Saturday, September 26, 2015

Our days are numbered.

53, I am 53.

It's 16:33.

Pour 20cl 
386 kl
90 Kcal

Crikey. only 90 Kcal.

It's 16:35

What time is it in Kathmandhu?

How many words? 

How many words will I write?

How many words must I write?

How much is the tax? 
How many days before the 10% rise? 
How many days before the fine? 

How much? How many? How much? How many?

How many hours do I have till the end of time?

What time is it?


How many words will I speak?

How many marks will they get?

What will the average be?


Who will top the scores? 
Who will top the scores? 

Will it be me? 
Will it be me?
Will it be me?

How much was he paid in a month?
How much was he paid in a month?

  • What is your score?
  • What is your age?
  • What is your risk?
  • What is your risk?
  • What is your interest?
  • What is your heart rate?

How much will you pay?
How much will you pay?
How much will you pay?

N=How many?

How many words? How many words? How many words? How many words?
How many words? How many words? How many words? How many words?






Friday, September 25, 2015

Say 'how' and die.

“I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak.” 

Woody Allen

Not being John Wayne.

Nobody ever asked me to play John Wayne.

I got to be Indians quite a lot.

Indians said 'How' and died.

Not a Western.

The missionaries were those ones clothed in black and white photos looking a lighter shade of grey.

The Indians were those ones clothed in black and white photos and a loin cloth looking a darker shade of grey.

The missionaries were vaguely heroic, this much I had learnt from stories of David Livingstone in Africa.

I was never quite sure what to make of the Amazonian Indians.

They were aphone and alien.

They looked sort of scared.

I was never quite sure how I would play being an Amazonian Indian.

Did they say 'how'?

I suppose they probably died.

I never really thought about it.

I had never seen Amazonian Westerns.

Being John Wayne.

I was between jobs, an actor.

That always made doing crap jobs a liveable fantasy.

I suppose it would not have been liveable if they had not been short enough to be the between.

It was always a miracle to me that the person on the end of the line would actually sign a contract as a result of me burbling away at him for three minutes about how advertising could work for him.

The contract, signed, was a proof of existence, a sort of message from the other side.

Perhaps, I hadn't been in contact with the spirit world after all.

Telesales is real...really.

Not being John Wayne.

I sort of knew that my parents had not actually ceased to exist when I was at boarding school.

Their weekly letters, I suppose, were supposed to be proof of a deep attachment.

I was deeply attached.

I was not actually sure whether to be happy or to cry.

I became aphone.

They became aphone.

I have proof that they have ceased to exist now...of sorts.

They still talk to me.

Maybe I am in touch with the spirit world.

I am still deeply attached.

Maybe Amazonian Indians are in touch with my parents too?

Not being John Wayne.

I used to change my name.

Nobody used to challenge my alias.

I was another.


I am another now.

I am insaisissasable. (oh dear I can't spell that b. word)

I can't think of another word for NOW.

French will have to do.

I am not what you imagine.

I am not what I imagine.

I am not John Wayne.

I am not a missionary.

I am not an Indian.

I have no proof of my continuing existence.

I live in a spirit world.

I will be your Indian.



Indians say 'How' and then they die.


This piece was inspired by many close distant friends and two  great blog posts linked here:

Autumm Caines.

A Sort of “In Love”: What is it About Play?

Maha Bali

I wanted to copy a quote via Catherine Cronin here for future reference. (can't remember why).

“The internet does not produce a new kind of identity, but has instead been instrumental in raising awareness that identities were more multiple, culturally contingent and contextual than had previously been fully appreciated.”

Ah yes, now I do...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

(E)motion Capture

Who leads this dance?

Am I captive?

Am I freely enchained?

A breath, a breath, a breath...

Where might this spirit vessel sail?

A breath billows spinnaker.

A breath beyond...

My spirit keels to port.

No crew, no captain, no tiller.

Possessed, I am another...

another's voice.
another's frame.
anothers tone.
another's mood.

I submit to its form.

I tread in unfamiliar skin.

Are these wings?
Are these claws?
Are these scales?
Are these mine?

I see us now as vision composite.

I am becoming newly versed.

