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  1. It’s distance education. You are already at a disadvantage because you don’t have a teacher to explain anything to you in person — you have to work things out yourself.
  2. Your school may forget to send the enrolment forms, leading you to become stuck in Legal Studies until your coordinator gets so sick of your nagging that she withdraws you from the class. But really, do you want to have to nag?
  3. You have to send in your assessment task for area of study 2 before you’ve finished studying it.
  4. There’s a 50% chance you’ll get the teacher who doesn’t know anything about the French Revolution and spends her time going, “So, there were only a few representatives of the Third Estate in the Parlements…”
  5. DECV students don’t get access to One of the old Revolutions teachers took offence to the “royal pornography” on the site. This was influential in that it undermined the authority, and this teacher didn’t doubt that; he just thought it was inappropriate for students to see such things. He complained to the webmaster, who pretty much said, “OK, your students don’t have to see it then.”
  6. They ask stupid questions. Lots of stupid questions. If you have an aversion to writing stupid answers to stupid questions, well… this isn’t a great course for you.
  7. They make you add a citation for pretty much every damn sentence you write. Including comprehension questions. Actually, especially comprehension questions. At least with analytical ones, you don’t have to cite the analytical sentences.
  8. They tell you which half of the exam you must write on which revolution. That is, you must write the historiography-including half on France, and the essay-including half on China. If the Chinese essay topics suck, TOO BAD. You won’t know any Chinese Revolution historians, so you’ll have to suck it up!
  9. Their set textbook — the one you’re required to buy — is OUT OF PRINT.
  10. You don’t even get to escape the spectre of “good citizenship”, because you still have to study this moron named Rousseau who sent all five of his kids to the orphanage and explained, “The orphanage will raise them to be good citizens.” I can’t blame DECV for that. What I CAN blame them for is all the questions they made me answer on him! I hope my teacher appreciates my snarky answers.


  1. I’m not surprised that you are frustrated about all of this. It’s still better than Legal, though, right?

    What’s the textbook? I’ll have a look and see if I’ve got a copy…

    Just curious – what sort of citizens did the Rousseaux Jrs turn out to be?

    • I guess it’s better than Legal Studies, but it’s a close call. Firstly, Legal Studies doesn’t sound as boring as I always thought. Secondly, DECV Revolutions is that annoying! The textbook is Analysing the French Revolution by Michael Adcock… if you have a copy, that would be great, but it’s certainly not urgent. I borrowed a copy and had another copy thrust upon me, so for now I have a surplus of textbooks. Until I give them back.

      As for Rousseau’s kids… considering the state of French orphanages in the eighteenth century, I’d say they probably ended up being dead citizens.

  2. ooh this sounds so much like any other college out there, I remember that my college was horrible at certain things to. For example, you have to buy certain text books and in all those years you never use them, not even once.

    I think it’s horrible that parents and children stare at you when you walk past. They stare at my mum too (who’s in a wheelchair). If it was me I would feel compelled to wave at them with my disabled arm, just to piss the parents off…

  3. Hi Jess,

    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with Revs – it’s a good subject if taught well, but unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.

    Re: Point 5, to clarify, there’s a cartoon image of Marie-Antoinette riding a huge penis hosted on, and the head of DECV e-mailed me to demand that it be taken off the site because it was offensive. I refused to do this, so they withdrew their subscription.

    Individual students of DECV are always welcome to contact me about possible use of and if they are nice, we might come to some arrangement.

    • I’m sure Revolutions is a great subject. I was going to study it at my “home school” this year, but we only got four people, so my school chose not to run the class. Even through DECV, I thought Revolutions would be more interesting than the alternative subjects at my school. Mostly I was irritated because I do really like history, and I don’t think DECV is doing it justice.

      I think my (home) school is still prepared to get a subscription for this year, despite not running a class, but I’d have to check on that one. Thank you for your clarification — I was going by one of the DECV teachers’ version of events, and she indicated that one specific teacher was to blame. At any rate, I thought it sounded like they had made a huge fuss over something there should have been no issues with in the first place. I don’t think you or the site were in the wrong at all.

      • Fair enough. I thought they were being extremely silly (there wouldn’t be many 17/18 year olds who don’t know what a penis looks like and might be psychologically disturbed by seeing a cartoon of one) but it was their call.

        Drop me an e-mail when you get a moment.

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