Friday, March 3
When I left the house all the snow on the paths and drive had melted and I walked all the way to the bus stop without slipping once. When I emerged from the metro at Sörnäinen I could feel snow hitting my face. Ah, early Spring!
I had my first tutorial at 10:00 with a student at the very early stages of his thesis. He felt unsure about his topic and, as he explained it, I did too. I felt that it lacked a real issue, or a real problem, so I tried expanding it or refocusing it. After an hour we had made some progress, but he left with no real decisions made, except the realisation that he needed to do more thinking.
I had my second tutorial at 11:00, and I had this one alone since the student involved emailed at 11:02 to say that he couldn’t come. I carried on reading about autoethnography instead.
I had my third tutorial at 13:00 and amusement ensued. We developed a plan to frame the research as autoethnographical and to derive the methodology from Heewon Chang’s book Autoethnography as Method, which I had in my hand the entire time. The research demands this kind of approach and I told the student that I will use her thesis as a proving ground for this, and that she will thus get y full attention.
I had my fourth tutorial of the day at 14:00 with a student whose thesis used to resemble a ninety page scrapbook called Things I Know, and now resembles a sixty page draft in need of drastic editing. This meeting finished early because he agreed with my assessment that he needed to do more pruning before we could discuss what to do next. We agreed that he will send me a full, revised draft next Tuesday, and that we will meet to discuss it next Wednesday.
I decided to go for a coffee to discover that I had missed rector’s coffee, but had arrived in time to find a plate of cream buns still waiting for me. I took one and had a few words with the rector.
Armed with a bun on a plate and a large cappuccino I walk down the corridor and back to my desk. I have to put the food and drink on the floor to find my electronic key and enter A Block. The corridor looks backlit and empty, even though I can hear laughter from somewhere. The students I can hear lounge around on beanbags in the space that used to have a wall and a number. Nathalie claims that this space does not get used. I disagree.
When I look out of the window I will notice that this morning’s snow has left no trace at all.
At 16:30 I will start the second session of Digital Mediascapes with a discussion of today’s topic: autoethnography. I will then set them a task that involves tracking their own media consumption for two weeks. After this I will present a revised version of the presentation that I gave at my thesis defence. I will concentrate on the psychology of media, in the sense of addressing the question: when we talk about people interacting with media, what do we mean by “people”?
Later I will introduce the students to the mini-mooc on Curatr called The Social Age. They will log in and begin to explore. I will explain the two reasons that I want them to do this: to study how moocs work, and to absorb the ideas in this particular mooc.
At 20:20 people will leave for the weekend, and I will start clearing up.
When I leave I will notice that this the snow has started again and falls quickly in thick clumps on the already covered ground.