End of 2nd Year Constellation PDPPosted: April 14, 2016
Overall my constellation experience throughout level 5 has been a real learning curve, as I have definitely noticed the academic jump from level 4. I have never been a confident writer and have always tried to avoid academia wherever possible, nonetheless this year I have had to learn so many new skills and topics which have really helped me to get into constellation a bit more. Term 1 was definitely a struggle for me, was my topic area was philosophy, which isn’t something that I have ever done before. However over each session I began to get more and more interested in the different theories, although when it came to writing the final essay for the term, I really began to struggle. Nevertheless I still found this task to be very helpful in my academic development and on reflection I have learnt so much about my writing style and areas that I need to spend a bit more time perfecting. Our feedback also has helped me to see what areas I will need to spend a bit more time working on compared to others to get it right. One of the main problems I faced in Term 1, was being away on field and missing some of the key lecture theatre talks. Although I know that it was my own fault and that it’s my responsibly to catch up on Moodle, I just felt as if myself and a few others never managed to catch up fully and felt a bit clueless about certain tasks. I just felt rushed and don’t think I really benefited from the essay, just the feedback and from reflection afterwards.
The start of term 2 started off very quite busy with different lecture theatre talks, which one again I missed due to being away on my field module. However I managed to stay up to date through Moodle. The whole dissertation proposal task was something that I had been dreading, as we actually had to choose a topic and stick with it. So the worry was there to get my topic somewhat right and that I’d only need to tweak with my main concept overtime. I found my tutor Jayne to be helpful in my development, as she has really helped me from the start of the term. From guiding me when filling out our ideas initial form, to then stating our key dissertation ideas ready to be asigned a mentor. To then helping me narrow down my theme to find a topic area that I am passionate about, ready to continue researching for the months to come. Having regular tutorials to check our progress has been great and so beneficial, as without these I would most definitely come completely off task. Although term 2 has been very hectic for me, as my field and subject areas have been very busy with loads of deadlines and tasks to be completed throughout the term. This has been very distracting and at times has made me push my proposal aside and most importantly has eaten into my allocated dissertation planning time.
Time management is something that I definitely need to improve at. As at the start of the term I had the intention to make Friday’s my planning and research day only, however as the term progressed extra workshop sessions in Textiles have been held which I’ve needed to attend, which unfortunately put me behind on my proposal. Like most people I then tended to complete the tasks i’m more confident with first, leaving my proposal to last which then really hindered my tutorials with Jayne. I was then not progressing with my ideas at a good pace, leaving me still undecided about my finalised topic area of choice. It was only towards the end of term 2 that my theme and ideas started to come together and my began research and I really got into full swing of the task. I also most importantly was beginning to enjoy what I was reading, without stressing over all of my other work. The initial research period is something that I really regret not getting into sooner, as once I got into my background reading the ideas started flowing. However this was all after my designated tutorials, so I haven’t been able to run all of my new concepts and findings with Jayne. On the other hand, this is only a proposal and I still have a summer planning tutorials to really set my ideas in stone ready to further my research. The main thing I have learnt is that you can’t plan everything and different tasks and important things are going to come up over the next 6 months that are unavoidable and I would really like to get as much work done when I’m least busy to put me in a good position when times get chaotic with i’m certainly sure will.
This dissertation proposal task has been a great insight into what term 1 of 3rd year will be like, but with more pressures and a bigger workload. My aim is to complete as much research as possible from now and all over the summer, as when I return at the end of September, I want to feel up to date on my dissertation workload, ready to focus in on my different Textile projects without feeling like i’m spreading myself too thin. My plan is to dedicate time over the summer months were I will spend time at different libraries at home and will plan time to be in Cardiff to go to uni to continue reading and developing, to collect a large list of references from a range of sources. I also would really like to write a large chunk of my dissertation, that can be changed if need be in September, but will be put in my a great position ready to develop and perfect when I meet back with Jayne. Hopefully remaining this organised will help me to just enjoy and embrace being a 3rd year without as many of stresses which I will enviably face.