The Lugradio guys, the Chinny Raccoon and the guys from the Linux Outlaws podcast.


The O'Reilly stand amused me.


I don't know if this happens every year or just the two years I've attended. Note the Ducks vs. Goats poll. Ducks won the day.


Other messages that appeared on the board included "DON'T LISTEN TO METAL".

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A bit more of Q1 & 2 of 2008

05 November 2008




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Heriot-Watt's student union

The Captain and Matt at Teviot.

This game has consumed more than three whole days of my life.

The NSS about to go to the Sports/Socs ball, 07/08

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Going left to right - Alway, the boarding house I was in for the first two years of my time in school, School House, where I spent the next five years and then in middle ground, the Art Block.

A closeup of School House, noting the Octagon, a room I never really used that much. I did live in one of the rooms behind the windows on the middle floor, next to the weeping willow.

The back of School House. We were never allowed to use the main door, we had to use the boot room door, visible between the building and the dining hall.

The physics block was here. It was a horrid little building. Claim to fame? It was where I was when the news broke about the September 11th incident. Personally I was just glad to miss out on double physics, if I'd known how much chaos the Bush Administation would cause in its aftermath I'd probably have been a lot more irritated.

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Are you blogging this?

13 October 2008

I've finally managed to attend one of my new module's lectures. Good choice, it would seem. It managed to strike a balance between interesting, informative, useful/applicable and pace. Too many lecturers either have too many slides or too few. If you've got two 45 minute sessions, don't expect to get through over 50 slides if each one is crammed with information, it's not going to happen.

Dynamics of Branding has so far been very pleasant. I didn't find it so slow that I spent the whole thing reading Digg news stories on my lappy, nor so fast that I gave up trying to keep up.

It irritates me that I occasionally run into old uni classmates though. It wasn't an accident that I failed Innovation and Creativity in Enterprise, I didn't even try to pass it. If I could have switched to a different module halfway through, I would have, it really wasn't my cup of tea in the slightest. So many people have asked me "why didn't you just stick it out and finish it?!"

I'm not sure how to further explain this - I don't care about course credits. I don't want to just pass stuff. If that was the objective then I'd pass everything - most modules are barely challenging so far. I'm here to LEARN. You know, acquire knowledge?

The material covered in ICE was of no use to me, I can see no way I would use the strategies it was a proponent of. In DoB I've already gained a basic grounding in branding strategies. This kind of stuff is actually useful to me.

Yes, eventually I guess a degree would be nice, but it's a waste of time if it's just a symbol! I don't need something to put on my CV, I need knowledge to build my own enterprises. What use is a degree qualification if I don't have any knowledge?

For this reason, I'm not being reassessed on several modules I was doing last year - I don't want to pass them, I want to replace them, which is what I'm doing.

But yes, irritating academic gripes aside, things seem to be going very well. I'm currently sitting on a sofa in the chapel cafe at Craiglockhart waiting for my girlfriend to finish her classes so we can have lunch. Later I'm going salsa dancing.

The podcast is being released on time - early in fact and we're getting the drama DVDs sorted. If anyone can confirm whether the commentary track is out of sync I'd be most grateful. We've got paid up society members and other clubs/societies are doing well.

It begins.
*cue flash of lightning, roll of thunder and evil laugh*

It canz be sleep time naow?

08 September 2008

I am a tormented Fox.

Not in any sort of emo sense, in that respect, for once, I actually feel great. Recent developments have been most pleasing, if somewhat jarring, hehe.

However, I can't sleep.

Last night I barely slept, I might have grabbed four hours in total, dipping in and out. Tonight, so far, I managed half an hour, before waking up again. I've been trying to relax enough to fall asleep for the best part of the last six hours.

It seems somewhat ironic that when my emotions are at rest the physical aspect of me decides that now is just a brilliant time to test endurance. Thank you, sleeve, I'm so grateful.

I had planned to get in touch with my course leader and see about arranging to redo second year (although I plan to change my modules a lot, I was NOT pleased with the last crop I chose). I'm guessing that if I fall asleep I'll not wake up until late in the afternoon and that if I don't, I'll be too frazzled to deal with the paperwork required. Fun.

