Presentation on experience of internship

I’m a member of the Education Board for my education and we’ve just been moved from the communication and teaching faculty to the business faculty. Our new Head of Studies has asked me to give a presentation at the next board meeting on Wednesday on my experience of my internship. A 5 month placement/internship is an integrated part of the education and they would like to know which parts of the education have been useful? How well did the host expectations match up with my abilities? Is there anything which in my opinion should be altered to make for a better experience?

I have been asking around to get a broader perspective and my fellow students have been really helpful as well.

Now will see how it goes on Wednesday but it should be good fun to have the chance to speak uninterrupted for 15 minutes. Haha!

Of course, the most important thing is making sure things run even more smoothly next year.

cogsgears

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Another semester gone

I had my exam today. My project was on how to design a picnic area for two very different types of visitors – German tourists and adolescents with dyslexia. The design I proposed was part of defining values, providing nature interpretation and upgrading infrastructure around a nature trail – and this again is a child project of a larger project about promoting the Raised Bog of Store Vildmore and the surrounding area.

I had been nervous. Most of my fellow students were doing festivals and campaigns aimed at the public while mine was aimed in the first instance at other professionals who are now working to implement my idea – graphical designers, architects and people in operations.

It was a small budget project – around £15,000 – but it has given me a valuable insight into projects of this kind.

The project manager for the parent project was there for my presentation and she has just texted me how proud she is. So am I, as I got top marks.

Below is a small drawing which is going to be part of the nature interpretation.

Highland

Alder Trees

In my parents’ garden, there were lots of alder planted up against the fence toward the bicycle path behind our garden. The were 3-4 metres high at the time and had multiple stems and sticky leaves which I wasn’t always so keen on touching – my fingers would glue together afterwards. My brother and I persuaded my mum to give us chocolate biscuits in a basket and we would go on a picnic – often interrupted by King, our lassie dog. One time we even talked her into serving chips and bangers, Danish red ones, on her best plates, complete with camping light and table cloth on top of the concrete well cover…

The Alder plays a big role in Danish folklore and Alder Nymphs were said to sing and dance to young men on foggy nights, causing them to never come home again as they would too late discover that the girls were not who they said they were. As alder trees often grow in wet areas and can survive even with their roots completely under water there was a real risk of drowning associated with these trees.

The Danish word for Alder, El, is one of the oldest words in our language and is of the same origin as Elm which means exactly the same in both Danish and English. Names of trees are often short and some of the most stable words in a language – that’s a comforting fact somehow.

Alder wood isn’t very durable apart from under water where it will turn pitch black but last longer than any other type of wood and it has been used for bridge pillars etc. It is also used for smoking and making charcoal.

Alder has special root nodules around which certain bacteria live which produce nitrogen for the tree in return for sugar. This process makes alder really good at improving soil fertility. That’s kinda neat.

On my table, I have a plant that a friend gave to me. It’s in a glass pot and has a tiny wooden mushroom sticking up from it. Around it, he’s tied some female catkins of alder. They look sort of like cones, but they’re not really. These woody catkins are different from the male catkins and also the catkins of birch, all of which disintegrate after they have served their purpose.

alder

Maybe tomorrow, I can tell you some random stuff about The Birch as both of these trees are in the Betulaceae family along with Hazels, Hornbeams and Ironwoods. You see, birches are some of my favourite trees and I’m sure you can’t wait to find out why…

A walk

Here is the impressions from today when I was out and about seeing the little nature path that I will be trying to get upgraded as part of my next project.

Play with me, begs the wind,
and tugs at the copper,
pushes the golden,
orange and green
into a clay-grey puddle
of captured autumn sky.

Time-lapsed clouds
race over molten lead
above the capony.

Catkins and nuts
burst like campfire
explosions
under my feet.

Puffballs spiky white,
Oysters clammed up beneath bridges,
Jew’s ear listening for the sound of elderberries
swaying in the wind
and 3 pheasant torpedos,
offset over rows of ditches.

Deer at dusk…

Dusk at midday in the drizzly
airborne dampness
of late October,
bridges leaning –
compartmentalised compartments
at Wounded Tree.

Scented Sitka.
Sudden reminders of
chainsaws, stuck trailers,
sore backs and silent rain
just like this.

The warm smell of oily
tangible fumes,
wood chips warm to the touch.
The first snow
melting down my back
and caught in dad’s eyebrows.

Accending, under sizeable oaks,
fields lie narrow
with borders of blue-deep
coniferous mystery.

Fire. Light.

Darkness wraps around me,
a blanket knitted with stars.
Hands curl
around mugs of hot chocolate.

Mind calms
restless senses
sitting beneath the ticke-ti-tick
of rain on leaves
behind me.

Coast

Hawthorned dunes. Withering ferns.
Taste of salt-speckled wind
and the blood of rusty winches.
Trees leaning East, abraded,
veterans of a tug war. Beach rose
flaunting endless successively
ripening victories, an invasion welling over
the edge of the land, to the heart beat
of the church bell proudly still standing.

Hare one moment. Gone the next. Ears
bobbling over the path, and under the orange
burning bush against the lead of the sky.

Then.

Down the right corner of my
sanded eyes – a pheasant!
Helicopter of sound, away,
then sideways. Stuttering my mind.
Pulse like turn of tide. Breathless.
Then another! Dull dragonfly
against a painful yellow backdrop.
The house.

As I gather my sensitivities,
regain cosmopolitan clarity,
proceding with caution
up a small flight of winded steps
– another attack of flack and flutter
as the third one passes close
before diving away from on-marching
invasions of my boots.

Fungi

Been out for a walk today, just through the park. Listened to the beech mast falling from the huge trees and thought to myself “I know this sound…” and then it dawned on me that it sounds quite like a camp fire. The little pops and cracks sound very similar. I sat there for a while, smiling.

I’ve been doing another one of my sketches as well, nothing special, just a few fungi.

Fungi

My life as a fairy

If I were a fairy, I’m sure this is how the world would look today:

Fungus2

Now, of course I’m not a fairy, but I was out for another walk in the forest, this time with my friend, our study council chairman. We had a long chat and saw a lot of fungi. It’s that time of year now, where the sky is unimaginably blue and the leaves are copper, yellow and red. My heart skips a few beats over the beauty of it all, and at the same time sinks, because of a melancholic sense of loss.

I also had the chance to dip my toes in a blue and green sea, and my! is it cold now. But having the opportunity to walk barefoot in the sand and look at the orange of the hawthorn and listen to the waves of the sea and the waves of the rushes was really welcome before another week of project work.