© 2013 ellathompson


ALLO ALLO ALLO. I must warn you all, I have had far too much coffee and am in a current state of crazy. This is because I usually restrict my coffee consumption to absolute minimum so that it’s super useful when I need it (like for late-night work). I have had a quiiite a lot. I keep experiencing the strangest urge to pull a face every few seconds. But you can’t see that… So I’ll just try to maintain at least some pretence of normalcy… Cool… Going well, Ella.



For the first time in a Networked Media lecture, I found myself zoning out a bit. I didn’t find this lecture as engaging as the others. I think it was partly because of the other tutors’ involvement. Well, the way they were involved – merely reciting long summaries of the readings. I guess that’s helpful, but – to be honest – I find what Adrian has to say far more fascinating and far more valuable. Nonetheless, the lecture was still more engaging than my other lectures that week, so I’m definitely not discouraging any of this experimentation. I’m super on-board with it all. It’s just trial and error, and exploration. SMILEY FACE.


Adrian began by again describing the significance of the lecture theatre’s architecture. It is premised on a “one-to-many teaching manner”. This firstly took me back to the days of maths. One-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one… Ah, those days. Then I tried to figure out what he meant in this context. One lecturer, many students. One knowledge-transferrererer, many knowledge-consumers. One person broadcasting their ideas, thoughts, opinions to an audience.

He went on to explain how, in Networked Media, structure emerges through practice. The course operates as an ecology, rather than having a defined structure. Thus, the theatre space is an ill-designed one for this course. He expressed his intention to open up the area, to make it more of a conversation/debate dynamic. And just to “see if it works”. I like that.

Adrian then flew through a few topics – something about our “primitive reptilian brains” and then something about this course leading us to being innovative/creative risk-takers who will get jobs. Yes, I was listening, I just can’t quite remember the specifics.


The majority of the lecture was spent on responding to that one student’s question – “Why should we come if the content of the lectures is completely unrelated?” Haha oh, I bet they regretted asking that one… Anyway, Adrian brought up some interesting points in the course of his entertaining rant.

He discussed how we have been trained in a student learning model where we surrender our agency. How we have been trained in passive consumption. How education has been framed for us as some sort of retail transaction – we as the client/customer and our tutors as the service provider/shop assistant. We have been carefully nurtured in a rigid educational structure which looks only to maximise our VCE outcomes. This one-way mode of learning has been ingrained into us. Passive consumption of information. Education confused with transaction.

I found this to be quite an accurate depiction of high-school education. I’ve never liked those learning structures where you have to surrender your agency, it’s almost as if you simultaneously surrender your motivation. It’s just debilitating. Recently, I’ve found myself really looking forwards to assignments, and actually enjoying the day-to-day work I have to do for uni. I think this is because of the amount of say I now have in what I do and how I do it. This was not the case in high-school. In the later years of high-school, you are conditioned to associate terror with work. Fear of failure is fed. Competitive mentalities are fostered. Learning is – consequently – an exhausting task, a debilitating affair.

Adrian went on to emphasise how being here is a privilege, an experience. We are treated like students in this program. This education is learning “how to be” – I don’t really know what that last part means, though. How to be what?

He likened this course to an invitation to dance – unknown steps, unknown where the dance will lead us to, but this is absolutely no reason not to dance… Cool. Let’s boogie. Or tango. Or vogue. I’m good with whatever.

Adrian also responded to the question with another question – “Why not ask a question that makes it all relevant?” He went into how Networked Media is a subject premised on ‘the network’ – on dialogue. Part of the course is to learn how to ask better questions, and thus get better answers. Sounds good to me.


What was interesting about the tutors’ involvement were their different points of view. In Elliot’s case, his completely opposite viewpoint. He stressed the relationship between economics and university. We came into this degree with the expectation that it would better position us to get a job. This is a transaction, an exchange.

This is accurate, too. But as soon as I think of the degree like this, I feel myself defaulting to that old passive programming – losing my sense of drive, since it has been implied that I have little control/navigation over my own education, my active input being relatively inconsequential. So, I prefer to think of it Adrian’s way, simply for my own benefit.


The other teacher who spoke – I’M SORRY, I DON’T KNOW YOUR NAME, I’M SURE YOU’RE A LOVELY PERSON – underscored the utility of the ‘what if’ question. A simple prompt for us to imagine a scenario, so as to aid speculation about future potentialities. Cool.


I think the lecture finished on Adrian explaining how SMS was introduced as a purely business-oriented tool. People never expected it to become the technology it is. For example, it produces enormous revenue for reality TV shows through ‘voting’.


What’s the main thing I took away from all this?

I expect at least one full lecture to be given in interpretive dance.


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