On the positive side of things, the NSS forum hasn't caused any issues so far and the construction of my waistcoat is coming along nicely. A podcast needs to be recorded but we've plenty to cover, so no worries there.

There's still editing to do for the drama DVD set though, although that should be fairly straightforward once the audio is synced. Over the next few days I'll probably find myself in a video editing mood and I'll knock that out without any real problem, I would have thought. I do need to know if the audio track for the commentary on the Christmas DVD is out of sync though, so we can fix that.

Anyone fancy co-hosting morning coffee with me this week?

Progress on our noir project proceeds at a moderate pace, story writing has begun and I'm liking what I've seen so far. Not too complicated, but complicated enough to be fun. Test footage would be fun soon, see what we can manage, that sort of thing.

It does occur to me that I'd quite like a bigger bed. There's lots of dead space in my room that I'd like to use for a broader bed, but as this bed belongs to the flat, so to speak, I'm wondering what I could do with it.

I miss my beard, but circumstances conspire against me to keep it, so I guess I'll have to stay clean shaven for the meantime. "Beardy weirdo" THIS you bastards! Mwuhaha! Ahem.

Pessimism and paranoia aside, I think if the main thing I'm bitching about is not being able to relax enough to sleep, things are going pretty well. Matt - start preparing the "things are just fine" placards, we've got anti-protesting to do!

It's very odd, I was just speaking on MSN to an old school friend. It occurs to me that I've known her for about ten years now..

That notion alone boggles my mind - I've finally lived long enough to know someone for such a long period. I used to sit next to her in our common room in Alway. My gods that was a long time ago..

Returning to my train of thought - during the conversation it came up that she had recently graduated from university and was now moving to Leeds or that general area and starting work as a document controller in an office (a role neither of us is entirely certain as to what it entails..).

I'm sure if I was to speak to a few other old friends I'd encounter similar tales of them starting careers. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are engaged or even married, as absurd as that seems to my sensibilities.

To my mind it all seems odd as I feel about 17 still, I'm not ready to pursue a career (if I ever will be..). I mean, I've spent most of my life around adults so I'm still very comfortable with that sort of thing (much like how I'm rather more at home behind the scenes at events than attending them) but I'm not done doing studenty party type stuff yet. I'm still trying to get the most out of this sort of thing. There's so much that I want to do!

Whilst parts of my character are certainly very experienced and developed there are whole areas of me that are very immature, usually to my own detriment. In terms of relationships that is certainly very much the case. I don't have nearly the amount of experience I could do with, rather hampering getting more!

Usually I can observe others first and see a "model answer" as it were, but it would seem with many things no one has taken the time to determine sensible strategies for many situations. Presumably because few people actually approach life the way I do, either that or the people in the position to write such strategies either aren't capable of transcribing them or feel no inclination to do so.

I may be insane, but I'm not crazy. Nyah.

I tend to prefer to visit a venue before an event, given the opportunity. This applies to bars, people's flats, all sorts of things. If I have to try and manage high-level social interaction and taking in a new place at the same time it tends to throw me off for the first hour or two, alcohol depending. Similarly, if I can be briefed on what to expect and vague spectrum responses it tends to make me far more capable in any given situation, it'd be nice if someone would take the time to actually create some of these for the trickier social situations I encounter.

What should I be aware of if I'm meeting someone's parents in my own flat, for example - what is the rough right thing to do? What should definitely be avoided?
How should I address new members of staff when I first meet them?

Anyway, perhaps it's very odd how I think but generally I find when it works it works with a high degree of efficiency and hasn't steered me wrong so far, as long as my blood sugar is kept in check, bastarding sleeve.

Either way, I've far too many things to do before embarking upon a career or even getting close to graduating. I mean, what am I to do after graduating if I'm not ready to start a business? Better to be sure I'm at least ball-park area ready, I reckon.

Cheers for inspiring a blog post, Rhi.

I've finally found a video editing app that I quite like using. It has its flaws, as most of them seem to, but it does the main stuff I want it to do. The one thing I couldn't get it to do it now can do.
How so?

