Preparing for my research study
Just being me……
I have never considered my self smart. My schooling test results were mainly above-average, but I worked consistently, and often for long hours in order to achieve these. I recall I often looked to those who got the top grades – those who appeared to do it effortlessly – and wondered what they had inside their heads that I didn’t. My mother was strict, and prohibited me from going out to play until I had done my chores, and homework. I therefore sat there, and continued to toil, in order to be able to get outside. It brought both resentment (for being denied play time) and conviction (to get my chores or home tasks completed, in order to get outside to enjoy playtime). Possibly this was imposed as a result of other behaviour I exhibited in the years prior, but I don’t recall what or when this, may have been.
I do however recall I always seemed to get into trouble with my parents, relatives and teachers, just for being me. Mmmmm……… Ok, I was probably mischievous. Thinking back, there was the time I talked my neighbour’s sister into going with me to the local gas station to buy a packet of cigarettes. I recall I was seven (7) years old, and she was possibly four (4) years old at best. What was the fuss? No one was harmed – just a simple afternoon walk. It was of no consequence to anybody really…… well, except the girl’s parents. When they eventually found out, they in turn told my parents. Mmmm…. banished to my room with limited dinner, no playing and no talking for what seemed like a month.
I perhaps had a limited filter between my thoughts and my mouth. I thought, I spoke, I acted.
(Terry-Toons Comics 1945-1951)
My mother was an active P+C member in my schools, and therefore she knew the teachers, and most likely, the principal. One of my school principals was a very social person. He would hang in the school grounds and talk to the students at break times. He was large – a big guy – with snow white hair, and a large jovial face. Much like I imagine a normal version of Santa Claus. He was well over weight. I recall – when I was about six (6) years old – sharing with him during a playground catch up what my brother and sister called him at home – Fatty Arbuckle. I recall it came back to my parents some days later. Mmmm…. banished to my room with limited dinner, no playing and no talking for what seemed like a month. I hadn’t said it to him to be malicious. I just thought it was funny, and wanted to share it with him. I was sure he would enjoy it. Mmmmm…. note to self.
I was left-handed. Up until I was about eight (8) years old, the teachers at my first primary school made me sit on my left-hand during class times, to (as they said) “get it (my left-handedness) out of my system”. I remember when I moved up to the next class level, at another school, this was no longer a focus of the teacher. I recall often wondering whether this change away from the focus on my left-handedness ‘being a problem’ at the new school – was due to the teacher, the school’s approach, or whether in fact it was just the end of an era of this view of left-handedness being considered wrong.
I recall I was naturally happy – smiling, and this too caused issues. Again with parents, relatives, and teachers – wondering with such a smile on my face, what I was up to. I recall a teacher talking sternly to our class one day (we had possibly been talking and acting up while waiting to be let into our home room after a lunch break). All students were standing, ready to be seated by our teacher prior to class, as she dressed us down for our noisy behaviour in the corridor. I was apparently standing there, during this dressing down, with a smile on my face. “What are you smiling at?” she barked. “I, I , I am happy?” I responded meekly. The class laughed, though I am unsure of whether they were laughing with me, or perhaps laughing at me?
I was average at individual sport, but recognised early on, the advantage of team sports. I learnt that within a team I could excel. I became a year house captain within my school; and played in team sports on Saturday mornings, with a team that was consistently in the top two teams in the district over an 8 year period.
I was always a practical person, wanting to do things with my hands, but also realised I wanted to know how it worked, and how I could use it for other applications. I pulled apart all kinds of gadgets, toys, billy carts, wheel-barrows; antique clocks, motor mowers, motorbikes, and cars. I admit I didn’t like the follow up process – the putting back together of these things. I had learnt in pulling them apart what I needed to know – the how it worked, and could then consider other applications. I made (make believe) sports cars, space ships, and moon craft with the many parts I had before me – all in the backyard. Once I had created my make believe craft, I would move onto the next thing. Yes, I got bored quickly.
I quit school – because I was bored – in preference to get out and explore industry. I did engineering as a trade, but quickly realised, as soon as I had worked out the how, I was again ready to move on. I then applied to enter tertiary study, fumbling my way through a bachelor’s degree with out having completed high school. I used the time to explore all manner of things – philosophy, re-engage my music-making, experiencing social events, bands, pubs, live gigs, and girls. I struggled to find my place in that institution studying a business degree, but looking through many photos of that era, I recall I had a lot of fun trying. Eventually – yes, when I ended up graduating, I immediately headed overseas to explore the world. I arrived in Asia with an opportunity in corporate education and training. I played in cross-cultural bands, got roped into significant events in the local region such as opening bridges, made key note speeches at local city events, and played music in cultural festivals. I gained invaluable experience and skills. I returned home, formalising my experienced gained in education and continued, in order to be able to continue in my education and learning practice in Australia.
Some ten (10) years later, I re-entered university to complete my masters degree. As its conclusion, it was suggested I progress onto a doctorate in that discipline, but after only a short time of study, I was tempted back into industry. I commenced in management in a global business, and quickly progressed into a number of leadership roles. Over time my career continued to develop into governance roles, ultimately arriving into the industry of my main passion, creative arts – music and sound. Having embarked on a doctorate previously, and not choosing to continue it, I had a feeling of incompleteness. Having only formally studied my area of passion – music and sound – at an entry tertiary level, I still have so many unanswered questions. I therefore decided last year to enquire what possible programs I could consider. In talking to several industry contacts, I was quickly referred to the Head of Department at one of Queensland’s leading universities, and over the course of a fifteen (15) minute conversation, a Doctorate of Creative Industries was suggested. I proposed a topic, and after some months I received confirmation of my acceptance.
Over the past number of years, I have used the image of the purple onion to represent my approach to life. I am committed to learning – something I have done over most of my life – looking under the many layers of my practice or self in order to gain more insight into life and practice. I still do not consider my self smart, but experienced. I believe in Ericsson’s 10,000 hours (Ericsson in Page 2004), and believe much of my life’s success is based on constant and continued work, rather than just being smart. I therefore embark on my doctorate research study journey from the beginning of next year with this in mind, and trust that this approach will be sufficient to have me realise the required milestones, at the standard expected of Australian post-graduate studies.
My journey is about to begin….
Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.T. and Tesch-Römer, C., 1993. The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological review, 100(3), p.363.
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2016 image courtesy of: Slideshare Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Japan Grunge Flag Image courtesy of: Japan Flag Accessed 15th December, 2014.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85 Accessed 15th December, 2014.
– @David L Page 16/12/2014
– updated @David L Page 30/04/2017
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