Arhymed, entranced, am I freely entrained?

Image Source

Voice off.

I should be grown up.
I should be doing work.

Que Nenni!

I was reading poetry aloud.

I heard my voice anew.

It is a voice off.

How did my voice escape? 

It is living on borrowed time.


I blame Terry Elliott.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Let it burn.

"Oft hope is born when all is forelorn." 
J.R.R. Tolkein.

All around is darkness.
My limbs are alight.
My heart is ablaze.

Let it burn.

All who care gone or lost,
My plans are powdered dust.
Our prayers lie ash to the wind.

Let it burn.

All I can are smoke signals.
My pain billows far.
Your hurt crackles embers.

Let it burn.

All around is scorched.
My earth is grey and black.
Their life is grey and black.

Let it burn.

All around is crooked desolation.
All life appears charred..
All gives room to despair.

Let it lie.
Let it lie.

Fear not despond.
Fear not despond.
Fear not despond.

Let it burn.

You are the fireworker.

How fire can restore a forest.

For Susan.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Joke candles.

I was at the parent teachers meeting this week.

The teacher was talking about birthdays.

There was a long, terribly serious, debate about the pros and cons of homemade cakes.

There are no allergies in the class this year.


It is so much easier when there are allergies.

The kids get off the shelf supermarket cake.

No washing up...

Joke candles

Then she told the story of a mother who last year had had the great idea of putting joke candles on her kid's birthday cake.

He was six.

At first it was a great joke.

The more the poor child tried to blow out the candles the more they relit.

In the end the candles became a fire hazard, the teacher panicked and threw a fire-blanket over them.

The cake was ruined.

The kid cried.

Maybe he should have cried a bit sooner?

They might have avoided calling the fire brigade then.

Blazing candles.

I was reminded of this story while thinking of what to do for Maha's birthday.

I am quite sure that I am not alone in thinking of what to do for Maha's birthday.

She has friends everywhere dreaming up plans to celebrate her birthday.

This has no doubt something to do with her extraordinarily networked radical kindness.

I had this great idea of doing a search on my blog to see how many of my posts were connected to her.

I typed Maha in the search box.

What a dumb idea...

I ended up spending hours scrolling, searching on my smartphone, copying and pasting links into Pinterest.

I tried adding links from a couple of hangouts and then gave up.

I didn't dare Storify Twitter.

We might have been here until Christmas.

I then decided that Pinterest wasn't really up to the job.

I tried doing a Flipboard magazine instead.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

I thought of doing a Thinglink but decided that that would be more than hopeless - you wouldn't be able to see the picture for pins.

I ended up with 32 links.

I reckon that Maha must be around 32.

Joke candles.

Even if there aren't too many candles now, they keep relighting, inspiring other people, other blog posts, conference papers, massive Twitter chats even.

Oh no, you see the problem, that's typical.

I had my 32 candles ready.

I start trying to blow them out, just to try, and then I realise not only will they not go out but I now have 33 candles lit and shining.

What on earth am I to do?

Any more attempts and I will be up to 40 and that will be way too many.

In any case it is indelicate to count the candles after a certain number.

She'll never notice if I just say there's 32.

Happy Birthday Maha!!

Next year, I resolve not to count candles.

I shall definitely not use joke candles again, the ones that you can't blow out.

Abonnez-vous au tableau Maha de Simon sur Pinterest.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Navigating by stars.

"Where do stars go in daylight?"

"They are in space."

"Where is space?"

"Space is all around us."

"Are we almost there yet?"

"We've only just set off."

"How will we know when we get there?"


"Are you there?"


"Why can't I touch you?"

"I don't believe in space."

"So where do stars go in daylight?"

"We are all stars.... "


That is not half as daft as it sounds on first sight.
We navigate by stars.

We fix our bearings by their positions.

They enter our sphere of wonder.

There are those of you who are painted on my planetarium ceiling.

You blink in the dark.

Your movements shoot across my night sky.

You are here between these lines influencing their trajectory.

Some of you, between the lines, I suspect, lie somewhere beyond Pluto.

I shall organise a manned mission.

I am gazing up through the aperture of the dome.

