Category Archives: autoethnography

As I Turn the Page

Yesterday I left my role as Course Leader for Media Production (TV & Film) in the FE sector with the goal of completing my Doctorate write up over the forthcoming six months. It signals a transformative and indeed reflexive time for me. I received some wonderful, thoughtful words and creative gifts.

As a ‘thank you’ and in honour of all my colleagues who have worked so tirelessly and done some amazing work with vocational students over the past 14 years,  I wish them all well:


As I Turn the Page


As I turn the page, this chapter here ends.

Whilst I fully acknowledge it’s the right time to leave my good friends.


There is no denying FE is tough, put politely somewhat unique,

But after 14 years I feel I’ve reached my FE peak.

A necessary move; tinged with sadness,

bittersweet converged with gladness.


Aren’t you scared? I was recently asked.

Afraid of what? I thought. Of others or myself?

Not a chance, the thought soon passed.


My desk is now packed.

Laptop and keys returned on request,

As I move forward, unafraid,

of living my own conquest.


For years I have talked of artistic visionaries, on what others create;

Now time to lay focus on my own research and craft of writing – no time to wait.

Knowing now is right for me, feeling free informed a critical choice

My time here proving essential to finding my own voice.


I’ve been a rainbow in many a clouded tutorial, the students they know.

Encouraged peers to pursue masters and provided comfort for others feeling low.

I’ve facilitated media careers, and many I’ll never know.

Thus, the beauty of teaching, it is in the silent seeds that we sew.


Having witnessed years of undeserved denouncement and criticism of our turf,

Promise one thing, always know your worth.

For if the road ahead remains tough,

Always know you are enough.

You just are enough!

The latter repetition was intended for emphasis, not lazy grammar Mr Ofsted.

As I seek out to redesign my own regulatory framework in my own thinking shed.


In a world of data, I still see faces!

In a world of judgement;

Let them leave no traces.


No traces to map the rest of the way,

For that belongs to you; autonomy to find your own way.

Whatever the journey, whatever the route.

Invest in yourself for you are the fundamental shoot.


So, as I walk towards footsteps that don’t yet exist,

And continue the struggle with an unapologetic raised fist.

For as a woman who is a daughter, a mother, a student, and a writer with a voice who

has something to say…

It is time to disseminate that knowledge and negotiate my way.


The baton must be passed knowing I tried my best,

A re-versioning of myself – as a critical life test.


So not to milk or eek out this goodbye any more,

Thank you all for your energy, for the many conversations, for the laughs and sometimes

sorrowful narratives we have shared at our core.


As I grab my hat and coat for one last time,

one illogical ‘My Little Pony’ song continues to chime…

‘I love horses, they’re the best of the animals. I love horses, they’re my friends.’


The madness of Ofsted (2004) remains a permanent memory for me.

An example of laughing hysterically, a strategy to get us through; drinking copious

amounts of coffee and tea.


And finally, then, as I turn the page of this particular chapter,

I go leaving the campus with one less scouser to share in the laughter.

Speaking of which, under the watchful eye of Ms Fox – I know she will support you all

and keep you in toe.

So, continue to laugh, it’s good for the soul and always know you are your own rainbow.






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Skype 26.4.17 J&I

Long sentences: I have since readdressed one specific sentence highlighted as an example and killed it but allowed the content to live out in several paragraphs instead.

Contradiction: Straight to the point versus language hyperbole – still working on the middle ground. Very true.

Creation of a visual representation (that can perhaps clarify outcomes of methods as determined by actions) as a timeline of events.

Insufficient referencing to the research question (it is an identified problematic not a question – requires clarification). Historical, political, contextual sensitivity required, this is not a ‘social problem’ but a process of negotiation towards participant empowerment (rhizomatic action research).


All makes sense to me.

Feels like clearing out an old set of draws, preparing a case. It is really becoming a process of streamlining and clarifying events – that can seem more complicated with distance.

Tip: What I did…

Last night I had a dream that everyone said it was crap, happy to wake up. It is a mental process, it is mental.

The more I think about the data, confidence and self-belief become consistent strands, maybe I was hoping to draw on this too? It is a mental process, it is mental.

Through The Looking Glass Pane And What Emma Found

Looking through the glass pane at the pissing down rain.

Been walking through the heath to relax my brain.

All this when my kids are in Spain.

A necessary sacrifice, a personal choice,

the goal of entitlement to celebrate voice.


‘Pray for all the women out there,’ we say every night.

For God knows, it is going to be an eventful fight.

I hope they remember to say it before they turn out the night-light.


Face cold and damp,

Apple blossom and leaves line the roads –

The wonderful stench of suburban living.


No chocolate eggs this Easter.

But real shells caught in the drain, only fair.

Leftover from the egg and bean lunch,

No time for food prep.

Don’t seem to care.

Now dusk and pondering a glass of red wine or something soft instead?

Still sitting at my desk, enough said.


Excuses, deviations, my eyes do hurt.

Summaries awaiting attention one thing is for cert (mate).


Thinking when walking in the pissing down rain,

analyses help my sense of composure and refrain.

From self-perpetuated, self-inflicted negative waves,

as emotions lie guarded in their caves.

What’s it all for? Bemoans the menacing doubt.

Get back under the table you messed up lout.

Reframing The Frame: A Co-Production

Having deleted the auto from autoethnography, I can now move forward as a post-structural ethnographer assuming a participatory (or rhizomatic!?) action research approach (with my students). I consider myself officially reframed. For the record my blog now constitutes a reflexive platform, someone to walk with.

Reframing me

Key lesson for today: When anonymising keep to the same participant ID. When working (over a sustained period of time) with participants ensure that labelling of artefacts remain consistent. Had to spend (waste) a considerable amount of time (my fault) making sure that the pilot identification of data is consistent with main body research.

Back to NVIVO…