Well I wanted to key out some green so a sidebar thing would look right - I emailed the developer and within six hours I had a response and within a ten hours I had a solution. I like that.

The more important part of this is that the podcast is back. I really enjoy filming the podcast, producing it, everything, really. Sure, we need more people to get it to the heights I'd like it to reach, but I feel we make progress every episode. This one we experimented with better lighting and new microphones. We didn't quite nail it but we learnt a lot and hopefully later episodes will benefit.

More importantly, the podcast being back puts society things back on track, something which is important to me as it gives me things to work towards. When I have too much time and too few objectives I tend to get depressed. Something I could really do without given the current state of play of my emotions generally.

I've hit another one of these lulls where I'm not particularly interested in going out and getting hammered in clubs and bars. I've spent a nice portion of the year doing that. I don't regret it at all, but it's going to be a while until I'm partying hard again. Flat parties sound good though, especially if I get to meet a few new people.

In the meantime I really hope I can scrape together enough disposable income to join a gym. I'd like to finally get to a stage where I'm happy with how I look in terms of tone and muscle mass, neither of which I'm particularly satisfied with. It's mostly about what I think of how I look as it doesn't really matter what everyone else thinks in that respect, as long as I'm not a hideous troll.

On another note, I'm thinking of staying in Edinburgh for Christmas. I know it's a long way off, but my parents aren't coming back to the UK for it and I'm certainly not going to Sweden to spend it essentially alone and putting up with relatives treating me like I'm this enormous burden. If I have to spend Christmas alone, I'd rather do it where I have a fast internet connection and tequila.

LRL 2008

25 June 2008

Following a confusing struggle with a hotel website and timing out a train time website at least twice, I've now got a reservation and some prepared train times for the geekiest event of the summer. No, not our Rock Band jam sessions - Lugradio Live 2008.
Linky - http://lugradio.org/live/

I can't remember if I've nattered about how I'm in the banner pic or not, but I am. With a camera. Which is obscured by someone's head. That's why I look so intent, not because I'm annoyed.



I've not decided who is going to get a good booting this time for being shit. Last year it was Cedega and Wikipedia. Kdenlive is definitely going to be getting at least a bit of a shoeing for being less stable than a one legged tightrope walker.

Hmm. I know. Cinelerra. It's apparently quite advanced but this doesn't change the fact that it's ugly as sin, incredibly un-user-friendly and struggles on any machine that doesn't have a screen resolution measured in billions of pixels. Sorry, Cinelerra, I've got a fucking laptop, not a three screened 1080P megafest.

On the plus side, I hope the MythTV bods will be there again so I can say "cheers for the demo last year, guess what my flatmate and I built since then?". They seemed fairly disappointed with the event last year, hope they've cheered up since then.

Not looking forward to getting up at six in the morning to catch a train though. Sounds a bit shit, but it'll be worth it.

Minor side note with regards to the video box:
"Having AutoPlay on gives you the best media experience on Bebo. When you visit another user's profile, their Video Box will automatically start playing their current favorite video."
How do you figure, Bebo?
I love it when I load someone's profile and it starts playing some random crap automatically. It's tip top!
It's also wonderful for those times when using a connection that isn't too nippy, doesn't slow things down or aggravate the viewer one bit!

Get a clue, Bebo staff.

Home. Or?

21 June 2008

Once again I'm back down in Wales.

I'd hoped I wouldn't be alone this time, but sadly it wasn't to be. Perhaps next time scheduling will be more fortunate. Exams, flat movings and work commitments conspired against me, as they always do. I'm very fortunate in most respects, but no one can win every time.

I arrived to an empty station, as per usual. I was tired and hungry, so this made me feel pretty low - I like to be met on the station by someone, especially after a long journey. Not for any deep philosophical reason; simply because it lifts my spirits to see a friendly face waiting for me. There were no taxis in the taxi rank outside, so I went for a wander through town, walking past an old school mate at one point. I'm fairly sure he didn't recognise me. It was nice to be invisible for once.

