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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Packing boxes, looking at blogs, and 'capital' for the course

One of the things that I have been doing yesterday and today is putting things in boxes in preparation for putting things into storage and hopefully moving house in the near future. It is always difficult because you want to throw things away but don’t have the willpower to go beyond a few boxes, see things you would rather forget, and then need to categorise and label the boxes so that they can be moved with as little fuss as possible. I have moved quite a bit, so I have routines that I can use to lighten the load, like buying sturdy double ply boxes 12x12x12 for books, permanent markers and packaging tape all the way around when finished for a secure move. I also try to pack very densely so that when the items are moved, the things inside do not shift and become damaged.

So I moved from packing boxes to my computer and started trying to organise my things for this new semester. As a ‘trained’ researcher, I know that is my ability to access useful information that is my value. I sometimes do it better than others, but having an organised desktop and filing system helps.

The blogs can act to organise the activities that we all do for the course. There is a structure in each module that should provide some reference points to where you are in the course. So looking at my blog I noticed that I had not made an entry since the 14th February. Not only that but that no one seems to be commenting on the blog entries! So I decided to try to put something up that might be useful questions people have asked…

Module 1:

Ahmet and I had a chat via skype and discussed when he could know that he had ‘finished’ a task as they could be reworked ad- infinitum. However, there is a time to move on, and when you are somewhat satisfied – try writing a summary to help see if you feel you have finished. Ahmet suggested this for himself and has done one a good example of this thinking:

Also on Module 1 Liam has some photos that others think work well

Jo is using the blog to think about the course and having a dialogue with others She is also adding a few suggestions for learning:

Module 2:

Fione has begun the module with a relevant positioning – looking at the materials and also deciding her mental place for the beginning of the module in ‘moonwalking with einsten’

Lisa has begun a frontal assault on the issues of inquiry questions – now discussion can ensue

Victoria is also reading and linking at where she is now in the workplace to the professional inquiry It is very useful to be up on what you are doing as the professional inquiry has both ‘philosophical’ and ‘practical’ elements. People come to their inquiry topic using both of these angles.

Module 3:

Laura it well into her inquiry activity and finding the information and data that she can use in her topic about self-managing a freelance career

Samantha too is doing her interviews trying to find out about artists who take part in ”open Mic nights’

Some good questions about why it is important that your professional inquiry has the groundwork of ethical practice offered by Stephanie

Just like my packing and organising, the process of doing the BAPP (Arts) modules are a part of the experience of learning. I would like to have everything happen at once with a ‘bewitched’ twinkle, but actually the process has a start – the middle bits- and a conclusion. The boxes are just a way of organising the contents, but they are a helpful way of filing and I actually have a similar way of organising content on my computer.

Where-ever you are now in the process, keeping organising your materials to see where you are on the module in terms of tasks and/or activities. You might get some surprises – whether you are further behind than you though or you could find you are ahead of the game and the whole Higher Education (HE) thing is actually beginning to make sense.

That idea where critical thinking plays a part in everyday thinking – and it is a part of your job to debate or add to the capital of your own practice and your workplace. Whether or not we agree with the tenets of ‘capital’, the ability to think through events and issues using critical thinking is an aspiration of HE. I will leave this blog with some of the concepts of ‘capital’.

The idea of capital started with philosophers like Bourdiou who suggested that cultural capital was a hidden asset for those who had a higher place in society or had an educated background (Weininger and Lareau, date unknown, online, Available from ). 

So what forms of capital do you possess and how can they help you to think about the work you are doing on the course? 

Now other forms of capital exist, including intellectual capital:

Intellectual capital - Information or knowledge captured in a useful form that gives an organization a competitive advantage over those that do not possess, or may not legally use, the information (Shamos, 1999, online. Available from: )

Can the concept of ‘capital’ empower people in the pursuit of their careers?


  1. I love how you are so organised (you must teach me). (Laughs). I hope it all works out for you Paula, with the moving and storing of things. I thank-you for writing things in great prospectives as I find I understand more in that way.

    Hope to see you on the 28th


  2. Paula, today seemed to be a day for clearing away in order to make space for the new things to emerge. I've been clearing out things in my head today as I feel there is an enormous new wave of energy coming and bringing with it all new ways, ideas and concepts. I believe you have accomplished the same today by clearing away and storing your old possessions into boxes to make space for new things to come. Good luck with you move.
    The capital intellect I posses are from the corporate businesses I worked in as a Sales Executive. As one of the many employee’s, I had built up;
    1. Skills and product knowledge.
    2. Relationship with the customers, which included trust, confidentiality, loyalty amongst other factors.
    3. Familiarity with the company structure and processes, systems information and intellectual property.
    In my current position as a freelance Dance Teacher intending to improve and build on my business as a consultant, I posses similar knowledge/capital intellect but at management level. I also posses intellectual property. I think the concept of ‘capital’ should empower people in the pursuit of their careers if they aware of what information and knowledge they posses. I believe intellectual capital people posses can and should be used as a bargaining tool.

  3. Definitely! and we need to identify and value our intellectual property in each new venture. A good correlation between the two roles in terms of intellectual capital you possess Corinda. Capital has been used in business and knowledge management in terms of analysis - I found a lot when I googled but a more discerning search may be in order.

  4. Very useful Paula to get clarification for those who may need some on their module.
    Organisation was one of the principle I pointed out during the campus session as I felt is one of the most important aspects for me during this course. This has to do with the fact that without organizing and timing my study, I couldn't achieve targets in time and I was always struggling try to clean the mess I had in my mind and, as a consequence, in my project.

  5. Dear Paula, I found a very interesting and useful Blog about organizations. In my point of view she give good and creative ideas how to storage things and feel comfortable.

  6. Great love it - I love stationary and storage! Archiving is my life...

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