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Close to Christmas!!!

Well that’s it for now! My course modules for this year are completed, now I have two weeks before break-up to do with as I wish. I won’t be putting my feet up just yet, expect a lot of blog posts, the Cabinet’s next batch of items and work on my on-going side projects! There is also my Add-vantage plan to finish (which will be done soon enough!). It’s been a hectic few months finding my feet, and getting stuck into University work and life, which has been stressful at times, but I have enjoyed it nonetheless so far…

It’s been a while since I have done one of these, so… What have I learned thus far?

  • Lists are essential, especially when you are doing a little more than the course alone.
  • Will power, mainly when it comes to getting up in the mornings (or more importantly going to sleep earlier) is a necessity, fight your natural teenage body clock and get to bed around 10pm or earlier, you will wake up easy and with more energy for the day!
  •  Fruit and soup are a good thing to implement into your student diet, you feel so much fresher, and healthier from just a little bit of vitamin supplement. The fast food and booze will catch up with you!
  • Experiment when you cook, you’d be surprised how tasty the results are, most of the time anyway…
  • keep yourself busy with something extra to do on the side, you’d be surprised what it can do for your work ethic
  • If ever you get a good idea, for anything at all (work, things to do, stuff to cook) write it down, when things are hectic you’ll forget them, and regret it later.
  • When looking for houses and property, do not be afraid to snap up a deal quick, if it suits your personal criteria and is affordable, and available, DON’T WAIT! If you leave it a week, or even a few days to think about it you will undoubtedly miss out of that offer.
  • Call home when you can. As I have said before you will realise how much you miss your family and friends when you have time to breathe.
  • Keep a rational head on you when it comes to expenditure, keep records of what you spend and owe, and you will find yourself in a much easier and albeit a much safer financial year.
  • A little bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone now and again! Just don’t go over the top.
  • Try the local pubs, clubs and eating spots: get a feel for your surroundings.
  • When you are doing your coursework, essays, assignments or revision NEVER leave it to last minute because you may realise it will take longer than you realised, and you will.
  • Make plenty of friends whilst in halls, because you could well find the perfect people to live with the next year.
  • If you have a problem with someone you are living with, make it known to them earlier rather than later. Don’t let it build up to the point where you dread coming back and risk exploding at your flat-mates. Trust me on that one.
  • Make your room more home-like, style it like your own room if you like, or fill it with things you like. For example, my room is choc full of posters on ever wall, a tonne of cds and dvds, and I have brought personal affects from home, from the favourite mug to my xbox, to favourite books to cymbals (or any instrument you may play). Things like this make the environment a lot more familiar!

That’s all for now!

Expect fresh updates later today…

The 105mc reflective essay.

I updated this post, because I originally wrote it at half four in the morning after helping a colleague with her work, and I was physically and mentally exhausted, to the point where I could no longer string together coherent sentences. I have to say being sat in the access computer rooms untill early hours in the morning  was a sobering experience; I realised how much time the ‘masters’ students put into their work, its close to inhuman. I look at them and think to myself “that is dedication, maybe one day I will have the willpower to do that, or maybe I will just lose my mind a bit as I work through the night every day…” I cannot judge as I do not know what kind of life they live… Anyway, I am still exhausted, so my work will be uploaded, I will sleep, and then figure out what I am doing next…

Expect fresh updates in a week or so.

Much love x

New plans after a busy day…

It’s been a tough day, our 72 hour project did not turn out how I wanted it to, which is very frustrating to say the least. I am counting the pieces of work that are piling up, and whilst I continue to work on them more ideas are coming into my head. I know I have a reflective analysis to do, both groups’ weekly assignments to do and coursework to continue but I have a few new ideas…

The first one is photography. Yeah I know I am not a professional photographer, nor do I know a lot about cameras, but after being assigned the photography group work I am inspired to take a few pictures of my own, or at least sketch out some ideas… That’s all I seem to do anyway!

The other idea is a new side project; I won’t say anything about it other than it has the majority of my attention, so the rest is on hold to an extent. I am currently writing a plot plan as it came to me pretty fast but I think with a little work this could turn out to be an exciting venture, whether this becomes a short film, or another series or even a short novel!

Anyway here is the result of a 72 hour project. To be honest it’s so-so, perhaps that’s why I feel the need to compensate with all these projects – prove that I can really make something incredible… I don’t know, maybe I should just remake the video closer to how I planned, even if it is only with a DV camera. To quote myself in a group work session (without sounding obnoxious) “Your best friend is yourself, because you can rely on yourself to get the job done when all else fails”

http://vimeo.com/31913686

Time to meet ‘AMHADRA’ for some photo work, then a bit of coursework and society journalism. Maybe if I am lucky I will add a few more cabinet items and work on my new project!

