I live! Actually, I’ve just returned from my parents’ house, where, using my dad’s treacle-slow computer to access this webpage causes the whole thing to begin to implode. It was best not to do that, really, so I stayed away from the blogsite, even though I felt ready to blog anew. Now I suspect I updated a month and a bit ago, so forgive me if I should repeat any bits and pieces of news about me which have already been so gratuitously written about.
I am just sitting in my new flat, enjoying a glass of mulled wine. Going home has benefits that include taking away items of food or drink that parents no longer want, this included, this time, a dusty bottle of unopened mulled wine. It smells and tastes of Christmas. So much has happened since then, yet so much seems to be going on now that I can mainly avoid bittersweet nostalgia. But it is good to have markers of time and memory- physical souvenirs, foods you used to eat, scents you haven’t encountered in a while, photographs, old emails, facebook messages. It’s good to be able to unlock the memories that are there somewhere in your brain.
Having finished most of the seminars aimed at educating us media young’uns about the professional world of making TV, I went to Glastonbury festival for a week. Here’s how:
You sign up to volunteer with Oxfam, which means working several 8 hour shifts at various festivals, and not having to pay for a ticket. Very good. I haven’t been camping since… well, the last 3-day festival I suppose, and I was just a shy newbie 18 year old then. Stewarding was fine, the weather superb for Glastonbury, the mud not *too* cowpatty, and the crowds heaving. Ahhhh I mean busy, not… vomiting. I may make another post about Glastonbury after this one- this is the ‘update’ post, not ‘rave about Glastonbury to everyone who doesn’t want to read about Glastonbury’ post.
Anyway, I came back to London on the 31st. This summer is dedicated to the final project, which is the documentary. I had been guiltily tossing ideas about in my head before and throughout the festival, but in the end it was my partner who hit upon an interesting topic. He sent me these articles regarding the concept of ’shared space’.
I was dubious as to how interesting a documentary about, broadly speaking, traffic, roads, and road accidents could be. Nonetheless, I particularly liked the comments about the theory which seemed to allude to different perspectives and broader views- Susan Greenfield, neuropharmacologist and favourite of the media, remarking that traffic lights are a metaphor for disenfranchment. Professors declaring the road makes us act against our natural human behaviour. It had been surprisingly hard to settle upon a documentary topic. Although the nature of the final project was a strong impetus to decide to do the Science Media Production course and not the Science Communication course, I had felt incredibly conscious that time was short and it seemed thus that many topics were easily ‘interesting’, but not practical. Reading these articles, I felt a few cogs in my brain shiver, and start, hesitantly, to turn. So there was our topic.
Alongside planning for the documentary, I’ve also become an infrequent columnist or writer for Conservation Today, a website that provides conservation-related news and opinions for all sorts of interesting topics around the world. With several writers on board from both Sci-Comm and SMP, it’s bound to be a diverse and intriguing source of info. Check it out at:
I also volunteered to do some weekly research for a small, smart sounding company over in L.A. It gives a good excuse to go delving through science journal websites again, even though trying to reconcile the nature of scientific research (slow, complicated, careful, contextual) with what might appeal to the media (instant appeal, intrigue, excitement, relevance) is a bit of a clash in the head. I wonder if doing work might ever result in an all expenses paid trip to L.A… ha, ha…. hmm are they reading this?
Then there’s another possible internship that might be going ahead this autumn. I won’t give more details till it’s confirmed to be definitely happening, but it’s in a fairly unusual part of the world, in so far as internships go.
Ah, and one more thing. I’m also hoping to construct a short comic for a competition this autumn. It’s not really related to science, but the information was provided for by the Sci-Comm department. Hopefully now I’ve mentioned it, I will feel even more compelled to start the thing sooner! I still hope that I can produce science comics, or science artworks, one day. I’d like to be like Bill Sienkiewicz, Chris Ware, David Attenborough, and Ian McEwan rolled into one. Except… female, and… etc.
Anyway- the point is, though, that none of the above things would be happening if not for the emails which are sent out around the Sci-Comm and SMP email lists by our lecturers. There’s really been quite a diversity of opportunities, from jobs to volunteering at science festivals, to lectures, to internships. No, they’re not paying me to write this sort of stuff (though… hi there… you *could* be… hmm? Just saying. I need a job…). I just feel quite appreciative in the wonderful summer climate.
Photographs of Glastonbury, London, and Kew Gardens (where we did a sort of field trip and one of our lecturers bought us all extremely good ice creams…) forthcoming. It’s a fine summer in London, and I’m happy that the course hasn’t ended yet.