Mine Field – yours is over there

Need to post again on WEEK 2 rhizo14. This is driven by some of the comments I’ve read and a ripple in the group about collaborative projects.  Also, I’m feeling scattered and too distributed across REPLY windows.

First, the call for collaborative projects worry me as a call to collectively establish meanings way too soon. I don’t want to decide as a group about anything yet. Nor-personally. Additionally, and I understand this is entirely unintentional) I don’t want to adopt a particular method of understanding designed to be properly assembled for academic approval purposes. It doesn’t help my understanding nor the process of discovery to to have everything ‘just so’ and worded for an audience when I need to talk to myself first–get these other people out of here.

And since I’m rolling in this mood…Looking at Cath Ellis‘ poster I’m struck by the friendliness of all those potatoes and wonder where power comes in? I think this has something to do with the next step here in Rhizo14 but we have to account for the passion of being human and also the irrational and incomplete feeling we have when we are not THERE in the middle and comfortable. As an art student it should jump right into my head  why the visuality of Cath’s poster struck me so strongly but I’ll leave it for now.

And then along comes Sandra Sinfield swimming away from shore and I think of collaboration and it feels like safety but my experience tells me that at a very important level all you have is yourself. The risk you take is not always the one you thought you were taking and you need to be able to get back home to yourself–somehow. It’s a contradiction and selfishness for me to say this. The condition of my health disallows cowboy independence, but at the end, and everywhere in between really, I need myself there. Preferably not too fucked up, but I’ll take any me that’s home.

Sandra’s comments about keeping versions, even the “bad” ones speaks to having a history of things unfinished and imperfect and reminds me that even monitored or rule following social structures built on agreements among participants can betray. Betrayal in the sense of being wrong to ourselves in seeking membership or approval and wrong to others by the strange innocence of rules. Weirdly, because we have a history of screwing each other we have a brain that accommodates bad outcomes, revised strategies, forgiveness and living together in spite of all the crap. Not sure I’d trade all that fun for getting along with each other:-)

Just reread Sandra’s post (I get lost and have to go back) and found the trigger that set this off:

That fear of making a fool of yourself – of not getting it right – of making your own ignorance visible to the world – of being judged.

And this reminded me of critiquing in art class and how it allowed us students to be the totally self-involved rats we were while supporting our fellows to be stronger and better without sacrificing the spark of nastiness that makes it all so special. Explanations later.

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  • VanessaVaile  On January 26, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    I started a week 2 post…lost when flash crashed. Calling it an omen since I don’t feel like replicating it. It was a ramble since that is what the week has been — especially hopping around across platforms and other areas that keeping intersecting. 

    Oddly, although just as distributed, I don’t feel as disconnected as last week, although there is a bit of a mine field feel to it. Maybe I’m becoming inured to the feeling. In a way this also feels like back to the mooc for the first time — perhaps the unlearning part someone was talking about? As for the mine field effect, I’m noticing that in other parts of ed-world…is it fear? Some places it is coming out mean. Even ppl who claim to embrace change can feel threatened by it when it hits too close to home.

    The unhangout was a treat this week — more for connections than content. I started out in one where I wondered what I was doing there — then found Carol and Jim Stauffer. Meeting them live was a treat. I like Doug Symington too. Good going — meeting up with two friends and making a new connection. 

    Invited to the doc — not a big google docs fan or into real time collaboration without time to think through…less pre-writing than pre-thinking. “Talking to myself” — yes, I like that. I hadn’t thought about at the time but it does feel like a drive to solidify positions too soon. 


    • scottx5  On January 26, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      Feeling unsettled this week over being sick. No feedback from anyone medical and I need new way to attract their attention besides dying. I wonder if educators feel this disconnection? Like they are coming to pieces and no one is noticing? Or maybe it’s good the educators are restless? A sign of something?
      Missed the unhangout, my brain is running really slow wandery like the door to my subconscious was left open after the last surgery, things leak out and I sound crazy. Like that. Or maybe I need a vacation?
      Did 5 years of academic this and that plus editing incomprehensible people making 10 times my salary without getting an ounce of credit sent my way. So I’m also in a pissed off stage, but being the life-long-learner that I am any action is interesting. It doesn’t seem like many in the course feel that relax and see where she goes drift that’s so hard to get into when you are confronted with so many things that don’t fit. I understand the retreat to the comfort of familiar environments, being inside chaos sucks. But if you can get a little closer each time you go in… Dave reminds me of the professors everyone liked because they made education interesting and unresolved so you’d have something to think about between all the things that work with predictable regularity.
      Think I’ll look into writings on Critiquing in art studies. Seems like a method of staying intact while also open and excited. You, Carol and me could uncollaborate on some mess or other? Saw a coffee mug that said “I’m quietly correcting your grammar” and thought…

      • VanessaVaile  On January 28, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        sounds like a plan…just don’t go to any end of life plans while we’re figuring it out. I just lost a much longer reply because I’m using the toolbar quick comment reply form that doesn’t save if you accidentally let it close

      • scottx5  On January 28, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Sorry the longer reply got lost:-( I seem to be a survivor and might as well pay attention so instead of seeing the counselor I’m doing my own psychotherapy and reading psychology authors. A childhood friend’s Mom was in Freudian therapy for years and, like ’em or not, all the kids in the neighborhood were given free sessions. Like Lucy in Peanuts. Since I started out messed up by Freudian psychiatry why not really make things complicated and start again? Instead of reading D and G I found a book on how chess masters develop their brains. All kinds of studies on these guys and how they chunk strategies into long term memory and recall the stuff.