It is no longer simply sky.

Light beams intention, place, meaning.


I saw a rainbow yesterday.

Rainbows belong to me.

Rainbows colour my thoughts.

They are a prism, a prism for life.

"Where do stars go in daylight?"

Be foreword. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015


The community observer noted down my position and my role and the way that I connected to my fellow community members.

It appeared that clearly identifiable apprentices were grouped around my work position taking notes.

From time to time one of the apprentices took on my role and I gave them what appeared to be encouragement.

The observer wouldn't have been able to note the subtexts...

The observer wouldn't have been able to note the chemistry.

That would have been lost on him.

He didn't bat an eyelid.

He had quite enough data for his purposes.

We didn't bother to wonder what they observer was up to, we were too busy working to ask.

We ambled off to lunch.

I have been thinking about permutations in rhizo14 (as one does).

There has been a certain amount of discussion as to whether WEs constituted networks, swarms, communities, groups etc.

Is there not a case for suggesting that one must use a series of terms which are necessarily interconnected and permeable to talk of activity at a nexus of discourses?

I am simultaneously operating within networks, family, friendship affiliations, professional affiliations, time zones, operating systems, applications, languages, gender affiliation and so on..

Combinations of these attachments are constantly being weighed up consciously or unconsciously and constitute an ever changing and mutating ecosystem.

I have the impression that there has not been enough analysis of the varying and often competing attachment patterns between nodes at microlevels in the #rhizo14 netverse.

Tensions in competing attachment potentials are both inevitable and no doubt desirable.

Grouping of 'individuals' in 'clubs', 'communities', collectives is both a operational necessity and an endless source of bickering.

How far are tensions embedded in the technology which is used?

Can I make the hangout?
Will I be alone in my hangout square or with others?
How can I find my footing in a Twitter torrent?
How can I feel part of a group which is active when I am asleep?
How far I am aware of the ripples from the secret DM conversation?

What might have been seen as "rhizo14" from certain perspectives (more or less conveniently) was often more perhaps a continuation of previous or parallel cMOOC affiliation, #ds106, #clmooc, #edmooc.  

At the heart of much of the activity is academic discourse: research, abstracts, papers, conferences, phds.

Rhizo14 has been a useful hive for extracting conference honey.

There was no hierarchy in Rhizo14?
I fear that this is far from the truth.
A Keynote is not key for nout.

Rhizo14 has been a useful tree (he chokes) which might also hide the deeper forest ecosystem.

I suppose this is what I was evoking when I wrote Submission.

Rather than looking wider, at MOOC level we need to scratch around in the undergrowth, we need to timelapse what emerges, how we ourselves are caught between flow and critical ebb...

There is also the importance of wonder at what patterns emerge from nature.

Such patterns go beyond what is human and such feelings are inevitably uncomfortable.

Oh marvellous I am a bee...

Is it perverse to look at the microcosmos of a MOOC?

As I am writing this, I am at a nexus of competing discourses:

It is morning, breakfast time, Monday is the start of class, CLAVIER web site needs working on, the pleasure of writing here, the desire to put my thoughts out in some sort of form drives this on, I have been reflecting on the complexity of what brings us together and what takes us apart.

I feel somehow part of a wider discussion.

There are those clouds of competing memories, sensations,desires, thoughts, instincts which come together at a point HERE to result in this being written.

I don't really know why, but it's fun.

Image credits

Composition of permutations corresponds to multiplication of permutation matrices.;_Cayley_table;_matrices.svg

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A WE drawn.

And other stories...

A small number gathered around to offer final words.

They had journeyed across oceans wide, through deserts burning , over rugged, steep, pretty worryingly Tolkienesque mountain passes tortuous, to share this, their, the, story.

Many were they who had fallen by the wayside...tragic, unmourned, minor, footnotes.

The court reception rooms filled to the beams with murmuring impatience.

The moment of truth had come.

The last guardians of the flame were present.


There was not a whisper to be heard in the court receptions rooms filled to the beams with silent impatience.


A HUSH of expectation.

Noone, would interrupt this, their, the, narrative now.


We fell silent.

They told this, their, the story.

