All entries for August 2005

August 31, 2005

week 8… argh

I don't know if i've been organising my time really badly, in fact on the record- i haven't been organising it really badly, sometimes things just kind of slip and you forget to get a move on and stay on one thing way too long. Like these newspaper cuttings, they just sap up so much time, and they switch your brain off after a while too.

Still by the end of week nine i won't ever look at them again, and then i can focus on the photographs, still kind of sticking to the plan i think. I hope. Especially as the end draws ever nearer.

And i don't even want to think aobut my csap project- at least i know what i'll be doing in october! I'm a bit stressed at the moment, despite an exciting end to the newspaper week, and a couple of really good meetings and discussions with various supervisors, finding a shed load of books to read in warwick library on friday made me feel really happy. Got to keep the sociology part of my brain engaged and not become an historian (no offence to historians!), must keep the ol' sociological imagination ticking.

I was stressed not only because of project related stuff, but until today I didn't know what was going on with my degree, and now i do, except that now means getting forms filled in and stuff- I'm dropping politics to just do sociology. I realised that I hadn't sent my loan forms off, my own fault, but I really do hate forms. I've got the house to move into, though i've not filled in any of those forms either- yet. And i'm going on holiday next week – 7th-13th, no parking booked at the airport yet.

Sighs.

Well the evidence is actually quite stacked up against my organisational skills isn't it. But if you want something doing you should always ask a busy person. And good people are always busy. It will all be sorted. I like the last minute pressure! makes me feel alive!!! Once one thing is done it will be disproportionally easier to do the others.

The project is, despite (or inspite of me), going well. The books found on friday were pure gold.

Cricket 2 1, nuff said.


August 22, 2005

week & weekend 7

Hmmm what did i do last week.

I finished making notes on a book that i've been reading for the past month, which was good. That was tuesday. Not sure what monday was, probably more of looking at the newspaper cuttings, which i continued pretty much all through week 7. Trying to build up a broader picture of black social history in Handsworth and the surrounding area.

At the risk of being arrogant I think i've got a pretty good idea of it now, not put everything i want to into the database yet, but I should be able to finish off the newspaper cuttings pretty soon, then i want to do some more reading on photography and theories thereof, hopefully have that do by the end of wekk 8. Then in 9 and 10 i can go back to look at photographs taken by Vanley (and in the archive) of Handsworth. Should be a nice way to end the project too.

I also still have to do some more work on researching archives, and some critical pedagogy of them or something along those lines.

I can't believe i only have three weeks left, I must have miscounted somewhere. O yes thats it, I'm working till week 11, because of the ill week. Right. In that case the last week can be me focussing on critical pedagogy, and reflecting on my researching experiecne. But either which way I'm going to work on this untill term starts.

Better get that poster done sometime too.

I thought i'd add my weekend in for the first time as it was the first weekend since this blog began that has really been worthy of mention, except for the cricket obviously! I went to wales (north wales; llandudno) on saturday morning, and came back on sunday night. It was really good, very sunny, did lots of walking. So tempted not to come back and stay a week there.

Well, its monday morning (well almost) and its raining, and I've got loads to do. Yay.


August 17, 2005

week 6: half way

Well Seeing as week 5 didn't count, this is infact the mid week of my project, actually its the last week of my URSS project but i have funding from another source (sounds interesting- its not) to continue to do another 5 weeks on the same project. I'd always planned on doing 10 weeks anywho. To be honest i'd do what i'm doing for free anyway, its pretty nifty work / dissertation/ post grad research experience.

Week 6 was weird. I've been feeling pretty lost in the project since i finished the Handsworth riots report, though it has had interesting offshoot, one of which may be me helping to sort out an exhibition, maybe… But mainly i've been lost.

I decided to venture from the archives and look at newspaper cuttings on the ethnic communities (focussing on Afro-caribbeans-africans in Handsworth) in birmingham over the past 50 years, going right back to the windrush geneation. But having read some black history books they left me reasonably dissappointed as they focussed so much on london, even a chapter on the 80s riots didn't leave Brixton except in passing, which really pissed me off. Really really pissed me off. But i'm over that now…

I ordered (on the fast deleivery service- 1–2 days) a gadget off amazon, a handheld scanner, so i could input data fast, as my typing leaves much to be desired, especially when copying documents, that hasn't arrived yet. Which also pissed/ still is pissing me off.

On friday of week 6 we went on a tour round birmingham- a social history walk if you will. Which was excellent and meant i finsied the week on a high- in the pub after spending an educational and exciting afternoon in the sun.

So up and down really. And we didn't win the cricket.


August 09, 2005

week 5: i was ill

Didn't really do anything this week. I mentioned the killer headache last time, and it didn't go. The doctor was as useless as i feared he might be. The best he could manage was that me worrying about my headache was causing the headache. Nice. He said if i still had it in 6 weeks time i should come and see him again. I'm glad i don't pay taxes.

Still it seems to have subsided at the moment, so i should be able to work in week 6, I think i've worked out that i have enough time before university starts to make up for losing a week.

Cricket was exciting wasn't it :)


August 04, 2005

return to Warwick

Just got back from a couple of holidays – one tagged on to a conference (on video and videoconferencing – see photo) the other on to a family get-together (my partner's family). So I've been touring Tennessee and Tipperary. It's good to see everyone blogging away. I'm here now for the rest of the summer so remember, if you need any help with anything, or advice, just email Andrew or me and we'll do what we can.

OK I admit – there's not much to see on video and videoconferencing there – in fact it's the Jack Daniel's distillery.


August 03, 2005

week 4

another week that has flown by.

Didn't do much after thursday as I have had this terrible headache for days, and am waiting to see a doctor, and an optician. Up till then though, the week was going well.

Read a little bit of this, little bit of that etc etc. kept plugging away at the database etc etc.

On Tuesday Bob and Bob came to see me and Richard, they are our supervisors. I showed them what I had been doing, and they seemed reasonably impressed with my progress which was a relief.

I've become quite focussed on the question of how potential researchers and students can access and learn from archives, and this has led me to question ( in my mind) hw we are taught in general- are we prepared to go into archives, do I have a wroking knowledge of research methods and social theory, or merely a list of facts to be regurgitated? I've also been thinking and reading about how we should have access to knowledge. Arcives seem like a pure form of knowledge, unmediated, uncontaminated- certainly the ones I'm working on are, as they have only breifly been catalogued, so I am creating knowledge rather than having passed onto me. Are we taught in this method, is the knowledge/ information we learn at university uncontaminated, created by us, active? Or are we simply sponges to absord the flow of knowledge from our lecturers, or are we their lumps of clay to be moulded as they see fit?

ARE WE PASSIVE OR ACTIVE LEARNERS? Being in the archive has certainly made me active, and made me think that i was perhaps to passive prior to this experience. Passive is bad. Passive is not what a sociologist should be.

Well that was my week- in a nutshell. Still poorly at present, and haven;t been to the ibrary this week because of my haedache, but have done some more light reading at home. I dont think there will be much to report on week 5, excpet perharps on how long i had to wait for a doctors appointment!!

Thank you for the commnet by the way dawn- I'm definately going to go to the drum soon. Who would have thought I could get information from the blogs… i think Im becoming addicted :s Just love to hear myself type!

Until my next orginally titled entry!


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