Posts Tagged ‘creative’

I work at Budgens

Posted 15 Feb 2011 — by cheersphilip
Category Stories

I work at Budgens and on my days off thats where I do my shopping.

I stalk around the isles with my spiky hair, trying to pretend that i don;t know exactly where each and every single item is. My glasses are thick, but not as thick as my skin, when the kids come in after school. They think I can;t see them sneaking a chocolate bar here, a bottle of booze there. so smart. I case the joint as if i don;t work here, trying to get inside the skin of the Valued Customer. i try to see it from their eyes – are the value digital cameras on a suitable display stand? Is the South American white wine on special offer visible to the passer-by? Are all the items labelled? Even the soon-to-be-discontinued lines?

What I do makes this place a more effective selling machine. I care about what I do, and if the Tesco down the road care about their place as much as I care about mine, then I’ll eat a thirty-six piece floor puzzle, suitable for ages 12-36 months (only £2 while stocks last)


The Final Word on Games

Posted 31 Oct 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category Rant, thought

Okay, so I totally backed out of the promise I made to myself of writing a little piece about how computer games might be useful or even good for you.

What happened was, I got too involved in playing damn games. I try not to beat myself up about this, but the fact is that I have now spent an amount of time playing games that, in retrospect, I would rather have spent doing something else.

I have nothing to show for my game playing other than tiredness and a nagging feeling that I will never get that time back.

I enjoy games while I’m playing them. I think. But there are other things that I enjoy more, surely?

Whilst writing the last post, Notes on Addiction, I got to the point of talking about making games, so that’s what I did – i downloaded a couple of games creators – - and they were good.

However, and this is really the crux of the matter, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them.

I thought about doing something ‘educational’ or based around the school I work in, but that is just lazy thinking and does not stand up to scrutiny by the simple question ‘why?’ So I shelved that as well.

The final word is that, yes, games are interesting and, yes, they can be an amusing diversion for a while, but when you’ve got as many things to do as I have – and now that I look at them, I think ‘these are interesting, cool things that I’ve wanted to do for ages’ – then I’m probably best off doing them first.



Notes on Addiction

Posted 31 Oct 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category thought

In follow up to my post ‘Addicted to Trash’ I can now present my findings.

However, as during this period of time, according to my stated addiction, I have been mostly playing trashy computer games, this post will be fairly biased in this respect.

To be fair, I did get a lot of information from those nice people at Futurelab but, to be honest, their findings can broadly be summarised as follows:

Young people – Fairly interested in computer games

Adults – don’t really get what all the fuss is about.

So I think we can quite fairly leave all that and get back to what is, for me, the central question of why the hell do i find these games so compelling?

The way I see it, we can break this down into three separate areas:

  1. Need to understand
  2. Responsibility avoidance
  3. Relaxation paradox

1: Need to Understand

How do they work? How have people made them? What makes them tick? The same drive that drove me to be a technologist, taking apart anything and everything I could find applies to computer games too.

I know that games are made with ‘sprites’ and ‘pixels’   …

[Ok, this is now an old post that i am just puttin up to show how far I got before being distracted]


Thought Patterns

Posted 28 Apr 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category thought

I firmly believe that the way we think forms habitual channels in our minds. Neuroscience bears this out, with works such as ‘What the Bleep…‘ and, dare I say it, ‘The Secret‘ following the trend.

As such , I now find myself having to think creatively – making stuff for the ‘Mr Watson…‘ DVDs that I’m making. Trouble is, I’ve been doing do much analytical thinking, my brain is just stuck on that “analyse the inputs, process, produce an output” kind of stimulus-response behaviour, to the extent that my creative muscles are totally dead!

For anyone stuck in the same situation, take some heart from the fact that we can reprogram our brains, with just a little effort.

If you’ve ever had to think creatively (and I don’t just mean doing a piece of ‘art’), then the way of thinking you used will still be in there, somewhere. All you have to do is try to start thinking like that again, and it will surely follow.

For example – cast your mind back to the time that felt that you were coming up with creative solutions to stuff in your life. Where were you? Who was around you? What was the atmosphere/ambience?What did it feel like? What were you physically doing? What period of your life was this? What were the overiding themes of that time? Reminisce

Then do a few simple exercises. Creative thinking is ‘right brain‘, where most of the activities we do day-to-day tend to be ‘left-brain’. Make the shift by taking an object and asking yourself weird questions, like ‘what would it be if it were made of ice/could fly/was gigantic/ covered in grass/ made out of a gas/ you could drive it/ could live in it/ it was microscopic/ 2,000 years old/ furry/ made for people with no hands/ to be used by fish-people/ worked by magic/ was free/ could only be used once?

Okay, no actual, useful results come out of thoughts like this – but that is left-brain thinking! The result is that you can start to think more flexibly, more creatively. and that is the kind of result you are looking for (it’s not a ‘left-brain’ result because its ‘soft’; not measurable or quantifiable). I’ll bet it feels pretty good, though!

There’s also an interesting exercise somewhere, about reading out the names of colours that are coloured in the wrong colour, e.g. black, red, blue, green, orange. Now go back and say aloud the colours of the text for each word. if that makes sense.

Anyway, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve got to find an image to match the word ‘product’, but al I can think of is ‘iPhone’. Appalling!




Time for a TeachMeet?

Posted 19 Apr 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary, Ideas, Rant, thought

Okay, I want to meet teachers and students and anyone who can help me understand why education isn;t working (IMHO) and what we can do about it!

So I went to Becta-X and that was fun and techy and information overload but I didn;t feel that it really hit the mark for, just identified that there was a mark that was being missed.

It may have been there that I picked up the habit of writing really long sentences with no punctuation but I guess hey thats just speculation.

So anyway, there seem to be these things called Teachmeets, they are a type of ‘unconference‘ that you organise yourself and then people come along and you all talk and there’s no agenda and thats it.

This sounds perfect I just want to meet other people who think differently to everyone else and can kind of see there’s a problem and want to DO something and not just wait around for someone esle to do it and then complain that that wasnt what should have been done.

Fast Tube

Does anyone out there want to join me? I have no idea what I’m doing, othere than the speaking to other people thing which i believe  i already mentioned – i’m going to need a date a venue and a sponsor to start and somewhere along the way there’ l be people invited nad then it’ll happen and who knows what.

We also need a title – i was thinking of something like ‘SATs: Secret Agent Teachers’ as one that would bring together people who see that there is a deficiency in our current system but who also see that change will not come from that top, we have to be agents of change ourselves – hence secret ‘agents’.

This is for people who are in the system and want to change it from within.

So, are you with me? It would be really cool if you could join in, like I said, so just let me know or stay keen and then maybe I can eventually get to the end of this incredibly poorly-structured blog post.

You will hear more about this!!



PS: I’m looking at Friday 11th June as the date. We’ll do it in the evening, its after school, its the week after half term so teachers may have a chance of still being fairly fresh and we’ll keep it small and tidy and fun. Normal syntax will resume in the next post :)