If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Thursday, 29 September 2011


This is the first week. There is a sense of anticipation that is always really exciting when you begin things. One makes promises to oneself and it feels like there is a clear goal (at this point). It’s the journey that is where the learning lies and therefore it is also the journey that can be changeable and sometimes distracting. Planning is a way of mapping the journey you will take even if you decide to change your goal or the journey takes you to an unexpected place your planning /map helps you locate where you are, how far you are from your original goal etc…

There is an interesting set of BBC documentaries about the ‘Beauty of maps’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s2w83

Mapping how you plan to proceed especially in terms of time (when you want to get tasks and writing done by) is really useful.

Also look at how you are presenting your work. Blogs have been made most famous by people who have used them in ways so that they seem to be sharing the details of their life with the world. The film ‘Julie and Julia’ is based on a blog that became very popular but was basically someone writing about the meals they cooked each night. BUT that’s not the only way to write or use blogs. 

Our blogs come out of the idea that informal conversations at the door of the lecture room or in the changing rooms or exchanges in discussion in the classroom are in fact when most learning goes on. ‘Round the water fountain’ conversations are a way to get ideas clear by talking to others or to listen to another person’s way of thinking and maybe find that helps you with your own ideas. But we don’t have a place we are all gathering to have these kinds of informal conversations so…what about having them around a virtual doorway – in the blog world. So we thought the blogs could be away to have those important informal conversations without being limited by the places we are in. What’s more because we are all in different places and spaces we bring even more to the conversations.  So think about what that means in terms of your blog and writing style.

The importance is not on writing in the ‘welcome to my inner thoughts / world style’ , the importance is in the interaction. Writing things that are clear and to the point and share how and why your thinking that way – the experiences you are having is important in terms of the interaction of sharing them. It also explains why commenting is so important. Commenting is having the conversation via the blogs.

Task 1a / 1st Module: Please, DO NOT put your address on anything (for instance the C.V.) and I recommend not putting your phone number either if you want a contact info part use an email anywhere.

This whole 1st module is about positioning yourself looking at what you have done, what you have around you (your networks), how you see yourself (general reflection), so that you can move on to the next modules to work out what you can add to / work on further to complete your foundation in Professional Practice in a BA (Hons). The tasks in the first module are about looking at yourself - so see how it is best to present that past professionally.

Read my past blogs:
Positioning of Self – Saturday 16 October 2010 

Positioning of Self – Thursday 25 March 2010 

This is good to remember for people in Modules 2 & 3 each module is part of a progression: look back to work out your trajectory. You might have changed your ideas about some of the things you did in Module 1 (& 2), now you’ve experienced doing them. So don’t hang on to things just ‘because’ that was how you first thought about it. Let them develop, Use the blogs to share where your developing is taking you. The blogs can end up as a map of your journey made even more meaningful by the input of others.

Hope to have some comments soon I’m wondering if my comments settings are broken!!! Email me if they are.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Welcome (back)

Hi welcome (back)
Here are some starting back conversation starters.
First, if I am your advisor and haven’t already emailed you I will be next week. There are a number of advisors on the course we all have blogs and they are all useful because different people have different ways to explain and share things. I am going to be writing blogs that are across all three modules. So sometimes my post might be more useful to someone on Module (3) than Module (1) but it is useful to think of the WHOLE course as one thing. Not to think of each module as a closed set of activities we are making you do!! By thinking about what people are doing at other points in the course you might find something really useful for your current study. Also don’t feel if you have finished a module there is nothing more to get out of it. Keep looking backward and forward (its how you locate yourself).

So… for people beginning the last module (3760) (that is Module (3), the research project) a couple of things:
1)    the last module you did was to plan what you are doing now – but its not written in stone, look at the feedback you had on your grading form, think about it now you have had the summer to let the idea settle.
2)    Adapting your method, addressing questions your advisor highlighted is all part of the process. DO NOT think the whole thing is just about gathering data. You can get all the data in the world but it is only as useful as the questions you ask of it.
3)    The module is about the process (as is pretty much everything we are doing) NOT ABOUT you finding an answer to some problem – Let the PhD students save the world and publish stuff. Believe me you don’t need the headache! Just focus on your process, your artistic development, what you can LEARN. We are looking for you to show us what you learn from the experience that is all (and that is a lot).

So get chatting talk to people about what you think blog, email, don’t hide away trying to get a perfect answer for your project.

For people beginning Module (2) (3630). Have a look at what happen last year. Look at the blogs see what you can learn from observing what other people thought about. This module is quite extensive. Start to get on with things get the reading done its more intense than the first module because we are asking you apply some of the principles you are learning about.

For people beginning the first Module (1) (3730) and everyone else remember this is not a set of hoops we want you to jump through. We have planned something that we hope will be useful and meaningful to you in YOUR situation. Try not to see the module as something to critique, or on the other hand something God ordained. Try and apply the ideas to your life. See if they are useful and in doing that see what you learn from them. Do not be put off by starting to blog just get on with doing it.

If you are re-doing a module have a look at what you did last time but also let go of some of the things that seemed like obstacles. Move forward, work out what helped you last time and what hindered you.

Get advice from your advisor if you got an unexpected mark. It was higher than you expected work out what you did to get that response, if it was lower work out what you did to get that response.

For everyone MAKE a timeline for yourself, work backwards from the hand-in date Jan 9th 2012. Work out what you need to hand in to be marked. This is different from what you will be doing as tasks. Work out when you need to have a final draft by in order to get feedback from your advisor if you want it. Work out all the things you want to do right up to today. Make a plan and be kind enough to yourself to stick to it.

OK these moments, these people on the course are all unique; make the most of all the interesting people who in the course. If you find it’s a lot to do especially with work etc… FIGURE OUT how it can help you AT work. IT IS WORK BASED LEARNING, it should be apart of what you are already doing not something separate from you.

Have fun