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

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

How have you constructed your thoughts about...

This post is about looking at what three things mean to you and how you can interact with them:
A)    What it means to work when doing a work-based learning course,
B)   What campus sessions are / mean
C)   Notes about stuff on posts

I am starting with (C) – I am really excited about the SKYPE group calls plan see my post last week. If you want to do it my SKYPE address is in the handbook. This blog is open to anyone and everyone because I think the idea of open access is interesting and education needs to work out how to engage with the idea. But I don’t want my SKYPE address to be open access!! So I am not posting it, just look in the handbook. I have at least one person for each module discussion BUT for a group we need more than one so join in.. 

Looking at Blog posts this week I read Rhoda’s blog post about how much data she has. I think it’s really useful and not just because she mentions me!!! Have a look and leave her a comment on what you think.

Looking at (B). This relates to the open access ideas I hate to endorse too much use of Wikipedia but for the common understanding of something it is useful. Here’s what they say about open access.   

What do you think?

The philosophy of this course has something to do with the changes in how we can understand learning, information, knowledge and connection that the inter-net has raised. We see these issues in our everyday social life and work life. We begin the course by flagging it up, but this is for more than just how to get noticed for the next audition it is about thinking about how we interact and connect with each other. On this course we have decided to come together in the web 2:0 ‘world’ it seemed that because people are working or looking for work in the professional arena that the Internet offers two interesting concepts that we can use. Firstly, connection with each other out side of time and space as we usually use it. I am writing now, about things I care about and hopefully connecting with you but you are not ever in the same time or space as me even though we connect. Before internet maybe we could use a letter in this way to some extent but a letter requires a physical object that travels the distance between us. From my time and space to yours – the internet offers another way to address time and space. I am interesting this because of my work in embodiment.

So the internet and the blogs and lib-guides are our shared point of connection. That’s what that’s about – what do you think? How have to understood what the blogging is all about? You can see that from the perspective I have just described it is really important you post on your blog and comment on others. It is how you participate. So the campus sessions are not the places where we give you information that is on the web in Lib-guides, group emails & blogs. The campus sessions are places where we can come together to talk about what we think of the information. We then share out what we found. So not coming to a campus session is not about missing important information it is about missing connecting in a particular way – in physical person. You my be someone who needs this or likes to work that way but other than feeling sad about not working in your preferred way you are not missing key information. I think the coming together of people to talk is really fun and interesting. One of my advisees was really worried about missing a campus session and that is what made me think we should think of other ways to interact together in conversation – hence the group SKYPE idea (see previous post).

This course is not about us giving you information and you telling us back what we said. It is about you pulling the information and meaning toward you through a range of sources and us nurturing and encouraging that process. We are here to help you find meaning and value in the information. So not coming to a campus session does not mean you miss having us inject you with information.
How do you see the campus sessions? How are you finding the connections you make on the course with peers with advisors, with the handbooks, with other people’s literature….etc…?

Point (A) It’s a work-based learning course. To me that means work is central (your professional practice) so the course should not be an either /or situation: study or work. The point is you are studying your work. If you get offered a job while on this course do not see it a conflict – I mean maybe we are doing a good job of helping you open yourself to new possibilities and deeper thought and that has shifted your approach to something in a positive way or made you more attractive to employers. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that as you open the door into deep thought around your practice you get a job!!! Of course I am not saying you are validated by a paid job but think about the experience and see how things connect.

Of course work out with your advisor any admin problems if you are worried about getting work posted off for deadlines or less internet access but we are all imaginative people we can make it work. The opportunity is that the work will add experience to your study at MDX and the study at MDX with add depth to your work. That is point. If you are not finding that synergy then think about it because that is why we ask you to centre around your professional Practice in the work you hand in for assessment. Part of this course is about placing yourself in your work context, better understanding what you bring to your practice what your influences are, what you want to know more and more about. How have you seen the relationship between ‘work’ and ‘study’ so far? Have you noticed work informing study and study informing work? What is your experience in this?

Please comment
Keep up the good work

Thursday, 21 February 2013

SKYPE group calls

Well, the SKYPE experiment when well on Tuesday. It seems we can have groups of four or five to talk together. We can't see each other (without the supper-dupper SKYPE package) but it is the group conversation that is nice. I am thinking about this in terms of people who can't make campus sessions. BUT the problem is you students are pretty slow on the blog post reading!!!! not many people responded to my last post.  So I am giving you a bit of time to read this before some trial group discussions:
I am going to try to have:
a module one group discussion March 5th at 7pm (London time for those on tour etc..)
a module two group discussion March 5th 8:30pm
a module three group discussion March 6th 8:30pm

Whose wants to join in???

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Trying out an idea

I want to try out using SKYPE to have a group virtual Campus session!!! I need four or five people who want to give it a go. I was thinking about doing a trial on Tuesday 19th at 7:30 British time. It is particularly for those people not in UK or London or people who have to work during the day. Campus sessions are like think-tanks where students get to talk about common issues, ideas experiences and then we blog about this to the wider community. If you don't make a campus session it does not mean you are missing out on information it is just the experience of meeting and chatting live with peers. However for those on tour or just have work conflicts etc... getting to Hendon can be difficult. The part you are missing is the talking live to peers part, so this little experiment address that. If it works ok then we can do it more... Who wants to give it a go. Please leave a comment and if you want to help send me a SKYPE request so I have your address.

Friday, 15 February 2013

How you are experienced -

Here are some thoughts sparked by Module One, first task. Module Twos and Module Threes please read this because these are not thoughts in terms of tips for passing Module One, they are ideas about the layers you can find in the work. Don’t think of a module ending and that’s it. The ideas introduced in each module has something to offer whatever stage you are at. Ideas are introduced in a module as tools ways of looking at things. These are tools we are hoping you will use on-goingly; throughout this course and into your work arena and beyond your time at Middlesex!!

