like that, you're on your way to a stress-free study life with ten simple steps.


Peta BradyThis post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at www.theword.bird.com.au or on Instagram @thewordbird_.

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

When you're looking for work, the one thing you can't do without is a professional and up to date CV. But how do make yours stand out against the competition? When it comes to grabbing the attention of a potential employer, jazzing up your CV with a little creativity to strike a balance between the traditional resume and a more modern style might just be the key to success.

These days, having a one-size-fits-all approach to the job application process isn't going to cut it—you need to ensure your resume is tailored to fit the job description. This means editing and revising the content you're putting out there before you hit send on your application. To save yourself some time, why not develop multiple versions of your CV template for different situations? It might seem like a lot of extra effort, but it might just be the extra effort that lands you your dream job!

So, when it comes to tailoring your resume, what should you consider?

First, you need to know your audience. Think about what type of layout or format will appeal to this particular hiring manager, and also present you as the best fit for the role. For example, if you are working in a creative field, you might think an infographic resume is the best way to present your skills. But before you race off and throw all your experience into a pie chart think about what the prospective employer will want to see. If you're going to be creative, be smart about it and make sure you are still capturing the most relevant skills as required for the job. Pinterest has some great examples of clever infographic designs that, with a bit of luck, won’t land your application in the trash folder. Check them out at the Pinterest infographic resume board.

Sample resume from OnlineResumeStore.com
Resume from OnlineResumeStore.com.

Next, you need to understand your industry. If you are looking for work in financial services, you'll probably need a more traditional resume to accompany your application. Alternatively, if you are looking for work as a graphic designer, a more creative CV would be appropriate.

Sample resume from OnlineResumeStore.com
Resume from OnlineResumeStore.com.

Creative CVs can be somewhat controversial, with many employers still preferring a traditional approach. But if done well and delivered to the right audience, a creative resume can help you stand out and hopefully win you an interview. If you're unsure, try a combination of creative and traditional by adding a few design elements to your chronological CV, or use an infographic resume as a complementary supplement to your traditional CV.

If you want to go all-out creative, make sure it still looks professional and showcases your experience in an easy-to-read format. After all, you want to impress, not put off potential employers. Have a play with this interactive resume by Robby Leonardi. Here we can clearly see the effort involved and the skills Robby has when it comes to design and development. It's also fun, interesting, and most importantly, informative.

Robby Leonardi interactive resume
Robby Leonardi's interactive resume.

Now obviously we're not all amazing designers with coding skills to boot, but there are other ways to inject a little creativity into your own CV. Instead of a standard chronological format, try focusing on your career achievements and education, rather than providing a historical tour of your prior responsibilities. You can also experiment with different colours and fonts (without going overboard) to highlight areas that may be of particular interest.

If your education section is lacking, online courses are a great way to quickly upskill and show employers that you mean business, by demonstrating motivation for self-improvement. If you're not sure how to include online courses on your CV, have a read of Open2Study's blog post by Polly Foster, How to explain your MOOC on your CV.

Above all else, remember that no matter what style of resume or CV you choose, the key is to consider your audience and industry, and to focus on experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

This post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta BradyPeta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at www.theword.bird.com.au or on Instagram @thewordbird_.