Date: October 3rd 2017
A Skype chat with over 10 people. Sounds difficult doesn’t it? It was actually really very efficient! First of all, because of the three rules Jonathan laid out:
No worries over grammatical errors
Anyone can type/talk at any time, regardless of whether the conversation has moved past a topic
Anyone replying to a specific comment should mention that person’s name
And second of all, because Skype saves chats! So it didn’t matter if the conversation moved too fast, or you were lingering on one topic while other spoke on a different one because you could always go back and see what had occurred.
The first thing we did was introduce ourselves. (I was quite nervous about that, don’t know exactly why). We had people based in the UK, Netherlands, Malta, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Qatar and myself in Saudi Arabia.
Then we talked a little bit about the course structure and rhythm. Extended full time mode is essentially divided into blocks of 10 weeks over a course of two years:
Unit One lasts longer as they want to encourage this period of experimentation and exploration as opposed to haranguing us with the pressure of assessments.
And the methods of assessing our performance during the course of these two units would be as follows:
Then Jonathan told us that all important info relating to the MA could be found on the wikispace http://mafineartdigital.wikispaces.com.
Then we did some further, deeper introductions and shared snippets of our work before Jonathan asked us all what we understood from the word ‘Reflection’.
Here are some of the answers that popped up: Introspection, pondering over your work, gaining a better understanding of it, identifying alternatives, checking whether you have reached your desired results, reflecting upon where improvements can be made in your work, reflection on and in practice, the audience is also part of the process of reflection, considering WHY and how our work evolved and so on and on.
The two really interesting quotes were by Ben and Janet respectively:
“To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is…at last, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away…” –Virginia Woolf quoted by Ben.
“I see reflection as the bending back of something – which could perhaps be something as abstract as an idea which has been expressed in some form.” –Janet, quoted by Janet.
Jonathan then explained that during the course of this MA we would be required to keep a reflective journal of our progress, in the form of an online blog.
And then, after a short summary of what would happen in symposium 1 next Tuesday, we ended the chat. Here’s how I acted upon the discussion from the first Skype session.