Let us leave to one side an instant where you are reading this. (Blogger)
It clearly is not a very evenly weighted exchange.
Google and I.
I own these words...up to a point.
What are you going to do when you grow up?
I never quite knew how to answer that question.
I knew that I would go to university.
People told me that was what I would do.
I had absolutely no idea what it meant to go to university.
I didn't know how to question that.
I did what I was asked to do at university...up to point.
It didn't really fit with any idea that I had about what I would be doing.
I had a very vivid and totally naive vision of what I might be doing.
I spent a fair old time in the pub with friends.
I was at a loss what to do next.
This is 'my direction'.
I have made all sorts of choices.
They weren't all very well considered.
I didn't really have the means to consider them very well.
I didn't really have anybody who helped me consider any choices that I might or might not have.
I was sort of happy to have some choices.
I was sort of paralysed with the idea of all the choices I might have.
It was a heavy weight of responsibility to make choices about what I didn't know.
"Go ahead choose your life."
"Don't worry you only have one (life)."
Life for many meant job.
I didn't want a job.
I preferred to hang out with climbers.
My friend who chose to solo up a Ben Nevis rock route in winter made his last choice.
Sometimes, not often, I was almost envious.
He had died doing what gave him meaning.
This is 'my direction.'
I had a short Twitter exchange
@SenorG @davecormier if people are themselves within the structure you give them then they already are like you.— Simon Ensor (@sensor63) April 8, 2016
@sensor63 Sure. I think point @davecormier was making was avoiding steering ss in a direction that's not their own— Noah Geisel (@SenorG) April 8, 2016
What is "'your own direction"?
To what extent do we need to deconstruct "own direction"?
I asked a Romanian girl what her ambition was.
She replied that her dream was to be a cleaner.
I didn't dream of being a cleaner when I was her age.
I have been reading Boris Cyrulnik's autobiography.
He was sentenced to die for being Jewish at the age of six.
He didn't even know what Jewish meant.
He only knew it was bad.
Was that his "own direction"?
Are these dreams "our own"?
As a teacher in an institution how can we focus on "independence" of students when often the only reason they spend time with us is that they depend on us for a grade.
@davecormier @SenorG that's an interesting one :-) the easiest way not to risk dependency is not to have a relationship :-)— Simon Ensor (@sensor63) April 8, 2016
Are we really interested as teachers in learners not being dependent on us?
If no learners or students depend on us how can we be teachers?
"What do you do?"
"I'm a teacher."
"Oh yeah? But there are no students."
I was reading a critique of Ken Robinson's book "The Element" this morning on Torn Halves' blog.
That is me going perhaps foolishly in my direction.
Torn asks some good questions.
What are we to do, he asks, about what he, after Max Weber, calls the 'Iron Cage'?
I don't know.
I worry about using the word 'own'.
I worry about using the word 'independent'.
On leaving university I thought of all the things I couldn't do in this society.
I wasn't really sure what I could do.
I remember drawing a picture of myself in a cage.
I even started writing a script for the scene.
I have it somewhere.
I was screaming out of frustration.
The cage wasn't mine...or perhaps it was?
I only drew it.
Our fictions are never innocent.
I found the page with the cage that I had drawn at the age of twenty one on graduating.
It is an eery page.
How on earth did I know the word "widget" or talk of "touch screens" in 1983?
I half-remembered a T.S. Elliot quote.
I had no idea what "Picketty Witch Girl" referred to.
I had to look it up on Google...
"And the wind shall say: these were decent Godless people, their only monument the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf-balls."