A 72 hour challenge, and my first experience of ‘Coventry Conversations’

It has been a long and tiresome week, the work load has been pretty heavy but I have survived nevertheless.

My group and I have just completed the 72 hour challenge, we were tasked with creating a music video for a ‘Ghost Poet’ song (who was a previous student at Coventry five years ago) which proved to be a test of our teamwork and communication skills more than anything. Fortunately the group was able to bring forward useful skills from each person (such as acting, editing and camera work) and the task was executed efficiently. Any way here is a link to the video.

The other interesting experience today was the ‘Coventry Conversation’ on journalism. It has left me with a lot to think about. The speaker Paul Bradshaw emphasised the importance of interaction with the community, and how validating information can prove to be much more successful than the most elaborate piece of writing (when there will be other journalists doing the same thing in a saturated field).

I was inspired by his ethos towards journalists of today, he said that a good journalist does not rely on a organisational force to support them, nor a bountiful supply of resources/additional assets.  If the individual can interact with the community as opposed to ‘provide for a consumer’ (the traditional approach which is still at large in many cases) then one can gain recognition (all we need is the new media or internet and we already have an array of channels of communication.)

Being able to make validations and pick through the mass of user generated data/information is something both governments and companies are incapable of, so those journalists who are efficient at this can find a job very easily.

A lot of food for thought here, a lot of ideas I never thought about before. These CC’s are definitely worth the time. I think I may start being more pro-active in user journalism as well as going to more CC’s. But before I can start writing more articles I have a CUEAFS feature to finish.

Much Love x

A short essay at break!

I typed this up during a break today, it was some group work that I decided to take into my own hands and just get done. check it out if you want 🙂

For this piece of work we had to find a photograph and a painting that shared something in common (this could be subject matter, colours, audience response etc). So we chose two images that were linked by the subject of death. The ‘Falling Man’ and ‘The Death of Nelson’, Whilst these iconic images are from seperate times and the visuals of the pieces are different too, they both conjure up a mix of visceral and emotional feelings as a response. Obviously they both take on the subject of death as they portray particular individuals during their last moments of life, but one is a historic figure of British military history whilst the other is an individual- an anonymous (as far as we know) member of society, who falls victim to one of the worst terrosist atrocities in Western history.

‘The Death of Nelson’ is a visual representation (a painting) of Lord Nelson, who was fatally wounded during the Battle of Trafalgar. This was a historic  battle, as the freedom of the country rested in the hands of those committed to the defence against the French invaders. Those of us who know anything about this famous battle know that the defenders were seen as heroes of Britain, and Nelson was no exception. His death was seen as tragic, but at the same time a valiant sacrifice in the name of Great Britain. The colours that really stand out are the reds (from the marines’ jackets and flags) amongst the greys of the gun smoke and distant ships. This gives it a patriotic connotation as well as the message we take from simply looking at (contextually speaking the red-coats of the British soldiers were a universally recognised image, they at the time were one of the greatest fighting forces in Europe and were seen as a force to be reckoned with). We likened the stark use of red in the painting to the film ‘Battleship Potemkin’, as a signifier of unified power.

  

 The ‘Falling man’ is a much more shocking picture, as we are presented with the image of a man in his last seconds as he plummets from the twin towers. I think the thing that makes this far more shocking than ‘The Death of Nelson’ is that his death was without reason, without purpose: A result of a terrorist retaliation way out of his power, this man was just a normal individual (like you and I) who most likely logged in to the office for another day of work. When death comes to those who do not face it (as readily as Nelson did) it is much more of a shock to us, especially when it is as sudden as the tragic attacks of 9/11. Visually the image is very simplistic, and I think that makes it all the more shocking; unlike ‘The Death of Nelson’ there is nowhere else to look, no other character in the image to turn to for narrative or escape; there is no story of great sacrifice or defeat, but merely a panic sticken civilian who chooses a painless death over a slow one. All we have is the grey face of the building he jumps from, with no stand out colours, gestures or messages- making this image both uncomfortably real, as it is harrowing.

Not bad for a 20 minute job (as I had to think on my feet and choose the images too).

Anyways, I gotta be working on the pieces for the East Asian Film Society! expect cabinet updates tomorrow for sure!

Peace out for now! x

From Hemingway to us, my attempts at micro stories…

So we were set this work by one of our lecturers, pretty interesting stuff actually. The famous story by Hemingway “For sale, Children’s shoes, never worn” and we had to make our own as well as analyse his famous works.

