For most people, the Open University is a far off distant place that they will never see. If they are taking a one off course or are on the path to get a degree (or any other qualification with the Open University) they do most of the coursework at home, or in a local library, or at work in their lunch hour! The whole point of The Open University is that it is a place for distance learning, you never have to visit the head office.
That isn't the case for me though.
For me the Open University is a short drive away, a place I have seen regularly and know well. A place where friends and family work. To me the Open University isn't just a place of distance learning, or a work place, it's a place where Top Ender became a Top Ender. That's right Top Ender's nursery where she got her nickname is on the Open University grounds in Milton Keynes. I have told the story before, but it is something that we still get asked quite often; Just why is Top Ender called Top Ender?
The Nursery was just a few feet away from Daddy's office and so it was a good place for Top Ender to go to Nursery. The Children in the Nursery were split up into three age groups with interaction between the groups taking place daily, whilst they were out on the playground, during scheduled play and during meal times too. It was (still is!) a great nursery, with friendly and kind staff who really loved the children and other than my family I couldn't think of anybody I would leave Top Ender or Baby Boy with!
Top Ender was a toddler at the time, although for some reason she had misheard it be explained to her what group she was in and she referred to herself as a Toggler. The Toggler's had an area of the Nursery called the Paddock; It was called this because it had a fence that kept the Toggler's safe and at their end of the Nursery. As Top Ender was getting older she was gradually introduced to being in the eldest group of children at the other end of the Nursery. The Nursery workers called this the Top End and for weeks all we heard from Top Ender was how she wanted to be in the Top End of the Nursery, she wanted to be a Top Ender. Eventually Top Ender was moved permanently to the Top End of the Nursery and she came home very proud of herself and her new elevated status of being one of the oldest children at the Nursery.
Top Ender was so pleased to be a Top Ender after all this longing that she decided that she wanted to be called Princess Top Ender from that day on and so to humour her Daddy and I started calling her Princess Top Ender and it just stuck!