Monday, June 8, 2009

Putting IT in Play

Toward a Virtual Workshop For Pedagogical
Creativity in these Troubled Turbulent Times
Where Busy-ness-asUsual is, if not Bankrupt
as our Graduation Speaker says: somewhat
Obsolete and Part of the Problem—that’s what
he wrote; you can check that speech that Margo
Flood sent out if you missed it or don't believe me.

In THINKING about Thinking…

(the process: as opposed to facts, fictions, data
from statistics, surveys, poll, commensurate
assessment & evaluation procedures cherished
by the folks from Witherspoon and the Hamill

…it does no harm to begin with a distinction
drawn for the sake of argument if for no other
reason: arbitrary, sure--how else start up from
old scratch & put it & our selves in play?

Many of us recall meeting as a faculty in Canon
Lounge some years back, being forced to separate
into like-minded groups so as to work up our then
strategic and tactical plan for …was it re-accreditation?
or fund raising? or just plain having a plan?

I forget the categories; but no one was supposed to
take the middle ground because the idea of planning
was to polarize and then relate: gather west (toward
the cafeteria) or east (toward the community swing).

A few of us couldn’t handle the divisiveness,
not knowing any better, and stood our middle
ground, damnit. Or couldn’t identify with the
extremes [[nothing is black & white we said,
imitating our students]] and refused to play the
divide-conquer-&-then-relate game.

But it’s a good game. I see the wisdom of it
now, being to full of sleep & ambivalent to
commit then:

Yes: absolutes are
“black & white”
“off & on”
“open & closed”
“1’s & 0’s”
“hot & cold”
“in & out”
“good & evil”
or call them archetypes—or eternal
verities prior to the stereotypes and
manifest embodiments of cultural
relativities and relationships we mix
and miscegenate for our every day
use & abuse.

Here’s my fundamental division (with repeated
thanks to Gary Hawkin’s who calls it the
2 Economies). For the sake of argument (say) :
you’ve got to choose which team you are playing on,
in order to play.

(Both, sure. I know I know—
in real-time
but ultimately and overall: choose your home team
so to speak —the one that governs your day to
day moves.)

External Affairs (The liberal arts) :

Those of you who wake up in the middle of the night,
semi-panicked, sweating, bed sheets awry because of
environmental concerns: peace in the near east, sexual
predation, teenage suicide, immigration policy, home
land security and stuff like that: gather over on the
west side of Canon, next to the cafeteria. You’re
playing for the liberal arts team.

Internal Affairs (The Liberal Art):

Those of you who wake up in the middle of the night
in agony over relationships, family concerns, personal
esteem and effectiveness, liability & performance
anxieties, weight, health and stuff like that:
gather over on the east side of Canon
with the view of the rope swing
and Carson. Your team is
called Liberal Art.

2 radically different “economies” (value sets) true?

Everyone knows that., but maybe you can improve
my terms and representation. Separate, polarize,
and characterize each so there’s no chance of them
absolutely bleeding into each other, contaminating
the distinctions: that’s where all the confusion rises
up, don’t you agree? Even though (in real-time) we
mix and blur and it’s all relative and related and we
celebrate diversity.

Don't collapse, conflate, and confuse "real-time"
with "eternity": that right there is is the source
of ongoing gordian naughts. double binds, rocks
and hard paces, true?

Pedagogy: such a clumsy word with pimples; but wonder
how different the process of getting good in external affairs
and getting better in internal affairs might be represented.

It ought to look different, the 2 pedagogies, don’t you think?
Fundamental: the difference. A difference that makes a

We could go to Canon Lounge and act-out this distinction::
turn up the opposition and see what emerges in the way
of new phenomena and local food for thought:

Pedagogies for the Impressed.
Pedagogies for the Repressed..
Something newly sustainable to make
Ray Anderson & Margo Flood smile: our
External & Internal Environmental Studies
& Outdoor & Indoor Leadership programs.

Something like that. Team work.
Collaborative genius called for.

I always need help with these Thinking-IT-OUT deals..
I make a mess by myself. Eventually it’s got to have a
sound that’s Chronicle-of-Hire-Education-worthy to
gather any purchase. I know that.

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