On the home straight

Well, it’s been a while since I last blogged about MA studies. That’s a) because I submitted my last assignment(s) on mobile journalism; b) took a well-earned month off so got to experience what is commonly known as a life; and c) am now wading through my final module, the MA by practice one, which leads me down the home straight to graduation. Whoop whoop.

So, to cover point A, for the last module, entitled Production Labs (a chance to experiment) I submitted two assignments, one detailing my venture into mobile journalism, called ‘Finding my #MOJO’ in which I created a microsite MobyClick with some useful resources for anyone interested in capturing content on their mobile phone. Assignment two was a proposal (based on what I learned from assignment one) for my MA by Practice module, the equivalent of a dissertation. I got 80% and 72% respectively for these assignments, whoop whoop, and nearly fell off my chair. Tutors don’t give too much away when reviewing drafts and I always feel like I’ll scrape through. I found these modules tougher than the previous ones, not because the subject matter wasn’t awesome, it was, and what I learned was truly invaluable and are skills I use daily at work now, but because of fatigue. Firstly there was tutor fatigue (one of my tutors wanted weekly chats and I found this too much) as we didn’t often sing from the same song sheet and I generally found the relationship tiring and it constantly put doubt in my mind about what I was doing). Thankfully tutor number two was awesome.

Different kinds of fatigue

Then there was general study fatigue – I worked so hard on my previous assignment I took a bigger break than I should have and left it later to get into this module just gone. I was forever chasing my tail, didn’t organise my work or study time as well as I could have and family circumstances made things a little trickier. This left me a lot to do at the end.

Then there was mobile phone fatigue. One of the things I flag up as part of this assignment is the lack of health and safety information about using mobile phones at work. I spent a lot of time at home and work (far more than normal) using my iPhone, editing video, shooting footage, experimenting with apps, and it made me tired. I have bad posture and excessive mobile phone use exacerbates this, I tense up unnaturally and the result is a numb hand, pain in my arm, tension in my neck and shoulders, dizziness and fatigue. It’s not nice and the only thing that can fix it is a break from phones and computers and a few sessions with the osteopath. When I mentioned this to tutor one as a possible part of my assignment he said “who cares?”. Supportive. Thankfully I had the sense to ignore him, and actually, in the end, this got me extra marks – there’s no real research out there about how smartphones at work affect health.

And then there was life fatigue. Not that I was tired with life, but my life was making me tired. I’m a nearly full-time working mum of two young children and MA study (supposedly 25 hours per week) sits on top of all that. It’s a lot. Sometimes I just wanted to collapse on the sofa but time was against me and I’d feel guilty about not catching up with study work. Sometimes I wanted to go out with friends but again knew that would eat into study time. So this module I found tougher than the last, hence a month off which covers point B.

Point C is the final hurdle, the MA by Practice module, which is now in full swing having started at the end of September. And I’ll fill you in on that in another post. And once that’s complete – and assuming that I pass it – I’ll be graduating in summer 2017. And that’s my motivation.




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