The greeting was much warmer once I got onto the estate, both in human and dog form (no, the ducks will have to wait for daylight). I discovered that during some tidying someone had found my favourite beanie. My flame beanie! I thought I'd lost it forever. I wub my flame beanie. *gets all defensive*

It's weird wandering around the house now that my parents are asleep - I know where everything is on one level, but on a more present level it feels different. It's an odd feeling, as this is technically my home, but it almost feels like I'm a guest in someone else's home. My flat in Edinburgh is my home now, my close friends - my family. I already miss it a bit.
I'd miss it a lot if I hadn't been conditioned to not get homesick, but it's still there as a minor thing at the back of my mind. The loneliness doesn't help.

In Edinburgh I'm rarely alone, there's always people around and I know a lot of them. Here I know barely anyone. I know my parents and our core staff. Other than that, I know no one. Most of my friends in Carmarthen aren't here any more, our lower level staff change on a quarterly basis. It's kinda odd, being a stranger in your own home.

I love my parents, but I don't feel much need to be with them. We've been apart for so long. I mainly come home for their sake, I know my mother misses me a lot and my father does when he has time, although I doubt he'd ever admit it seriously.

Oh yeah, I'll be back on the 30th - don't you dare all rush out and see all the films I want to see - I don't want to watch them on my own, you bastards..
See you in ten days.

This may end up a very geeky post, you've been warned.

If you don't know, my laptop actually arrived on Monday. Awesomeness +5. Perhaps being without your own personal machine wouldn't bother you that much, but my laptop is a rather important part of my life. I've talked about why before, so I don't feel like rehashing that.

Anyways, what it means right now is that I've had to spend a lot of time going through our enormous stack of tapes. Between two cameras we've got a hell of a lot of footage, including a whole drama society performance, from two angles. Each tape is an hour long and is ripped in real time, meaning it takes a long time. Thankfully, that task has been nailed. Next I've got to go through, edit that footage and catalogue the bits and pieces that don't fall into a specific category, you know, so when we make a montage we've got footage to use (*must resist urge to burst into song..*).

It also means I can finally sync my phone again, something rather important.. Without being able to sync it to my machine, I can't put new music on my iPhone, I can't get new podcasts or update my photo collection, amongst other things. Irritating.

Well, aside from that it also means that I can now play with the web-interface aspects of my media centre. Our media centre can do stuff I wasn't even aware of and I built her!

The web-based interface means I pull up a web page when I'm connected in my flat and it'll show me the videos stored on the server, things recorded from TV, music and more. Well, I don't have any music on this laptop, for the most part, but I do have music on the server. The web component of her can generate randomised playlists and then allow me to download a playlist file which allows me to easily stream the music on my lappy. Score.

Another awesome thing - any TV programmes recorded can be streamed in the same way. I spent half an hour earlier catching up on The Daily Show (Global Edition), recorded on one of our freeview cards from when it was broadcast on Monday.

I think I might be able to watch films as well, from our collection. Not going to explore that tonight, I'm too tired.

It might be worth mentioning that this is all wireless. I'm using my laptop, which connects to our main wireless network*, into which Rapture, our media monolith is cabled into. Almost as cool as having a video conversation with my parents when they're in New Zealand (oh, come on. I'm connected to our connection wirelessly, it then goes via the main networks to a satelite, is beamed down to their personal satelite connection in NZ, into a router, then wirelessly to my mother or father's laptop. And back. Fast enough to have a totally fluid conversation in realtime. COME ON! IT'S LIKE LIVING IN THE FUTURE!).

I'm considering setting up a Stickam account for the media centre too so there's a webcam running in the flat at all times, accessible from the intarwebz. Depends how badly it'd impact our upload bandwidth though. Hmm.. shall have to have a think about that one.

Right, I'm going to consider sleep.


(*yes, we have two, don't ask unless you really want us to explain..)

It's quite tricky trying to create new characters to keep my main one company. No, I'm not talking about MPD or any other form of severe psychosis.

Some of you may be aware that I draw, just like my father before me. You didn't know that? Try to keep up..

Anyway, of late I've been drawing more and doing my best to improve my art and the time it takes to draw. I get bored quickly and so need to be able to finish drawings quickly before I get bored and give up to do something that delivers more immediate satisfaction (no, not that..).

