Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)

As the first half of the semester draws to a close, its time once again to sit back and reflect on the events of the past six weeks.

Our first assignment is now safely handed in for grading and for once I’m not feeling particularly stressed out on a deadline day.

This is mainly down to the idea of working to a deadline the week BEFORE the deadline. This is an approach I’ve never taken before but I am certainly glad we were encouraged to do so.

By having a first draft ready last week a huge amount of pressure was lifted. In the past I have struggled to meet deadlines and ended up handing in an abandoned rather than completed report. Working in this manner however meant I had a full week to tinker and proof read and hand in hopefully a more “polished” assignment well before the 12pm deadline.

Unfortunately now begins 3 weeks of anxiety whilst we wait for the final grades to be given, which will then result in elation or misery! I feel satisfied with the work I submitted, though there are the usual niggling thoughts in the back of my head. Thoughts such as have I forgotten this? Should I have changed that? At the end of the day though should any additional work be required I shall just have take onboard the feedback and amend accordingly (easier said than done, I know).

Running simultaneously have been weekly “self study” tasks which have proved a welcome distraction from assignment A2. Each week’s tasks have been quite varied and included: gathering inspirational pieces to discuss in our seminar groups, online debates and even setting up our own websites (http://www.ian-thompson.org.uk/). I’m looking forward to seeing our websites develop over the next 2 years into our online portfolios and demonstrate how we’ve all grown as designers.

Overall the first six weeks have been immensely enjoyable and I remain convinced that returning to college was the right decision. My main worry about returning to full time education was whether or not I would be able to keep up with the workload. Well so far so good, however with the workload set to double after half term, it will be interesting to see if it really is a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Back to the start….

It can be a little daunting returning to something that you haven’t done for a while or in the case of returning to college, haven’t done for years!

With the first month all done and dusted its time to reflect.

My initial fears that I wouldn’t fit in with the group or be able to keep up with the workload have proven to be unfounded. I feel like I’m settling in nicely helped largely by the ice breaking exercises, mix of ages, backgrounds and general friendliness of the other group members.

As far as the workload goes, I’m glad we received the first assignment as early on as we have done as it’s given me the chance to reassess my style of working early on.

I’ve always taken a kind of hap-hazard approach to assignments, instead of focusing on each section one by one I’ve completed parts of this then moved on and begun to do parts of that without actually completing anything.

I'd forgotten that this approach makes it hard to keep track of how much progress has been made and I will endeavour to work in a more linear way through the forthcoming assignments.

Time management has also been an issue in the past, but I'm keeping an eye on it and trying to ensure I set aside plenty of time for self study work and that I use my time in College in a productive manner also.

All in all I’m pleased with the way the first month has gone, though it wouldn’t hurt to start setting personal targets for my self study time and work in a more organised way.