Today I was late!! The shock!! Yes late, I’m never late but today I was so when I had arrived for my lesson i was immediately bombarded with Sandra telling me to pick a picture and join a group as they were just about to their activity. There were tons of pictures all sprawled out over the floor so after having a quick glance I picked the one I thought jumped out to me the most… (Which compared to everyone else’s seemed really boring!) I then proceeded to join a group which untimely ended up being Perry’s and Dom’s, they both had chosen pictures to. The task was called “visual attitudes” and with our pictures we were asked to answer the questions provided using them (which wasn’t easy). The questions were how does the picture relate to feedback and assignments given at university? How does the picture relate to when you find yourselves stuck on assignments or projects?
As I was late, Dom and Perry were already finished but kindly explained what it was we were doing and what I had to do on top of explaining their answers in accordance to their pictures which was interesting. Perry’s picture was of a lumber jack balancing on top of a log surrounded by lots of other logs which were in water. Perry felt this picture showed the balance in between work like, social life and Uni life and trying to maintain the correct balance between them all. Dom’s picture was of a motor way with loads of roads and alternative routes. When I first looked at it, to me it look chaotic but Dom chose this picture because he felt as if feedback can be taken in more ways than one and sometimes essays can go on one hundred different directions and none of them right or wrong and this picture symbolised that for him. The picture I grabbed was of cogs, I chose this because it stood out for me for many reasons. I decided not to answer the question in any particular order, I just wrote down what came to mind.
– No grease: without the grease the cogs won’t be able to run smoothly nor operate. The grease being a key component in the operation, in the students case the grease being the lecturer. As if we don’t understand the task we are being given then we won’t be able to complete it successfully.
– Missing cog: similar to a missing piece of the puzzle or missing piece of information which could lead to miscommunication of the assignment which In turn you may end up getting wrong.
– Cogs running in both directions: this reminded me of feedback as I sometimes feel we go two steps forward to come ten steps back as were in a constant process or trial and error.
– Circle with jagged edges: the obstacles we face and the rise and fall of assignments, as soon as one is done were set another one. Refers to the marks were given to as I’ve previously said I sometimes feel we go two steps forward to come ten steps back as were in a constant process or trial and error so our grades can dip.
– Nut and bolt: finding our place academically and being comfortable within that place.
– Cog patterns: our individuality, our stamp and our mark on higher education. Finding our academic voice.
After we had finished making notes on our pictures, a couple of groups decided to share their ideas and their pictures with the rest of the class. We then moved onto our next activity. For this one we were asked to analyse a collage that were made by staff at the university. The collage was divided into the three sections / three questions which we had already been focusing on and discussing. Beginning from the right had side, the pictures stuck to the collage represented feedback, the pictures in the middle represented assignment and the pictures on the left hand side represented the sticking point. I decided to take pictures of the collage (to save me the trouble of having to move) and decided to explain what I felt the pictures meant individually. So in no particular order, here they are.
– Baby in superhero costume asleep: “anyone can be cool but awesome takes practice” is what initially sprung to mind when looking at this picture. I also thought that it could suggest hiding our identity or complying or giving in to someone or something to try and be something or someone you’re are not in an academic sense, writing a specific way because you think it will impress your lecturer.
– Child whose eyes are being covered by fruit: “the fruits of our labour” is what sprung to mind as we are paving the way for our children and our children’s, children. After having a closer look I realised that there are a pair of hands which are holding the fruit which are covering the child’s eyes. I felt this could be in reference to us going in and not knowing what to expect. It also reminded me of a trust exercise where you are blindfolded and have someone to lead you around whilst blindfolded because of this I thought it could symbolise trust within our course, lecturers and peers.
– Hand with choice written on it: I immediately thought of “if you don’t like your world then change it” as you can be anything you want to be in life but only if you’re determined enough to work for it hence it being your choice.
– Business lady in two toned dress: I thought this meant being half in and half out as your on the verge of maturity from transitioning from student life into the working world and into a career.
– Flashy car: I immediately thought this could possibly mean the end result. What you will be able to afford once you finally finish the degree and start to make a successful career. I also though this could signify travel and the journey we are on currently but also we could end up.
– Lady with dog and dog food: wasn’t entirely sure what to make of this one… apart from the dog looking impressed with his dog food!
– IPad, laptop and phone: I felt this symbolised how digital everything has become, you can find books and sources online. You now have to submit your essays online. It also symbolised to me distraction, I personally get distracted by my phone but I also tend to write the majority of my blogs on my phone and through the WordPress app.
– Group of people together: group work can bring out new ideas and make people look at ideas or opinions differently which can shape new thinking. Group work is a good support structure; if you’re struggling you can ask your friends for help.
– Mind Games: the obstacles we face when we are starting our assignments and the stages we go through, I know I always begin with 1) how am I going to start? 2) What am I going to put down for my introduction? 3) Have I answered the question?
– Woman being clenched in hand: feeling the pressure from modules, lecturers and assignments. Also feeling squeezed for time!
– Family in kitchen and knife: I noticed the knife and felt this could be a knife to metaphorically cut the tension or could be quite intimidating, I know for some assignments I find them quite intimidating even after I’ve submitted them.
– Little girl with pan on her head: reminded me of information not be transmitted due to the pan on her head being in the way or this could be her armour.
As a group we went around the room and decided to share some of the ideas we had got down about what we thought some of the images represented. After a few of us had shared our ideas Sandra then took us through her and her colleagues point of view on the images they chose and what they meant. I thought I would share a few below…
– Baby in superhero costume asleep: students being unconscious when receiving feedback and not taking it on board.
– Child whose eyes are being covered by fruit: students closing their eyes or to afraid to look at their feedback.
– Hand with choice written on it: the more you put into it the more you will get out of it but it’s ultimately you’re choice.
– Lady with dog and dog food: the dog showing and giving positive reinforcement to its owner after being given better dog food.
– Two guys talking: Power imbalance between students and lecturers when the assignment has been set or is going to be marked. Students may take their grades to heart.
– Woman being clenched in hand: Students being squeezed for time and the pressure they undergo studying and juggling work, family, childcare etc.
And that task nicely ended our lesson as we have now broken up for Easter holidays! However that doesn’t mean to say there’s no work to be done!! I’m currently working on a project which I’m really excited about so I’ve decided to give you a sneak peak!!