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

Trying to formulate a framework for Natural and Cultural Heritage Management

It’s not my job of course and I’m not even sure it’s possible for a student to do it, but it seems we are often uncertain what is the core elements of our programme, probably because it is multidisciplinary and also rather new. I had a few discussions with other students recently and some have been a little bewildered.

As I am at the same time trying to prepare myself for my Bachelor’s thesis, which I have to write in the spring, and this would involve a lot of thinking about our field, the philosophy of science, the methods and theories we use and the world view they represent.

I hope that these things might prove useful also to some of my fellow students.

Sprout

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

Views of Nature

Hans Fink, in ‘Nature Through Western Eyes’, talks about different views of nature. Let me share them with you:

The Wild
Nature is that which is not culture, it’s the things that are untouched by humans, the uncultivated land. It relates, in a way, to the neolithic pioneer farmer who fenced in parts of nature and cultivated it. Nature is all that he hasn’t touched.

It might be hard to find any nature anymore when using this perspective.

The Rural and the Green
Nature is the thing that is outside the big cities and the farm land which would be culture according to the previous view is now part of the green land where we spend summers, leisure time and trot along nature trails. This view of nature seems to be a child of industrialisation – we romanticise that which we left behind.

The environment
Nature is everything that is ‘not us’, the things that are out there, and there is a duty for us to take care of nature, nature views become normative, we are stewards and custodians. This view of nature can be linked to conservation movements and the aim is to not affect nature too much.

The physical
Nature is that which obeys the laws of nature as opposed to the metaphysical things. One day, we will have understood things well enough that everything can be put in this category. This view of nature has traits of enlightenment, is what we would normally call scientific and sees nature as inanimate.

The Earthly
Nature is the non-divine and the non-demonic. It is the creation made by a creator, and is everything that is not magical. It is that which can be seen. Humans have a special role in this understanding of nature, because we have been created in Gods image, or hold certain mediator functions.

The Whole
Nature is all of the above, but nature is also all of the other things. You cannot have anything without it being nature – if it exists, it is nature. We often think that our relationship with nature is broken, but it is not possible, we are in nature and nature is in us. Instead, it is likely that it is our thoughts that play tricks on us when we think we can escape nature, be above it, or apart from it. Nature is holistic and talking about non-nature is really quite absurd.

Hans Fink says that while everything is nature, that does not mean that what we do with it is without consequence. Quite the opposite. But once a choice is made, that choice is ‘natural’, because from that moment on, it exists, as a fact and by virtue of existing and being real, it is part of ‘it all’, it’s now nature.

The Doubt

So, it seems it is that time, now that the exam and the presentation is over. The time for thoughts like ‘I’ll never be the kind of person they expect me to be’. ‘Is this degree even right for me?’. ‘How can I find a job in this field?’. And more of same. I don’t know the answer to all those questions.

I find it difficult to create a new professional identity in my 30’s. It’s not a clean slate. It’s years of experience and knowledge that has to be fit in and linked with the new stuff. Some of the new things really don’t match my values and my personality.

Owl learning to fly

I believe I can fly…

I try to engage with the material. Ask questions. Relate things to each other. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like this course and me are not made for each other. It shatters my confidence that I fell like I am a stranger passing through. I need to look at whether this is something I can fix or whether I should look for something else to do.

Do it properly, or not at all, I am thinking.

Exam day

Whoa!

In 2 hours I will know how it went with the project on Women’s Bodies, the one that has naturism and life modelling in it. To be honest, I am quite nervous, which also shows on my blood glucose levels… Not the ideal conditions for an exam to be honest.

We have to do a presentation and then later, there is a socalled ‘informal chat’… Right. We shall see how it goes.