IV drips, possums in trees and googling ourselves: the second “Unlecture”

As I (unexpectedly) furiously jotted notes into a few pages of my notebook (no laptops allowed!), I thought to myself that this ‘unlecture’ was very engaging and successful because Adrian actually answered questions that we had, instead of a curriculum program outline assuming we have. The more direct answers you receive, the more clarity you get, thus engaging you more with the course.

My favourite quote of the non lecture was something along the lines of “you’re students, not sponges! I’m not going to hook you up to an IV of information and education!” I completely agree, most Uni and high school courses will do that, undermining your value as a human being and an active student. I feel that this unconventional no-sponge learning is kicking in and working for me, as I love being able to remain completely creative and individual while participating in the course.

The questions answered were all quite broad and conceptual which is good for a first week, as I felt myself really starting to understand the nature of the subject. However, my simple technical question of “how do you embed a Youtube video into a post?” wasn’t wacky funky cool enough to make it into the “yes” pile, so I’ll have to wait til tomorrow for that.

I loved what Adrian (who was wearing fantastic shoes) said about us being content producers now, and being the students who would thrive as the dynamic “media and communications” industry underwent a revolution, ultimately to be the most important sector of society in a few years time. This honestly made me feel valued and important (sorry for the cheese); something I haven’t felt in other courses which essentially tell you this industry is impossible to get into and we probably will end up running coffees til we’re 35.

This unlecture was thought provoking, engaging, interesting and helpful! I really enjoyed it, although my hand started donning the classic “stop handwriting and get back on the computer” cramp after 4 pages of old school pen to paper notes!

Single, double, triple loop-de-loop with a cherry on top.

This week’s reading was based on Chris Argyris’ theories and exploration about learning and the ways humans react to certain situations. It confused me a tad, I found it to be a bit complex in a bizarre way. I found myself re-reading almost every sentence trying to wrap my head around certain concepts, but honestly found them dripping out of my left ear like water. Educational water though I guess… I still managed to connect to some of the key concepts and found some of it quite interesting and conceptual.

Here is essentially what I picked up:

  • What we try to convince others or ourselves is our normal behaviour can be called espoused theory. Basically it is how we think we would react in a certain situation and what action we would take, whether it is based on past experiences or not. I may be completely off, but I pictured a 30-something year old dude with tatts telling his mates over a jug of beer that if confronted with a grizzly bear, he would take the sucker down with a body slam and wear his claws as gloves for the next few days. (it’s been a long day…)
  • However, what actually governs our actions and behaviour is known as this theory-in-use. So, in my completely ridiculous example, it’s this tough dude running so fast and far away and crying like a child. Right?? Probably not. It kinda made me think of the “gap” between what I say I do and what I actually do. How big is that gap?
  • Single-loop learning is a matter of detecting and correcting error. For example, as I’m writing this and noticing a little red line under a word then fixing up its spelling is considered single-loop learning. I’ve detected an error, and by fixing it, I’ve learned the proper way to spell that word.
  • If the individual or organisation in question does not have to sacrifice or stretch their “governing strategies”, that is their present policies, objectives etc., this is single loop learning.
  • Double loop learning is a matter of questioning these governing variables and work outside of them; an alternative and more critical way of learning. To detect and correct the error, double-loop learning involves modifying your underlying norms, policies and objectives.

Anyway those are the key points over the first few pages, I really felt towards the end of the reading that I was being asked to consider my learning style, critically think about how and why I react in certain situations and why I should be questioning all this instead of sitting idly by while my brain spins like a hamster wheel.

Grizzly bears and hamster wheels. I should definitely go to sleep.

Goodnight, blog world!

My first experience with an ‘unlecture’

That mostly sums up my feelings towards the unlecture and the first week course.
Like walking into every first lecture of a new course, I opened up a fresh blank document, created a brand new folder to save it into, stretched my fingers out and prepared myself to write down every tidbit of information I was thrown, hoping that at least 20% of it would stay in my head, or at least in my Word Document.

However, at the end of the “lecture”, I merely clicked the little red cross without habitually saving it, as I had actually written no notes. I had listened. I had actually listened to Adrian’s every word (needless to say I was completely hypnotised by his fantastic shirt) and retained the information. I felt a little Dead Poet Society, half-expecting Adrian to stand on a table, kick a laptop, set a text book alight and tell us that we were no longer tools in an educational factory. Totally not complaining, that’s one of my favourite films. And although Adrian (sadly) didn’t do this, I felt like I was about to embark in a very unconventional journey that is this course and get a lot more out of it then a simple GPA at the end. To be honest, I am sick of being treated like a university robot, having information thrown at us left right and centre and being told that if we couldn’t blurge it all into a perfectly formed essay, we were failures. This is why I’ve always strayed away from science, maths and even classic English studies and more towards a creative path. Therefore, this unlecture really got me excited to creatively thrive within the organic constraints of the course and truly get something out of it in return when it’s all done.

The “Hmmm” refers to my curiosity. In no way is it a bad “hmmm,” it’s a good one! I pondered how this course and the next few “unlectures” will pan out, how I will do in this learning style, where my strengths will lie and whether or not I’ll need 398204238082340 coffees in order to complete all the assignments.