Apparently some webcomic artists spend six to eight hours per "edition" (Questionable Content updates five days a week, each update takes about that long). Even if I was as good an artist, I still wouldn't want to spend that long on something so short, not when I could be doing something else.

Anyway, I managed to draw my flatmate, Chris in the style and was actually fairly pleased, he is recognisably Chris whilst retaining my own personal style. Nice one. I also drew myself and was fairly pleased with the result, as I've never actually drawn myself in the same style I draw Marlem.

Marlem himself I don't find very difficult to draw - shortish dark hair, blocky chin, bit of a beard, hat with logo on, random baggy clothes (usually).

Marlem's personality is based on aspects of mine, but he isn't actually me, but he's enough of me that I can figure out how he'd react to a given situation. When it comes to adding other characters I don't want them to be based on me, one character is enough, methinks. However, lacking empathy I really struggle to think like anyone else, meaning I can't really create new characters. I'm tempted to add Chris to Marlem's world as he's suitably weird to provide a fair bit of humour, that said, I'm not sure what the character should look like, although he probably will have to have an alter ego as Captain Applepants..

Eventually I'll get good enough to competently draw woman in the style, but I'm not there yet, so it'll probably be guys only for now. I could do with a scanner in the flat though, might have to try and bring mine up from Wales, if I can get the damn thing to work with Linux.

Worse than that though.. I've only got a single stick of HB pencil lead remaining, no 2B at all and it's Sunday evening, so all the art shops are shut! Crisis!

Now this is getting annoying. At the start of the evening I knew I was a bit out of sorts and uneasy. Now I'm not even sure what time of day my body thinks it is, let alone whether I like it or not.

I mean, I roughly know the root of the problem, but I can't freely discuss that on here without either a), revealing too many private details, or b), making a fool of myself. I hope that anyone interested enough to read this knows what I'm talking about. I'm not even sure if I've committed some sort of social faux pas through inaction, I've no idea what is expected of me in such a situation. I'm especially unsure on the degree of formality that is seen as correct for this age group, wealth bracket, etc..

I'm doing my best to avoid the figure of speech we quote from Bernard Black - "You could make a chicken cravat if you really wanted but it's just HASSLE! We'll just get a takeaway!". This could be a very emotionally lucrative endeavour, hopefully for all involved, so giving up due to the subjective complexity of the situation would be a coward's choice.

Unfortunately, being human, I can't help but struggle against my own personal demons of paranoia, insecurity and all that crap. Especially irritating is the fact that if I was to not talk about these things, I would seem less intelligent but when I do I sound like a whiny teenager. I need to talk about them with someone though to get them out of my godsdamned head, evil geniuses need to sleep too, you know!

Much like many of my other actions, I'll probably look back on this blog entry and think "was that wise..?". Then I'll spend time thinking about it, perhaps even worrying a little, before finding that things aren't that complicated and I should just do what I did last time, albeit being brave enough to not require that much alcohol. It wasn't a case of doing something I regret, quite the opposite, it was far more a matter of courage, timing and setting finally converging at a point that I could deal with. To be honest, though, just like when I used a zipline as a child, it was wonderful but I needed someone to push me off as I hadn't the courage to just step off the ledge of my own accord.

I almost wish it hadn't gone well, at least then I'd know what to do and how to emotionally react. Of course, logic steps in and provides that given the circumstances, perhaps it only subjectively occurred, retrospectively speaking, Paranoia passes up another case file that suggests that whilst it may have gone well at the time, in hindsight it might not have been a positive experience for both parties.
I'm thankful that these are just pieces of information suggested by different parts of my mind, rather than an effective argument in my head. The singular conciousness that is me, really, just shrugs its metaphorical shoulders and says, "buggered if I know.."

The most appealing next step would be to ask someone and request some clarifying information, I'm tired of trying to get a precise response directly, given my incredibly sparse knowledge of these sorts of situations.

Ducks help.

