20 June 2015

Raven's Heart

The plot: A woman asks a raven to fetch a piece of her lover’s heart.

Last month I republished my ebook Temptation & Mozzarella. This month I would like to share a link to a PDF file of the story Raven’s Heart. This is a story I created but did not know where or how to showcase. It is an experimental digitalised fairy tale of a sort. A mixture of strange graphics to play with the boundaries of reader interaction and text/pictures. I used formatting available through Microsoft Word to edit the pictures I had drawn. 

My inspiration for the piece is at the end of the document. If you enjoyed the story and would like to make a donation this can be made to my Paypal account. I would be happy to answer any questions.

13 May 2015

A vignette of IATL, in the dark would (wood) 13th May 2015

‘You remind me,’ said the woman on the other side, ‘of Alice in Wonderland.’
I had left my belongings back in the other world, including my shoes, and crawled through a tunnel of lights into an Aladdin’s cave of pedagogy. There were no giant, talking flowers but there were: mossy pillows to stand on, the smell of purple flowers and rosemary, the feel of marbles and chickpeas scattered in a box; a large hoop skirt to reimagine ones childhood; bubbles, Lego, Play Doh, costumes and more to explore. 

I wrote a postcard, to my eight year old self,

Believe in your creativity and forge your own path.

I felt constrained by the Curriculum as it came into force in the late 1980s. They had asked us to think for ourselves then trained us how to act: realistic, practical, confined by opportunities we did not understand.

At home my existence was one of curiosity and imagination that wasn’t valid in the classroom where they recited, ‘learn this, say this, be this.’ The dark would brought back memories of those teachers, you know the ones. There was Mr Duffy who gave me insights on ecology, everything had a place in an invisible network of relationships. Mrs Richards and Mr Gartshaw encouraged that creative side in English as I experimented with shaping how I saw the world in words. Playing, exploring, poetry, botany, forming new symphonies of expression. An invaluable tool in research.
The experience ended too soon. Back to reality and ecopedagogy with Rachel King in the Ramphal Building. Ecopedagogy is:-

§      Space and Place (environment)
§      Pedagogy

Then we were walking, observing, acting, writing, and experiencing a sense of place.

I left thinking ‘I can’t wait to return to the would tomorrow.’

5 May 2015

Emma’s Red Coat - Scottish Book Trust

This month I submitted a story to the Scottish Book Trust mixing a fairy tale with my journey through the PhD. You can see my entry here.

Emma’s Red Coat - Scottish Book Trust

If you would like to know more about my work some initial thoughts are published here:-

Parfitt, E.L. 2014. Storytelling as a trigger for sharing conversations. Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal. 1(2).

27 April 2015

PhD Agony

(based on the genius song "Agony" from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim)

Did I abuse this (educational opportunity)
by showing distain?
My brain’s feeling mashed up.
I might just lose it;
tormented I’m reeling
from frontal lobe pain!

VIVA’s out of my reach
When you’ve had an idea
Yet that idea it still defies speech

Alone at my desk
I sit by the hour
Tearing my hair
Tense and confused, frequently screaming
A song of despair
Caught my tongue in a draw
Trying to write is like trying
To fight Je Suis Charlie, and more

Oh, the fees that they charge!
If I had funding…
If I had funding I’d                        

buy butter not marg. 

I’m not grammatically
as bright as the person
I’m trying to be

You are everything government bodies
could wish for.
Then why don’t

they fund you?

I really don’t know!

Professors know nothing of sadness
They have jobs and there aren’t
aren’t any jobs, as you’re
nearing the ending
you’re deadline approaching




My life’s far from a peach                                  

If the rich had a heart                  

If the rich had a heart

I would eat it for tea


That can sting like a lemon!

I will survive my PhD 


[please note that this is a satire of the PhD experience, based on my own experiences and those of others... not to be taken seriously... hopefully]