In conclusion, I feel this output has been very transformative; I have actively explored and designed my long term livelihood pathway, and the elements within it. I have analysed my patterns of self care and begun a design process which could change my life forever. My gains in self care mean I am finally learning how to make time to love, to grieve, to feel and not numb myself in my attempts to simultaneously survive and resist capitalism.
I have explored my personal finances and crafted a plan to be more financially resilient into the future, while self-educating around the harm of our economic system and the alternative ideas around changing it. I have dived into history exploring colonialism, racism, energy and the birth of capitalism and observed their pervading presence in our lives today. I have gained huge insight into designing the closest I can get to an anarchist social enterprise that doesn’t perpetuate the horrors of capitalism and the money economy, while exploring how we can continue to diminish the power of the state through radical community organising.
Overall, I surprise my self with my gains and that I can never stave the hunger inside me to learn more and understand this complex, beautiful world we live in.
Output Process Reflection
What has been going well?
- The form I created as worked REALLY WELL. It overcomes that ‘blank page’ feeling of a diary, draws attention to areas you want to focus on, and gives you the freedom to track what you need.
- I learnt a number of methods of making my learning faster and more simple. One was the decision to just make mindmaps from books I’ve read rather than typing booknotes (I only type key quotes).
- Redesigning my OP plan worked really well in terms of having a more narrow focus helped with overwhelm and overwork.
- I treated myself with more kindness during this OP process. I deferred my submission date, I used the ‘get it done then get it good’ attitude with nearly all of the elements and I just generally tried to enjoy myself more than having fear of ‘not enough’ which I place on my own shoulders.
What was challenging?
- Typing up all the forms towards the end of the OP period was time consuming and boring.
- Making the decision to drop the horticultural aspects felt frustrating. I struggle with placing areas of interest that are less urgent in my life higher up my priority list and so they are continuously renegotiated.
- My Guild Buddy & I have definitely let our relationship ‘fall by the wayside’ and do not communicate regularly, which I aim to change.
- I wanted to focus more on Feed Avalon, however several personal issues of my co-worker meant that the collaborative processes were reduced and therefore it has also been ‘on the back burner’ longer than expected.
- I am still not disseminating material as widely that I could be, or using my website to its full potential, which again frustrates me.
- I still didn’t write up workshop designs soon after they happened or be vigilant with updating my own website after events.
- I have still not tested my learning edges in terms of IT e.g. Film or more artistic work.
Approximate time taken to create this output packet on mahara:
- 2 hours initial structure
- 7 hours focused workday
- 6 hours follow up final edits & resource review
Pathway Reflections & Progression
I feel very settled with how I have been designing and renegotiating my learning pathway since beginning my MSc. It is definitely a “liberating structure” described to me by my Advisor Jennifer English, with enough bones to hold it together and enough fluidity to keep myself open to new experiences and opportunities to grow.
I feel like I have a sustainable pace and sense of realism that is a working well with my life. I am resisting my cravings to always do more and looking at how I can skillfully do less, while sustaining my own productivity.
The main feedback sitting with me however is:
- My desire to do more science/practical/agroecology related learning. I feel I am ‘heavy’ on the political relationships and organisings and need to strengthen my skill sets and understanding of agroecology. These elements of my pathway are often the first to be dropped.
- To use my website more skillfully to document my work.
- To improve my systems of documentation and tracking. The form has been an amazing asset which I will use in some format most likely for the remainder of my MSc, however I can still improve my own system of interacting with my MSc.
- I am now working on my Output 4 Design, which will include a number of elements renegotiated from OP3. You can see an initial design for this OP here. I am intending on spending at least one month designing my OP and improving my systems for learning. I still intend to support my OP4 in October 2014, as illustrated in my pathway design here.
Pathway connections: Political Agroecology
In the political section, I explored the connections between energy, agroecology and economics. I genuinely believe that agroecology and capitalism are completely incompatible. When we describe an economy as something necessary for the production, consumption, and allocation of the material means of life to serve needs, it doesn’t feel so scary. I believe we already have the collective skills to do this, it is a question of removing the barriers that stand in our way, whether that is wage slavery, access to land, repression or the state.
My work is revealing to me the necessity of building a culture of resistance, that does fight capital’s accumulation, whether thats in commodifiying animals, scraping the barrel of fossil fuels, or creating new markets from caging human beings, while simultaneously building a new economy in the shell of the old. Agroecology is compatible with de-growth and the gift economy, in fact I think how we grow and distribute food will be one of the main shining lights for us that we can exist without & beyond a capitalist economy.
In the complex systems we live in however, prefigurative politics can soften the uncertainty of our economic future, while we can use skilful design, local resources and multiple forms of capital to create systems that meet our needs without oppression.