22 May 2008

I'm rarely dissatisfied by the traits I've inherited from my parents but there is one from my mother's side that I truly despise. Paranoia.
I cannot think of a single person I truly trust, even the person I trust most, above all others, doesn't have a flawless track record.
I expect to be abandoned, betrayed or forgotten at every turn. It doesn't help that many of those I've placed my trust in have been inclined to cut and run on a whim.
It's not a healthy trait to have, although I find that ducks tend to help, oddly.
I don't really know who to trust any more, I mean, I'm excellent at who NOT to trust, but selecting people to trust has become harder, edging further and further towards the Uplink maxim of "trust is a weakness".

I don't think that it helps that I weigh up every scenario to see who stands to gain from a given outcome, it just presses home that others have plenty to gain from leading me on.

Sometimes I think it's just hassle.

A pleasant surprise (and a realisation of rank) is that I can think of one man I trust, someone who has never given me reason to doubt his loyalties, who has given me so much and asked so little of me, sure, I'm forever indebted to him, but I'm okay with that.

Hopefully I'm not being too rash in risking emotion upon a certain person, who I have every expectation will reject me, I wish I couldn't cope with that, but sadly I know I can; years of emotional wreckage, can't imagine a little more would make much difference.

It'd be nice if I didn't mess this up though. A nice plus is that when these parts of my mind are more active, my art improves.

Grr. Argh. Just no.

28 March 2008

When everything has been quiet and there have been no complaints it's either a sign that things are going well or that things have gone completely tits up and everyone is too scared to let the relevant people know, for fear of being blamed, or something.

It'd be nice if I could leave my network to tick over for a few months without someone screwing with it. That isn't to say the individuals have been gits, mostly, it's more a collective fuck-up. In retrospect I should have called far more often to see what was going wrong, but sadly I have neither the time nor inclination to do so, so I won't be making a habit of it. Perhaps I'll demand a weekly report or something to prevent such screw ups.

I don't mean this to be harsh on any individual, it's more by inaction that a problem that started as a minor tech problem has spiralled out of control causing chaos. Yes, we'd like to upgrade our internet connection, yes, I'd like all and any changes documented, no, don't change that without telling me. What I've essentially got is an enormous mess of cables, settings and people, none of whom seem to know what's going on. Think Andrex puppy.

Fortunately, I seem to have a knack for figuring these things out, but the paperwork is going to be a nightmare, hopefully I won't have to do most of it!

Oh and why the arse-buggery-fucksticks did I bother moving everything over onto a new laptop only to find the staff member in question using his old laptop with the new one sitting next to him? Seriously, retire the old one, you'll just end up needing to lug two machines around.

There's probably a good reason, but I'm too busy being annoyed right now to find out what it is! It can wait 'till Monday! Now, someone get me a sandwich!

A friend of mine deleted her Bebo profile today. I have another friend who did that a while ago but for different reasons, this one, however, interested me.
Apparently it was in response to comments from her father that "smart people don't use social networking sites" or words to that effect.

To which I think BEARD. Stock index BRD. Lies! Subterfuge! Seething corruption!

Smart people use social networking sites responsibly. If you google me the worst you'll find is a few silly photos, possibly one of me with my hair in bunches. Terrifying, maybe, but very clearly a joke.

Arguments put forward included potential employers checking a candidate out during their selection process. Now I don't understand how a few photos of yourself and your friends enjoying your free time is anything to concern yourself with. If you have photos of yourself doing something illegal or offensive then DON'T UPLOAD THEM! It's really not that hard.

Everything I say or do on the Internet is vetted before I put it out there just on general principles. I *want* there to be photos of me partying available. If I was looking to be employed in the future, as most are, I would not wish to work for an employer who turned me down based on the fact that I have friends.

Perhaps most people think they're anonymous online and act as if their behaviour has no consequences, as if it is not attributable to them.

To quote the great philosopher Samuel L Jackson in one of his recent works - "There are ALWAYS consequences!"

I find it very odd that people don't link Internet interaction with the real world, as if the Internet is an entirely abstract world, disconnected from all real-world obligations, rules and etiquette.

Employers know they're closely connected. If you do not make this connection, ask yourself why not. Unless you really know what you're doing, true anonymity online is about as easy to achieve as it is in the real world.

Or perhaps I'm a slack-jawed idiot because I like to be available to be contacted and have a public space where others can see what I look like, read about what I do and see videos I create. Stuff that is private is either very hidden and protected from prying eyes or better yet, stored offline only.