I’m excited, really excited!

I just bloody hope Adrian continues wearing such fabulous shirts.

Volcano Choir announces a new album to be released in September.

When I heard that Volcano Choir had announced that September would see the release of the band’s second studio album, I thought I was in some beautiful Justin Vernon-based dream (which certainly aren’t a rarity for me) and it was just too good to be true. But alas, their second studio album entitled ‘Repave’ will be dropping under music label JagJaguwar in only a couple of months.

It is now evident that after Vernon announced Bon Iver would be “taking a break,” he has been putting his superhuman musical ability towards his side project band Volcano Choir, a collaboration with progressive-rock group Collections of Colonies of Bees. Volcano Choir released their first album entitled ‘Unmap’ in September 2011. Their hauntingly harmonic sound blends the symphonic strings, piano, voices in harmony and acoustic guitar that Bon Iver flaunted so famously with a more experimental production style. The result is beautiful compositions of sheer undeniable musical talent that completely relax and entice the listener.

‘Unmap’ flawlessly blends progressive rock, chill-wave, acoustic, ambient music together and seasons it with cleverly manipulated vocals that harmonise one another in an eerie and enchanting way. Needless to say, the announcement of a second album has been met with much excitement.

They’ve released a ‘teaser’ video for the album; a beautifully shot and edited piece of music-cinema masterpiece that gives a feel and to the album as well as featuring a brand new song entitled ‘Byegone.’

This video is such an incredible media piece that has a poetic experimental feel about it mixed with a effortless elegance. Each frame is carefully considered with soft focuses and harmonious compositions then smoothly edited together. It really shows how visuals are such a crucial part of the music industry, as a video like this really captures the uplifting and beautifully inspirational mood of the upcoming album. It has the creative and technical sophistication that is so rarely seen in music film clips these days. It really shows a considered and careful approach to the piece as an artwork; the result being an incredibly shot, beautifully constructed and perfectly edited piece that you can’t look away from if you tried.

I personally won’t be sleeping til September. This is going to be amazing.




Is Print Dead?

Adrian uploaded on the Networked Media page a really interesting post regarding The Onion’s article entitled Print Dead at 1.803. (wow that was a lot of hyperlinks).

I love The Onion. And I’m so glad Adrian was able to find an article that was entirely relevant to our course that I can blog about, as their sharp wit and satirical humour has never ceased to entertain and amaze me. Their ironic anti-news satire is such a politically and socially charged standpoint against the nature of media itself. The paradox of making their site look completely realistic like a genuine news website is self-inflicting, sarcastic and sardonic humour that remains quite intellectual.

This tongue-in-cheek article presents the death of “print” media like an obituary, commenting about print’s life, history, origins and impact.

“Though print enjoyed a long, illustrious career for centuries, effortlessly reinventing itself countless times in order to better serve readers’ continual desire for information, in recent years observers reported that the medium was gradually slowing down its output, with both the quantity and quality of its work suffering as it struggled to keep up in a fast-paced landscape increasingly dominated by younger, more nimble channels such as the internet, email, and social media.”

This article and this passage in particular are so relevant to the course we’re studying right now at even my previous post about nostalgia from the 00’s. In the Media industry, it’s so important to keep up with the rapid technological advancements that have enormous impacts on the way the public and the individual receive and view media. Improving technology is the reason behind the emergence of “mass media” (that is, a message sent from a receive to a broad and wide audience) that has drastically changed the concept of communication within society.

This article denounces print media to be dead, making way for a new entirely online era of communications and media. As sad as it is, I tend to agree with this article, as technology has made it far too easy to access all the information we could possibly need at the click of a button, making newspapers, magazines and reference books rather redundant. Major newspapers have partly succumbed to this pressure by creating websites and Apps in order to stay afloat while hardcopy print media sadly gurgles underwater.

Books are now available electronically and for free as well, making Apple Books and Kindle the cheaper, easier, faster and more accessible option for bookworms.

That said, many people still love the feeling of a paperback in their hands or the sound of the newspaper pages turning while they sip their morning coffee, but this is increasingly becoming a pleasure of the past. We are certainly becoming a society of square eyes which are slowly looking away from the 1,803 year old method of putting ink to paper.

What will we be nostalgic about from the 00’s?

Through my endless stalking across the vast World Wide Web, I found a number of blogs I found really interesting. My favourites were the personal blogs that wrote about matters, events or concepts not with facts and figures, not based on interviews with experts, not to conform to a certain ideological view but simply for the sake of writing their thoughts and opinions down.

One blog I found, entitled Beautiful Absurdity is an opinion blog ran by a journalist named Shan Jaff from Germany. This post was one that particularly sparked my interest and started many conversations this week.


What Will We Be Nostalgic About From The 00’s? is the post, definitely worth a read.


