Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Those moments...

I'm really happy to be hearing from so many of you this past week that those moments of things 'clicking', questions coming, feeling your research has been kickstarted.  I know a few of you have already spoken in your blogs about waiting for those moments of productivity to come, about hoping that that flash of inspiration may just strike at the moment when you're in your study place, armed with computer, notepad, books etc..but also at how that is just not always the case!

I do think it's worth reflecting on those 'moments' though (after the flurry of frantically trying to get all the thoughts down on paper that is before the moment passes)! Maybe begin to identify if there is anything in particular which leads to them, a state of mind, a place, surrounding environment, activity you;re engaged with etc, that may be your trigger if you like to having that mind/body space for moments to occur.  It may be more sporadic and random than this, or you may begin to see a pattern, and so could use to learn to recognise how you learn/work/create most effectively?

I co-led a workshop last weekend called Creative Spaces, and found it really interesting to notice through movement patterns our habits, securities, insecurities, 'moments' and how these revealed themselves in different relationships with others, the space, time, music and conversation throughout the day.  As teachers we learn to recognise and pick up on a dancers habits (usually deemed as 'bad' habits) in terms of posture, alignment, tension etc, but once out of 'training' as such (though never out of learning at all) perhaps we don't benefit from the eye of another picking up on these for us.  Identifying them for ourselves becomes imperative and moves far beyond the studio (posture, alignment type references) to embody, I believe a more environmental consideration and observation.  How do we react in certain situations, where do we feel comfortable, where do we feel challenged, inspired, creative, how do 'those moments' occur for us?

Some food for thought anyway as you move through your modules at this stage.
Module Ones' identifying your Areas of Learning now, choosing one to work on initially with your advisor and then building and developing the others.  Remember the number so AOLs will vary between you, we're looking for somewhere between 5 and 8, do let Adesola or myself know your proposed titles so that we can advise you here.

Module Two's you've identified your area of research - great!  Looking back to the handbooks now and beginning to look at possible research methods, how are you forming your questions, what are you questioning, how will you gather data, what might that data look like...?

Module Three's, heads down and ploughing through!  Remember we're here when you need us, equally realise you've got plenty to be keeping you busy right now, so not going to prompt you with tasks as such.



  1. Thanks Helen, you've prompted me to try and pin down how those 'moments' happen for me. They are definitely about a state of mind, whether I'm at work or watching TV or anywhere really, I need to feel relaxed to be inspired and motivated to study. Often something I've read or a conversation with a colleague or friend will trigger the positive feeling of productivity, and I have to try and hang on to the thread of my thoughts by making a few quick notes if I can't get to my computer to put in some time there and then. This state also happens when I don't put pressure on myself and when I've completed other small, nagging admin tasks that leave me a clear headspace. Prioritising things helps, as there is no way I can think about AOL's if I have a session tomorrow that isn't well prepared. When I feel I've gained a little bit of control over the daily tide of tasks, so I'm not stressed, then pleasure in study seems to follow. As a result, afternoons and evenings work best for me.

  2. Hi Helen - this relates to my 'hopping' realisation which I have blogged about recently. My output seems to come in intense bursts of focussed work, but within them I am working simultaneously on all areas of Module 3 as they all feel so interconnected. I am used to focussing on one thing at a time, with deadlines as the marker for ordering, but as all Module 3 work bar the presentation has to be submitted at the same time it is not as simple as dates in the diary this time round! I like working when I have a decent chunk of time to dedicate to my work, but as this is only really at weekends due to my weekday commute and work hours, I have to discipline myself to acknowledge that 1 hour of work can really contribute to my learning. I am really looking forward to my Christmas break as I have several consecutive ‘days off’ when I will be able to work ad infinitum without the 6.30 alarm call looming with a full college day to follow. I have been on a roll this weekend, sat with music in my ears and little to distract me, but having just got back from a brief gym visit after 8 hours in the same chair, I have realised that I have good lightbulb moments at the end of a long period of working; a good idea for my Artefact popped into my head whilst on the bike and I have come home to see how I can integrate it. I often also rearrange my written work in my mind when I am not at the computer, or remember things I had thought of before and forgotten to include. Being at the gym, and that bit of time before nodding off are my ‘reflection’ times and my work times are dictated by when I have the time available. I am also writing what feels right at the moment, and I know I will have to edit some documents considerable, but I am at ease with that as I would rather have too much than too little. I find I can end a long session of work at the computer and realise that I have been in a ‘different place’ which is just my work and I often have to read what I have written back to confirm what I have done, although I am really aware of what I am doing when I am doing it. Does that make sense?

    I have also had moments when I have digressed and done other tasks rather than the intended one, but I am getting better at accepting that it is best to let what wants to come out come out, rather than forcing myself to so something to order. One way or another I will get there!