Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Walking out loud...

This is a fragment of a doodle, a much larger doodle.

 After a week of emotion, connection, experience, I had many ideas buzzing. I had to get it all down on paper. This is one of what will be a series of posts which I shall attempt to write to make sense of this larger doodle.

I have a great deal of thinking to do.

I have a great deal of working through, of walking through to do...

It was a week of walking out loud, which started with a need to get out of the classroom box.

After the flood of emotions resulting from the Paris attacks, by the time I got to Thursday, I felt exhausted.

I am pretty sure that this line of Maxime's post "L'homme libre" had made a click in my head.

"Fermez vos ordinateurs, allez courir, allez rire, serrez vos proches dans vos bras, envoyez un message d'amour."
("Close your computers, go and run, go and laugh, hold those close to you in your arms, send a message of love.")

I suggest to the group who had arrived for a class that we go outside, that we feel the sun on our backs, the wind on a our skin, that we should walk and speak together.

They were a little surprised at the idea, but they agreed, packed up their bags and we left for a rambling tour of the campus plateau.

We spoke together in little groups, sometimes coming together to look at the surrounding landscape, a flower, a landmark on the horizon. We shared photos of where we were from, we spoke of the time that we spent in classroom boxes. We visited regions through the eyes of others, through the words of others unknown to us. We spoke of imaginary friends...

On coming back to the classroom, we sat down and each wrote or drew his impressions of the time that we had spent together.

This week we are to collect our fragments together to reflect our different experiences of walking out loud.

Distant connections?

I met Tanya Lau from Australia during Rhizo14, we have worked and played together intermittently since then.

It is difficult for me now to disconnect my trail through the various hashtag communities that I have journeyed. At one stage, I don't remember when, Tanya introduced me to her friend Bruno Winck. Over a series of tweeted conversations, and to cut a Storifed version of the circumstances of our meeting short, we met last Friday, in the flesh.

It is this which is surreal, really: here was a person who I knew little of a month ago, who perhaps a few months before I had suggested meeting (because I learnt he lived in the same region as I) for a walk, now standing in this same classroom in which I am writing now.

This is a fragment of a photo, a much bigger photo.

All of this resulted from a spark of inspiration, a reversal of a position and the acceptance of an invitation from the faciliators of #digiwrimo to contribute a piece.  I had thought (as often) that I would really not have the time to participate in #digiwrimo, like I had thought that I wouldn't have the time to participate in #rhizo14, #clmooc, #ccourses, #rhizo15...

So here I was actively participating in #digiwrimo and Bruno suggests that I involve some of my students with #wolweek.

What the hell was #wolweek I asked?

A few days later, not really knowing what might happen, I managed to get a group of students to blog every day for a week.

They had pretty much never blogged before...

Not only did they blog, but one or two of them also started making connections with people participating in #wolweek...

This is the moment when lessons learnt from Laura Gibbs during #ccourses came to the fore.

I curated all the student blogs into Inoreader. 

So there he was, Bruno Winck, standing in my classroom.

Very quickly he had gathered students around him and they were listening to him explain networking on Twitter, innovation,  MOOCs...

As he spoke, I was myself beginning to learn a little about him, this person who had appeared from a Twitter stream....

We went for a meal afterwards, our conversation flowed from one theme to another, pretty much uninterrupted, apart from by the four courses of the meal.

We left the restaurant to walk a little way up Ceyrat gorge, one of my favourite local promenades.

It is the background image to my Twitter profile. 

Conversation continued upstream and downstream.

On getting back home, the following morning I found no other means to try to make sense of it all than to doodle.

As I was scrolling through my photos over the past couple years, I was struck by the diversity of people met, experiences had, places visited, connections made.

I see that this connected world maybe digitally connected but it is physically enacted, emotionally embodied...

I thought back to Maxime's lines:

"Fermez vos ordinateurs, allez courir, allez rire, serrez vos proches dans vos bras, envoyez un message d'amour."

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