I also miss the days of MSN, where your screen name and the song you were currently listening to had to be perfect in order to get the attention of the boy who sometimes sat behind you in Music class. Or the use of emoticons that crucially summed up your social standing with someone. And the days where you couldn’t be on the phone and internet at the same time… (okay I don’t particular miss them, but it’s pretty weird thinking about it). Flip phones were so totally cool, although we only ever used them to play Snake and call mum to pick us up from school.

Now the whole ’90’s kid pride thing has always made me cringe, especially because I experienced the 90’s from ages zero to six, where I was pretty much incapable of soaking up the retro culture seeing as I couldn’t even tie my shoes, but my childhood Golden Years were spent in the Noughties (if that’s really what we’ve decided to call that decade…) so I give myself to be lame, nostalgic and proud all at the same time. They were the years of bad pop music, rapid technological advancements one Walkman and Gameboy at a time, the very origins of Social Networking (because you were a nobody if you didn’t have a cool Myspace), renting DVDs and secretly downloading mp3’s off Limewire. They make me think of my socially awkward childhood years and how excited we were by these technologies which are now considered redundant, ancient and trivial.

That begs the question, will the iPhone be redundant and trivial in a few years? It’s hard to imagine that being so as it feels like the be all and end all of human technology, but that’s what we all thought about the wheel at one point too.

Me and my cat doing Networking Media “homework”

I feel like blogging has a direct correlation to being nocturnal. The old anecdote states that when you want to sleep and turn your brain off, that’s when all the best and most wild ideas bounce around your head like creative dancing laser beams. Thus it can be true to say that some of the best blogging (well for me this is mostly true) is done while killing time until your brain switches off to send you to sleep. Like procrastinating for sleeping. Using up the last bursts of brain energy before you start restoring and recharging.

So, here at 12:10am on Monday morning is my beautiful cat (and best friend) Alfie and I, blogging, thinking and writing. Well I’m doing most of the writing, he’s just lying here being adorable and purring.

Class 1

Like starting any brand new class, I was a bit nervous but excited walking into Room 17 of Level 2 of Building 9 on Thursday at 9:30am. From the lecture, I got the impression that the subject would be a bit unconventional and abstract, so my expectations were varied and odd about class. However, the fact that we were handed three sheets of paper that essentially outlined what we would be doing for the entirety of the course really concreted my understanding of the course and I felt that within the guidelines of our assessments I could creatively flourish. After reading through the assignment sheets and wrapping my head around them, I began thinking of plenty of ideas of how I could make the most of the subject and for myself. I began thinking what I wanted out of the course and what my personal and academic goals are, all creative and logical ideas from my own personal Networking Media ‘ocean!’

Admittedly I spent a majority of class time choosing and perfecting my blog’s theme (time well spent, obviously…) but throughout the week found myself jotting down post ideas into notepads or my phone and trying to explore the technical side of this site to successfully utilise this opportunity. I’ve been looking at other blogs around the web and really starting getting my head around this whole ‘blogging’ tomfoolery.


Reading 1: What is Networked Media?

Adrian’s description of Networked Media really astounded and excited me. It gave me an interesting insight into what this semester and this course will be like. The passage is abstract and metaphoric, quite open to interpretation and poetic. This itself hints towards the nature of the course; something conceptual, speculative, spontaneous and unique. I feel that it will be self-governing and independent, which is a learning style I react really well to!

This is roughly how I read the metaphor of the boat and the ocean:
The concept of being in a boat in the middle of the ocean ocean is akin to the feeling of being lost and surrounded by something vast and unknown. I guess that this could represent how being in the creative strand of education or even in the creative industry, it’s so easy to feel lost and swarmed in a mass of ideas, thoughts and opinions. There are literally endless options when writing a script, a story, starting a new project, making a film etc. To be written as such really made sense to me as I have felt very overwhelmed since I started this course, as though there are millions of opportunities and ideas but I can’t quite grasp onto any, almost as though they have the consistency of water.

Bringing in a boat to the metaphor makes me feel more secure and calm within the mass of unexplored territory. It would keep me afloat in such an intimidating and overwhelming situation so it would be the key to not (literally and figuratively) drowning! The fact that Networked Media has been compared to being in a boat in a vast dark ocean translates in my head as a way to collect, collate and take advantage of the millions of ideas floating around, ensuring we don’t drown in them! It makes me picture my ideas rippling around my safety haven of a boat and see where my creativity takes me.

This poetic description of the course has really has made me excited to dive right into it! No pun intended…

The Blogosphere

The concept of ‘blogging’ still makes me feel so confused and still in the 1990’s. I know what a blog is, I know how to blog, I know why people blog, but it’s still quite a funny concept to me.

This online dictionary says that a blog is a “web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.” I also learned that the word “blog” comes from a shortening of the word “Web blog.” Cool.

Anyone, definitions aside, I’m really excited to delve further into the world of blogs. There’s something about blogs that I find so futuristic and  cool. I feel like I’m almost not cool enough to blog, like everyone who owns and runs a blog is in some super secretive technological ‘club’ that I’m not invited to. Basically, this sums up my anxiety about blogging.

Mean girls style!


But, just like trying to fit into any super cool group, you have to fake it til you make it! SoOoOo.. let the blogging begin!