Perhaps I'm paranoid and find it easier to be a fairly good person and not lie and hide things, rather than try to paint over all the ugly bits and pretend to be perfect. Or I'm just paranoid. Hopefully the former though.

Bother this nonsense.

18 January 2008

I've been trying to find the motivation to do this Organisation and Management module coursework for the last few days and I find myself utterly unable to write anything. I don't even need to do well to pass the module but I think I'm probably going to fail it because no matter how hard I concentrate I simply cannot escape the fact that I know this coursework is essentially worthless. The consequences of failing a module are virtually non-existent. I don't need to pass the module. There's no incentive to succeed.

I really wish I wasn't so good at justifying inaction sometimes.

Essentially it comes down to the simple fact that I don't want to do this coursework. I look at it and think "why?". Perhaps I'd learn a small amount of theory from researching it, but in all honesty I'm unlikely to learn anything that I'll actually use. Everything I've learnt about management so far I've learnt in the field either managing my own projects or through watching my father and uncle run their separate entrepreneurial ventures. I should probably concentrate on choosing more specific modules next time. Whilst I found my finance module somewhat boring at times it was actually USEFUL. The things I learnt I could see the point of, they were directly relevant and I didn't immediately find the concepts so insultingly easy.
As a contrast to this, my ICE and O&M modules seem to talk about highly theoretical stuff masquerading as practical things.
The strategies and concepts taught make me think "what the hell? How does that do anything other than insult the intelligence of the team?" I don't mean I think "pffft! That's silly", although I often react like that as well. I mean I look at the strategy, try and take it seriously and apply it but find that it is utterly ineffectual.

Well, if all else fails I can just retake the module, hehe. Maybe the next batch of coursework will be less depressing.

Mulling it over, I worked to finish the HRM coursework and finished it happily. I don't mean I like HRM, but the stuff I was writing about actually served a purpose. I was writing about training. Whilst I don't tend to think the kind of training in question is overly useful, having experienced it myself, I did learn a few things during that section of the module. If I could take HRM, strip out the crap and rebuild the methodology a bit I might actually have a useful tool. If I take O&M and try and strip out the crap I find there's nothing left to build on. As a surgeon described one of our staff's heart tissues during life-saving surgery - "it was like trying to stitch jelly".

It would be nice if I could find a module where I don't have to say "this whole section is an utter waste of time". I'll have to write my own at some point.

Meanwhile I've got to film the newest episode of the podcast, buy lighting equipment, organise the NSS website, plan an unrelated audio podcast and see about getting to work writing a guide to making podcasts in the UK (most guides I find are focused on the US and the environments and resources are very different).

Modules, eh?

07 January 2008

I'm in a bit of an odd position with regards to my university modules. I'm doing a course that doesn't have any core modules - what that means is that I am not required to complete any specific modules to continue, I just need enough course credits. Of course, there are some modules that have pre-requisite requirements, but that's a different kettle of fish. I do wonder who keeps fish in kettles..

..or worms in cans, for that matter.

Regardless, I have a module that I thought would be beneficial, but it turns out it is a badly structured, joke of a module. Along with the written report, students are required to make a poster. I don't know whether we get extra marks for using glitter. I'm sure there must be a couple of smidgens of useful information in there, but most of them are taught in proper modules (many of which aren't great but are at least leading somewhere).

Let's just say that this module exemplifies the idea of "those who can't do, teach".

Essentially what this boils down to is a couple of simple things - to start with there's the fact that it doesn't have an exam. I don't mind exams, it's coursework I hate. Especially when there's a presentation and a fairly lengthy written report to go with it. I have enough on my plate as it is without all that and the module is worthless to me, so screw it.

The problem comes in that no one seems to know what happens when I fail a module - am I forced to retake it? Do I need 120 course credits, or just 90 as suggested by others?

Or maybe it'll just have turned out that I've failed a whole load of modules this year. If that's the case, I regret nothing. What I've achieved instead has been far more important. The plan isn't necessarily to finish uni, if anything I expect to leave uni before I'm scheduled to graduate in order to pursue some business ventures. Woo.