So I am looking at some ideas introduced in Module One, but this should be relevent to everyone on the course.
The CV
We ask you to use your CV as a starting point for posting / thinking about introducing yourself and what your experiences is. Page 11 in the Module One handbook states.

You should take your current professional CV and rewrite as a profile improving on its quality and Upload this as your blog profile.’

Why are we asking you to do this: because we want you to start to see your Self in different contexts. To see yourself beyond how you were positioned in your prior learning environment and start to see yourself in terms of the different parts of YOUR life. Part of doing this is to start thinking about what you ‘have done’ which is what a CV narrates. See my previous blog posts on this.
Positioning of Self
(October 10th 2010)

(Re-thinking this might be really useful people starting Module Two to give your self a ‘what have I just done moment’ and to contextualise any feedback you have just got from the work you just handed in (your assessed work)).

So here is what is happening for me. I feel really uncomfortable that you could feel encouraged  to just post your ‘audition’ CV. I don’t like the details such as dress size, you  SHOULD NOT post your street address as most CVs have at the top. I think it is kind-a icky to have some of those details which are about costume fittings or ‘look’ (like brown eyes etc…) on your blog which is open access to anyone who finds it. But then you are not being asked to do this directly because how relevant is that kind of CV to this context. I want to encourage you to think about the message and appropriateness of the CV you post in the context of an open-access, learning blog.

Hopefully you will look at it and develop something new for this context. The ‘about me’ part of the Blog sort of serves as a CV area too. You could post about the process you took and use the actually CV you develop as your ‘About me’ content. The point is to question what it will be like for people coming across your blog. What experience will they have of you, since the blog might be the only experience they have of you. It is not just what you want to say because you know much more of the story behind the intentions you have as you make your blog. It is also about stepping ‘outside’ yourself to imagine how you are experienced. THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF ETHICS.

A chunk of Ethics is introduced in Module Two so module Twos and Threes what do you think of the above in terms of how you are approaching ethics?

Although formally introduced in Module Two it is sooooooo important to note that everything we do, every decision we make has something to say within the realm of ethics. Because experience is transactional there is inter-play you are experienced as something… ethics is about looking at how you or what you create or do are experienced.

In this case you can ask yourself questions about why you chose the photo you chose to represent you on your blog. Does it actually look like you? Is it what you were told was a good headshot? Did you choose it because you like to think of yourself that way? What does it say about what you want to appear as? How you want to be experienced? How is it an ‘ethical’ representation of you??? what other things have you considered: are you put off posting on your blog because of your spelling and you don't want spelling mistakes to represent You? What things do you consider in other contexts (at auditions, at work...). do you think to think of yourself as a 'good' person!

You can ask similar questions about how you construct a CV for your blog. What pressures do you feel you have to conform to? Where is honesty in the representation of your Self? Is it possible to represent your Self ever? Is it more about learning to being what people want you to be in different parts of your life? 

Module Twos these questions are important to you because you are starting to take your ideas (questions) out beyond your own Reflective work (journals and blog posts) and looking at literature, peers and other professionals to see what they think – but at the same time you can be thinking about these questions of representation, transaction, how things are experienced through thinking about how much value you put in information from different people because of how they appear to you. How you experience them. How much you and what you put out alters what you receive / perceive.

Module threes this resonates with you because of course you are starting to be out in the field talking, interviewing reading and you can think about how much of You, you are gathering and how much of the ‘other person’ or ‘other’ idea it is possible for you to gather. How does the way to approach people change what you see or hear in them? I do not think you are looking for a neutral way to do this but instate to note down the impact you think you have on an encounter as being as important as the conversation / information you get from an encounter.

So what do you think? How has this post come across?? What do you think of thinking of ethics as ‘How you are experienced’?


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Starting up

Welcome back returning students and welcome new people. As you start to organise yourself and read the handbooks I hope you will get going blogging and commenting. I am writing a quick blog on citations requested by Mel. Module Twos and Threes are thinking about their feedback. As you start it is a good time to look at your work with fresh eyes. If you are new starting Module One now is a good time to read through other peoples blogs and see what people have been doing and thinking.

We use the Harvard system. The idea of a citation is that you are letting the Reader know where you got an idea or quote from. It is making sure you recognise the places things come from. It also allows the Reader to go and find out more about that idea or the rest of the quote because they know where it came from. This is how they know you write the name of the person who said it and the date of the publication they said it in just after you mention it (for example (Smith 2012)). If it is a quote you also write the page number (for example Smith, 2012 p.65). Now the Reader has what they need to be a detective.

First they go to the end of your writing to the bibliography. There you will have written the longer version. The name of the person is first (Smith) so they can find the name you had in the text and then they check the date (2012). Smith might have written a number of things that you have quoted at different times so there maybe a (Smith, 2007) as well. Then the rest of the long citation in the bibliography tells us the name of the book and who published. The whole point of all of this is that the Reader can go to the library and get the same book you were looking at. Then they can turn to the page (p.65) and read what you read that led you to write about the idea in your paper. It is all about giving the write information so we can have the same (reading) experience as you.

If you quote someone – even if you have just said something about that person you still have to use a citation at the end of the quote, anyway you need to put the page number as well.

For example:
James Smith writes about cows in his book ‘I love milk’. Here he is point out that grass is really important.

‘It was green and beautiful and fed the cows very well’ (Smith, 2012 p.65)

Also see past posts:

Adesola's BA PP blog: What Sam and Billy say: What Sam and Billy say

Looking forward to a great term everyone