This final year of constellation has been a big step from previous years. There is an independence and freedom to write about something I’m passionate about and something I can relate to most. I would have near through in the first year that I could or even attempt to write 8,000 words. I knew form pervious years that my subject and field was stronger than my constellation. The first two years of constellation has taught me so much, and I adapted all that in my dissertation. Writing in an academic way is probably the most difficult concept that took a while to get my head round. I took every lecture’s advice when writing, and soaked up every possible bit of information as I knew my writing had to be the same standard as my subject. Every lecture and even researching taught me how to look at things differently, to analyse everything, which is a technique I practice is my subject. I annotate every part of my work or what I created, what it means and how it’s important to what I want to say or create.
In my first year term I chose ‘Smells like teen spirit’. Out of all the lectures I took part in, this one was the one I remember the most. The reasons was because it was my first one, and the one I was most nervous about. However, it was also the one I learnt most about academic writing, it was when I first learnt the importance of quotes. How to state a point then give evidence for it and then to explain that point. Some call this P.E.E. – Point, Evidence, Explain. I have stuck to that rule ever since that lecture day. This has helped me to understand academic writing and hopefully to understanding more in the future, as I carry on to experiment with this technique and have more of an understanding of what I’m writing.
I decided that creating an artefact was the best route for me. In previous years, skills in creating an academic argument wasn’t my strongest point and something I struggled with. Creating the artefact seemed to be make more sense for me as a creator and writer. I could then create something related to my subject using techniques I use and techniques I think I’m good at and enjoy in my subject. This was then easier for me to research and find information in something I was already researching.
I gained personal independence in this last term, doing independence research, which I mainly learnt in Level 5, term 2. Whilst writing my dissertation proposal I realised that the research is the main element of a piece for writing, especially a dissertation. Just in the same way I know that research is the most important part of creating something in my subject and even field. I need to understand something clearly before I make my own interpretation or argument. Due to its importance, it is also what took most of my time. I knew from previous years that I needed to start my research as quickly as I possible. Writing my dissertation proposal at the end of my second year on what I was going to write about meant I had time to gather enough research to write a constructive and board answered dissertation. I looked everywhere, in journals, books, magazines and videos. I needed to maybe understand my subject and write a plan of writing before starting any written word. I had made this mistake in the past few years, by not fully researching which resulted in researching as I went along.
When reaching more academic writings, I came across a book called ‘Making is Connecting’ by David Gauntlet. It was a great book on how making is a way of connecting with things. He had clear chapters and clear writing type that I could easily understand. It was the inspiration and research that I needed, to write something I was passionate about and that made sense to me. This book gave me ideas for so many possible windows. How craft in particular quilts create a relationship with yourself, and how that conveys meaning. I have always been interested in symbolism, and why artist/crafters create what they created and how that conveys meaning. I love how deep and personal it gets when it means something or it’s telling something to the viewer. I think it’s the only reason why anyone would create something. The different ways on connected through making, which then resulted in my title ‘Quilting is Connecting’.
There was no end to my subject matter, from researching and having other ideas meant I could have gone on and written a lot more than I did and probably would have gone over the word count. This is something I thought would not happen as I sometimes struggled to write enough in previous small essays. Every topic was interesting and also the ability to write what I wanted and the freedom to write what I found. I think, due to this, I found it difficult to narrow down the important bits. The information had to be relevant and I needed to stick to my question and argument.
I’ve enjoyed creating my own title and writing what I want. It hasn’t been so much of a chore writing something you enjoy and are interested in. This also makes it very difficult for someone to help you. As pervious years, having someone there for academic advice and reading material is always useful. However, they can’t write it for you and you have to have your own ideas. That’s something I learnt an awful lot this year. Just in the same way you become independent during your subject, this year I also become independent in constellation. Becoming who you want to be and what you want to write about can be difficult at first. Eventually I found my rhythm, just as I do in my subject. I tried to think of the subject matter of my dissertation while in my practicing subject, which became easy due the craft nature of my course. It was easy for me to create in my subject, and think about what I was doing and what my mind and hands where doing. Also realising how I was captivated in that moment. All the things that I was passionate about writing in my dissertation. If I thought about something I was making and how it related to my dissertation question I would write it in. Even more so, finding academic writings about what I felt or thought in my subject and how I was possibly connecting in my class group or with myself.