  • VanessaVaile  On January 28, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    not reading D & G, that’s being independent. we lit folk like Jung because of all the metaphors. My mother ran a boarding kennel for years, had all the shrinks’ dogs and cats…did not leave her with a high opinion of their owners’ sanity.

    cognition is always more useful applied than just theoretical.

    how are you with self monitoring / biofeedback techniques? I spent so many years monitoring non-verbal beings that I’m a fair dab at reading body language and physiological details. I’ve been able to use it on myself — handy when you live in the land of sorry health care.

    I can identify with that “in a pissed off stage but being the life-long-learner that I am any action is interesting.” Others may still be so conditioned that some secretly (perhaps even unconsciously) expect to be graded for right or wrong answers.

    • scottx5  On January 28, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      There are more interesting things to read that are based on real measurements and engagement with the world. I enjoyed philosophy for a while but I struggle to understand stuff now as it is so why not with Freud and the unconscious mind? I liked the poster Cath Ellis made so how much more dificult doesa it have to be?
      Used to meditate regularly and could use some mind exercises to reduce distractions.
      Like to observe what’s going on but with Leslie still banging her head against the wall at the college even the strangeness of that place has worn off. The Pres is an overcompetitive bully that recently did an interview at the local paper accusing many of the people who were let go or fired(over 50% of last years staff in a few months this spring) as malcontents who felt entitled to have their job whether they worked for it or not. No one in this rat hole seems to care and even the top people who left did it “professionally” and kept quiet for the big seperation checks. Who could seriously get excited about this small people in a small town built on turd kind of stuff?
      On to more interesting stuff.

  • VanessaVaile  On January 29, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    do you have a link to the article, names to search? In my other digital identity, academic labor digital ankle biter, perhaps I could bring some unwelcome attention their way. I’m always on the look out for stories and would like to run more Canada HE ones, Sounds like purge that cut a lot of ppl. Even B.C. is hitting problems with cuts

    • scottx5  On January 29, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      The article is in the local paper from a few months back but the attitude displayed is very common here. Truth is no one cares about Alberta beyond the oil. It’s old economy, old thinking and heading backwards. I’m sorry people were hurt here but 225 people watched me ask the pres at a all staff meeting a simple question about the change in who the school served and saw me fired for it. Two people objected and the union let swing in the wind. These people have decided to be who they are–screw ’em. But let me see, there might be something. These people hate democracy, drives them crazy.
      That’s the reason I volunteer at Mira Costa in California. Investing in the future where there is one, just not here.

      • VanessaVaile  On January 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        excuse me but where is “here” and what is the name of the college? Just because no one there cares does not mean no one would anywhere or that it doesn’t matter


      • scottx5  On January 29, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        North East Alberta is where we are and that’s as far as I go for now. Both my wife and daughter still work at the college and need those jobs. I’m not so dedicated to the cause of justice to risk their jobs making a political statement that won’t change anything. The whole province of Alberta is the same so if people want something to protest let them ask how this richest of all places in North America can be so mean with its school funding and backwards leadership?

  • VanessaVaile  On January 29, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    I deal with stories from vulnerable adjuncts daily — and know how look out for their security…wasn’t going to mention you – just refer to publicly available information open to anyone. but if you are concerned about risking your wife’s and daughter’s jobs, you might consider exercising a modicum of caution in open online forums that anyone can view — something any cautious adjunct already knows

    • scottx5  On January 29, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      You’re right I’m not being cautious. Basing that on the distinct possibility of no one here knowing I exist anymore. No mixing with local college people at all now. Will find some links to send.

  • balimaha  On February 11, 2014 at 4:30 AM

    Hey Scott… There is sthg u mention here that i needed to respond to. There are some things that were misunderstood and created controversy, so someone later deleted them… Hence some ppl’s confusion as to what happened exactly… I am confused myself 😉

    • scottx5  On February 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Maha, not sure what you mean. Been sick for a couple of weeks and manage about an hour a day of being clear enough write and stay with the class. Away for Weds and Thurs 3/12 & 2/13 and back on Friday.

  • balimaha  On February 11, 2014 at 4:31 AM

    Can explain better privately on fb

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