Things Can Be Otherwise 5

Knowledge, the self and personal development plan

In this session we focused on the idea of the self and our personal development plan.

For the personal development plan I needed to answer some questions about my learning:

  • What went well?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What was my way of being?
  • What did I like/dislike?

What went well?

I think that a few things have gone well. In doing Things Can Be Otherwise I have been able to think about how to strengthen my arguments in debates. I was able to do this though looking at how philosophers like Plato, Nietzsche and Descartes contrasted their arguments and looking at the pros and cons of them. I also did this through discussion with others in a small group or with the class as a whole. This comes in valuable because knowing how to construct argument and discussion in art and design is so important. I need to be able to formulate a sound opinion and narrative for my artwork and writing to stand up for. If I can’t do that, then anything I produce would be weak, unoriginal and just not interesting.

What could have gone better?

The main thing that could have gone better was my preparation for each session. I found it difficult to get the required reading done and I wasn’t very good at keeping up with the blogs.

I also think that I should have spoken up more when I had an opinion so that I could develop my arguments more and be a bit more confident.

What did I like/dislike?

I liked that I got to think about things that I wouldn’t have thought of before because it makes me think about things and not to simply take things at face value.  I also liked the topics that were covered because they were things that I don’t usually get to talk about so it was nice to have a couple of hours out the day to ask questions and discuss them.

I didn’t like the times when we had to write a paragraph as a group. I found that extremely difficult and I prefer to write on my own. It was good in that it got me to think about writing as more of a social thing because in the past, even in exams, I tended to write as if I was explaining something to myself, it’s a private thing to me. I just thought it was easier to write something by myself and then share it with somebody else.

What was my way of being?

I thought of my way of being as an elderly person who’s lost in a supermarket. That is to say I knew what I wanted to get from the supermarket, my degree, but I don’t really know how to get there. It’s a feeling of being lost but not entirely in a bad way. From the time I’ve been here muddling my way around, I’ve encountered a lot of really exciting things through constellation like this idea of the cyborg thesis, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and critical design. However, there’s a lot of confusing things too like trying to remember who thought what in the world of philosophy and trying to remember all the different terms.

Being lost in this supermarket degree has also been interesting for me because I have been able to observe how other people get through it and learning about other ways of being. For example there are people who are frustrated by the experience and there are others who are laid back and others who get very stressed about the whole thing.

The challenge in this way of being is trying to select the things are interesting and most relevant to me.


These are some loose thoughts about the personal development plan and how I feel about things at the moment.



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