Study Diary

November 11, 2009

The process of creating this blog has been an interesting but tiring process. I encountered a lot of very engaging information during my research and enjoyed digging deeper to find out more about certain ideas, some of which were very familiar to me already, other concepts I discovered with curiosity.

 

The main obstacle to the undertaking of my work has been that I have had a job to attend to every evening of the week, from 6pm to 10.30pm, and every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon as well. I have been working at the London Palladium theatre for a long time and I am still working there to this day. I plan to leave that job soon, as I am finding it hard to cope, both physically and mentally. The only times I have been able to work on the blog have been at night, after work, and on sundays.

The second problem I have faced has been the lack of an internet connection in my house. I have therefore had to do my online research and the publishing of my blog entries only when I have had spare time on campus, using the university’s wireless connection. These two obstacles are thus linked to a problem of time management. Having put myself in this situation, I have just had to deal with the complications and do my best with the time  I had and the tools at hand.

 

When I first started the research, using Google, I came across a number of website reviewing the scandal and analysing the ethicality of Walski’s actions. Due to the little time I have had online at a time, I have regularly saved webpages on my laptop hard drive, to then look into them more in detail at a later stage. So I compiled as much information about the subject as I could and then analysed it later in the evening.

 

As my entries started to take shape (first writing them only in my word processing software) so did my train of thought. I began to visualise a pattern to my research and to my future entries. I had a rough idea of the topics to be discussed; I wrote down a list of potential entries and tried to give them a coherent order. I like being organised and knowing the approximate direction in which I am heading. Should I instead have tackled the entries as they came? Even though, most of my research findings seemed to point in that same direction I was aiming for, more or less.

All along, my research had evolved into a collection of webpages and newspaper articles, out of which I selected the most relevant ones to keep in a separate folder on my computer. These would be at that point my main sources.

 

When I had dealt with the initial topics that the subject brought up (the picture itself, the photographer, the event, the reactions, etc…), I continued my research by looking deeper into the sociological and theoretical aspects of the subject matter. The concept of ethics seemed to be a key element. Although I had already gathered a certain amount of research on the topic, I found more relevance in the Learning Resource Center (University Library), as I found some interesting books. I borrowed a few titles that later became, for certain entries, my main sources of information.

At this point my blog outline plan had changed alongside the evolution of my research. I can in fact say that many of my blog entries developed into something quite different from what I had originally pictured. Unfortunately, just as I was getting into the ‘juicy bits’, the most interesting parts of my research and analysis, I was slowly running out of time. The most demanding issues, the ones that required the most attention, gave me the feeling that I was getting pressured for time. Indeed, I realised that I had more to discuss, more to delve into, partly because the ideas dealt with were more intricate but mainly because they interested me more. I had started to explore truthfulness and objectivity within photography and journalism, as well as the historical and sociopolitical context of the scandal. As my research findings got clearer, so did my panic and the realisation that the deadline was approaching quickly.

 

The last couple of days were mostly spent completing my last few research entries, as well as exploring the possible ideas for an I-Map. My work always ends up being centered around pressure and last-minute panic. But that seems to be what works for me, although it gets extremely tiring.

I noticed that my last three entries became much longer than any other blog entries I had made, partly because I had found more interesting information to discuss. Due to the nearness of the deadline, I had to stay up late at night to finish my entries. The exhaustion and lack of sleep definitely affected my ability to think clearly, and I found it very difficult to keep my findings and ideas concise. I hope it will not show too much in the final product.

The bibliography didn’t pose too much of a problem since I had written down my references in each entry as I went along. I just had to group them together under alphabetical order.

 

I enjoyed certain aspects of the research and the writing process, but my appreciation was finally taken over by stress and tiredness as the days went on and the deadline approached. The main lessons I have learned from this are to not work in a full-time job during an assignment (!) and to try to get more work done in the earlier stages, which I seem to have a big difficulty with. All in all I feel that I have learned a great deal about modern photojournalism and its relation to current affairs, despite putting myself in very stressful conditions.

 

 

 

P.S.: I am adding the following as a last minute comment just before posting my work. The writing plan was my biggest problem: I was too busy with the rest that I didn’t consider the amount of work to put into the writing plan. As I have been working all day at my job and I have thus not had much time to finish my blog. I expected the writing plan to be simple, but when I looked into it and read about in the module guide, I realised there was more work and substance to be put in than I had expected. Therefore, my writing plan ended up being extremely rushed (as well as these few lines) half an hour before the deadline. I am cutting it very short and it makes me sad and angry (with myself) that I didn’t manage to complete it earlier. I apologise for the poor quality of the writing plan.

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One Response to “Study Diary”

  1. Susan said

    nice blog, just thought to let you know that the page looks broken on Android Brow ser

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