Having been through a lot of changes over the last few years my interest in how things develop or become stuck keeps coming up. Personally, I’ve found myself both not particularly adaptable and also impatient in being stuck in one place.
After working most of my life in building construction, health conditions pushed me over into working at a small college. First researching methods for transitioning face to face instructors to online course delivery and later to helping enter course material into the LMS. Much of my research was based on simply phoning faculty training offices and speaking to whoever was there. It was surprising to me that one story after another featured active resistance and instructor melt-downs which were remarkable reflections of my own life in change.
My curiosity continues, especially around how we can move forward with the following barriers in place:
- People are generally not comfortable with change and tend to sabotage their own growth for the comfort of the familiar
- My definition of “growth” is suspect because it seems based on a notion of “progress” that relies on doing the same things, but with different tools—fooling myself with newness
- How far into the unfamiliar can we reach and still process what we observe? If we become so disorientated we can’t function then what we discover may be meaningless.
This is the point at which I begin to think exploring rhizomes as a metaphor for learning kicks in. If it isn’t possible for me to make meanings on my own then it seems an obvious advantage to work in a group and tune up listening skills to extend my understandings. Over the last few years the groups I’ve been in at work taught me to not pay much attention. Being licensed in a couple of building sub-trades and also an avid life long learner has no currency in higher education. When I asked questions I was TOLD things, when I had observations I was TOLD things and when I challenged I was TOLD to leave. This of course doesn’t apply to everyone in education but this unhesitating urge to rightness is certainly a barrier to change.
Have a copy of Deluze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus. I’ve read a couple of pages here and there and don’t see a useful connection to the world I experience. Back when I was 18 or so their writing. Now I prefer to struggle with Psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas, Philosopher Christian Smith or Writer Annie Dillard.