Most of this will be uploaded by me on the group Blog, but I will put a few of my ‘attempts’ on here for you to laugh at, or figure out the meanings O_o…

“After we’re gone, remember our work; procrastinated and over-rated”

“Stacked precariously, hanging in balance, but play these games anyway”

“I’m an ant in a hill of plans” – That is one of my song lyrics ^^ should I upload yay or nay? :P

Hemingway – an analysis (written by me!)

I took this off the group blog to put on here too, so I can show some of the stuff I am up to…

Don’t worry, I’m not stealing the group work! This was mine anyways! :P

Our first task was to analyse one of Hemingway’s famously short stories “For sale, children’s shoes, never worn.” Most people after initially reading this ‘story’ would question if it can even qualify as a story; it isn’t a grammatically complete sentence (it is more like a statement without context), it lacks a visible narrative structure, it is missing typical conventions such as defined characters and purpose. But what we can take from this is what it is implying, as opposed to what it lacks, instead of a passive text we are encouraged to interact with the information provided in order to mentally flesh out the story for themselves.

So we have to ask ourselves… “Even if I try to make sense of this statement, even if I interact with the text, what information can I get from it?” Unfortunately there really cannot be one clear cut “yes or no” answer for something like this; when it comes down to each of us analysing the information it becomes a subjective observation – we will all draw different readings from what is laid in front of us. Imagination will vary from person to person, so people will create their own information to ‘fill the gaps’ differently.

We as a group took a fairly unanimous reading from this story; we linked the statement to a war themed context (possibly world war II due to the evacuations), and disaster (child death on a large scale, possibly genocide, possibly bombing, or possibly abortions). The reason we felt strongly that it was around the time of a large scale war (possibly post war as that is when the full effects are realised) was mainly because we know entire generations can be wiped out, and the population feels this through the subsequent surplus/redundancy of particular supplies or practices. The other possible reading was a prediction of our future; perhaps Hemingway had a bleak outlook on the shape of things to come. As I stated before there really cannot be one definite explanation (especially in literature), and unless we miraculously travel back in time to interview Hemingway personally we will never know how ‘right’ we are.

A lot of information can be generated around “For sale, children’s shoes, never worn”, and I think that’s why Hemingway considered this to be one of his best stories ever written. This story is short and easy to remember, but at the same time it is powerful, meaningful. It hits you like any good story should, but it does so without having to conform to the various paradigms that make a quintessential ‘story’.

Group work Blog

Okay, so it’s been a busy day. Seminars and lectures coupled with getting into a new group. No this doesn’t mean I will stop working with the other guys, but for now we are all pretty busy.

I set up a blog for the new group. I’m just about to upload character profiles.

http://keyconceptsd2.wordpress.com/

Much love x

First Week

So its the first week over and done with, and to quote Robert Plant “I’ve been dazed and confused for so long…”

Nah but seriously its been an interesting week. Met some new people, had a photographer belittle me and the class for not being pro-active enough, thought a lot about what I want to get out of this course. And I still think time will tell.

One particularly interesting project was basically make a film in a day, so I set off with a few other class mates and co-directed and shot a montage style film showing Coventry through the eyes of the new Students. I had a lot of fun doing it, but it remains to be seen whether or not we have passed. If we fail then I have another idea in the works, but I will be a little pissed due to the fact that I had a tough time editing the whole footage with whatever software I could grab for free; the IT services guy said it is “Character building” and I guess he’s right. There is a Vlog on the way, should be up and running by next week, the first episode or so will be me and my man Hak expressing our feelings about this sobering taste of University work. A special shout-out to my Uncle as we used one of his old band’s songs. He’s a fantastic musician and a great guy, check out his Myspace for a taster of the tuneage.

http://www.myspace.com/408564655

The finished video is on Hak’s youtube account, we didn’t upload it on mine because the internet in my flat is shambolic… So yeah check it out, it’s not too shabby for a one day job.

So to conclude this week I ask myself, what have I learnt thus far?

Don’t trust Coventry’s infamous IT services or video editing software, it will screw you over faster than Nick Clegg.

Don’t try to do everything by yourself; its good to have a couple of people working with you when it comes to pushing for the deadline.

Make lists, ALL THE TIME. Don’t forget stuff, you are fair game since day one.

Watch the money budget; Buy what you need, not what Sainsbury’s thinks is a ‘good deal’

Get ID before freshers week; I don’t need to spell that out.

Stick to a sleeping pattern, that’ll come in handy when you gotta get up in a hurry.

AND FINALLY

Don’t forget to call home sometimes; when you have time to breathe you will realise you miss home.

That’s it for now folks, Laters…

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