Lesson learned: Take your time for the best result!
Things are moving slowly but surely in the right direction. Things -such as applications for grants, finding schools to work with etc- are taking linger then we expected, but thankfully we are on the right path and it feels like things are well in order. My father -the project manager- always said that you have to spend a really long time on the research, making sure it is all in order, and then you can move on to building the project. But if you have done a sloppy work on the groundwork, then you will most certainly have setback along the way.
It is as true as it was said, but it is hard to remember this when the only thing you really want to do is to go out there and arrange workshop with the kids.
A few weeks ago I (Moa) was back in sweden for a short visit. I had a wedding to attend and a bride to keep happy – I had the enjoyable task of being a bridesmaid – but i figured that i might as well visit some schools while i was at it. So, i arranged meetings with 4 different school, Thunmanskolan and Margarethaskolan in my hometown Knivsta and Stenhagen learning and culture center and Linné gymansiet in Uppsala.
Here i can easily say that i rushed it a bit too much during my visit to the 2 schools in Knivsta. I had a train to catch from Stockholm to Linkøping at 12. It was a mistake, but from it i learned that the best thing you can do while doing research at a location, any location, is to spend hour after hour mapping the place, doing interviews and simply observing.
During the visits to the final 2 schools i spent more time asking questions and talking to the people i met. I still wish i had more time, but that i will have to arrange for my next visit to Sweden.
Picture from the schools will be uploaded later on.
Some of the things that l learned during my visits were
1. you are not allowed to film in schools without a written consent from the parents of each student that gets into the picture. This can be rather tricky when you are filming a space and the kids starts jumping as to be a part of the picture. It also makes it difficult to photograph and film the way that students use a space.
2. Always use a day or so to truly see how the students use the spaces during different times of the day, and during different activities.
3. Don’t be shy to ask students questions, they are happy someone wants to know what they think.
4. When asking questions, ask open questions and give them time to think.
Other then that my trip to Sweden taught me to not stand outside during the swedish fall in a silk dress without a thick jacket -It will have consequences, and i’m suffering them right now- & don’t rush anywhere or anything, it will 1. “give you bad results” and 2. “probably give you no choice but going back and redo them”. And redoing them will not only cost you precious time, but it will most probably cost you money, and money is very scarce now a days, specially when you are a student.
Time for me to leave the internet and get back to pen and paper