No. 1

The joy of the unexpected

The sensation of learning something unexpected is full of inspiration and later on, anticipation. The thrill of the latter leads to a craving for more – in my case creativity and the feeling of having done something useful. Something worth studying for.

This rather emotional introduction pretty much sums up my immediate feelings reflecting on Week 1 of my MA Creative Events Management at Falmouth University.

Having experienced poor teaching at my undergraduate degree made me leery. I often had to fight to be acknowledged as a diligent and inquisitive student, reaching a low point when my professor ordered (!) me to “be less ambitious”.

“Treat people as adults. Treat them as partners; treat them with dignity; treat them with respect. Treat them – not capital spending and automation – as the primary source of productivity gains.” (Peters and Waterman, Jr. 1982: 238

I don’t have to mention how that comment made me feel, especially because I was one semester away from graduation. I had reached a point of no return, even though I very much wanted to leave the academical surrounding behind me.

IMG_6939
Fig. 1. Anon. Unknown. Me, the horse, and my professor, the misguided carter

But when I wrote my Bachelor thesis on the historical development of London’s Trafalgar Square and the current Fourth Plinth Art Commission, my passion for academic writing and thinking experienced a renaissance. My inner fire was lit again.

InstinctsSo, maybe the most unexpected lesson I learned is that I chose (maybe even unconsciously) a postgraduate degree where I finally am going to be accepted for who I am as a student, being fostered and supported all the way through to my diploma. This is exactly the message I received – between the lines – throughout the first week.

“Culture is learned and passed on; it evolves, and takes on different dimensions reflected in belief systems, symbols and ritualistic behaviour. Culture is ‘central to the explanations of why human beings are what they are and why they do what they do'”(Schultz and Lavenda 2005: 4, cited in Getz and Page 2016: 90).

From a more academic point of view I learned that “Event Studies” have quite a lot in common with my major at University of Zurich – Popular Culture Studies. This made me feel very much “at home”, since I love this field, particularly because it is so interdisciplinary, covering issues from many disciplines such as sociology, anthropological ethnology, psychology or politology. That fact marks a considerable significance to me.

“Holism is the principle of studying cultures as complex systems, the implication being that the study of events has to be placed in a very broad context. For example, events may contain highly symbolic representations of importance to a culture.” (Getz and Page 2016: 91)

To sum up, in terms of personal development I’d love to broaden my academical knowledge on cultural topics regarding Event Studies, but eventually be able to put my theoretical knowledge into practice and become a hands-on event manager.

B i b l i o g r a p h y 

GETZ, Donald and Stephen J. PAGE. 2016. Event Studies. Theory, research and policy for planned events. Third Edition. London and New York: Routledge.

PETERS, Thomas J. and Robert H. WATERMAN, Jr. 1982. In Search of Excellence. Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies. New York: Warner Books.

RATCLIFFE, Susan. 2012. Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Fifth Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

SCHULTZ, Emily A. and Robert H. LAVENDA. 2005. Cultural Anthropology. A Perspective on the Human Condition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

F u l l   l i s t   o f   f i g u r e s

Figure 1: Anon. Unknown. Horse in the wrong direction. Available at: http-//www.perspektive-kultur.de/2015/03/wie-fuehrt-man-richtig/  [accessed 30 January 2017].

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