Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday afternoon blues

Today I am a bit stuck. I am having one of those days where I am utterly overwhelmed with all that is around me and all that there is to do and I can’t figure out where to start. So what to do?

Blog about it!

I know it might be boring for you (if you are even there) but you know I need to get some stuff out of my head and ordered in some way and this could be the place to start.

Here are a list of the things I am thinking:

1. I heard this and now I know it is true: A PhD is a long and lonely journey. So few other people have sufficient interest or knowledge about the topic, meaning that they don't get why I am ranting about its importance or about one journal article or another blah blah is a lonely place and apparently never bloody ending.

2. What to teach students?
I have an issue with the expectations of a group of students over what I feel they need or should be taught over their sense of what they need or should be learning. I am looking for a middle ground. I want to equip them with some principles but they want to know how to know how to use particular bits of software - with just 4 hours and 160 students (in groups of 20) what will really be useful for them?

3. Yesterday I went to an LSC/AWM creative inds event. It was an annual forum where regional (West Midlands, UK) 'key stake holders' feedback on what they've been up to and what they are going to do. All reasonably interesting with some new research about to be published on the regional ‘balance sheet’ (I’ll link to this when I’ve had a proper look) this describes the actual ‘supply and demand’ of our regional creative inds sector.

With regards to some of the other stuff discussed I did have a couple of concerns otherwise:

- 'Same old same old' a lot of the same issues covered again and again year on year and somehow never resolved and statistics being used inconsistently by the various stakeholders (I am aware that this is always an issue and about different interpretations of data - something I also am guilty of).

- Richard Florida is still cited widely and seems to be highly influential in regional public policy - this is a little scary, not that Florida doesn't have an interesting and useful hypothesis, more that his writings appear to be followed unquestioningly.

Okay can feel a rant brewing so will be quiet for now............

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