"We, WE, were a group, a collective, a community, a pack, a huddle, a gaggle, a congregation, a fellowship , we were never quite sure..."

Indeed, WE was never ever sure!


"BUT now, but now, more importantly we are here as the last witnesses to our, OUR, Odyssey."

The boundaries of WE were never quite clear.

The boundaries of WE had never been less clear than now.

No matter, WE mattered.

A WE was necessary for a good story.

The audience sat listening approvingly.

They loved stories told thus.

The pictures painted were appropriately illuminated, the framing was tasteful, the timing immaculate.

The scribes so skilled made precious notes on their unrolled parchment scrolls illuminatively.

"Bullet point. NOT a HIVE."

"Bullet point. NOT a CLAN."

"Bullet point. NOT a NETWORK."

"Bullet point. KNOT a KNITTING club."

They loved nots, knots told thus.

"Shhh, oh those knots..."

Hours, they envisaged unravelling those...

Would there, might there be, might there be a perhaps, or a maybe, or anything lovely to debate?

Yes there were mights.

Yes there were lines.

Yes there were boundaries.

GOD! there were boundaries.

They loved boundaries, boundaries marked thus.

They could take sides, they could choose lines, they could choose a side of a line to stand...

God! A line to straddle ambiguously.

They had grasped the story as told.

[No, actually, he had not cared two hoots.]

[THEY were greater than he.]


WE need a good THEY for a story.

And THEY mattered more.

It was theirs, this, the, that, story matter, now.

They had recorded the story as fact

The story unwound another round of twine.

A we short-lived.

A we short-lived.

A we short-lived.

"It didn't matter two hoots."
Image credits

"Odin's last words to Baldr" by W.G. Collingwood (1854 - 1932) - The Elder or Poetic Edda; commonly known as Sæmund's Edda. Edited and translated with introduction and notes by Olive Bray. Illustrated by W.G. Collingwood (1908) Page 39. Digitized by the Internet Archive and available from This image was made from the JPEG 2000 image of the relevant page via image processing (crop, rotate, color-levels, mode) with the GIMP by User:Haukurth. The image processing is probably not eligible for copyright but in case it is User:Haukurth releases his modified version into the public domain.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -

Friday, September 11, 2015

Be longing.

“I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.” 

Be fitting

I tried on a variety of costumes...

They didn't fit.

I was not fit for purpose.

No that one will not do.

That was me.

No that one will not do.

I was not one of them.

No that one will not do.

It just wasn't me.

In the end I gave up on costumes.

Be longing.

I don't belong...

This book belongs to Simon.

I liked that printed on a book.

It is decorative and has substance.

I don't belong...

It appears to be printed on my forehead.

I don't seem to have an ounce of decorative substance in me...

There are fringe benefits.

One has a better view asat the edge.

B. word.

Asat is that a word?

It will be now.

I have proclaimed it to be so.

Now that word belongs to me.

Ha! I drag it here.

Can you hear it kicking and screaming and protesting its insignificance?

'I am not a word. I am not a word.'

You can't have words revolting!

What is the word coming to?

Be longing.

Do those that belong feel where they start and others end?

I was never quite sure about that.

Do those that don't belong feel where they start and where others end?

I was never quite sure about that.

Does shared alienation represent a sense of belonging?

I was never quite sure about that.

I like writing.

I suppose I belong here.

I am not sure that here belongs to me.

'I won't be long now.'

Ah that's its end.

I am quite sure about that.


La Silla Observatory

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Connecting desire(s).

ALTc 2015 has been a packed conference for me working from Clermont Ferrand in France.

When Maha Bali asked me whether I fancied doing a bit of "virtual buddying" for Virtually Connecting, I was really pleased that I would have an excuse to concentrate a little more than in the past on what was going on in the conference taking place in Manchester.

The fact that it was taking place in Manchester also strengthened my attachment to the conference as I had studied there and had lived there for over seven years.

I could really situate the proceedings, somewhere along Oxford Road...

The identification was deepened by the fact that I had already met a number of the people lined up by Maha and Rebecca Hogue to connect in the hangouts.

I had already met Steve Wheeler and Catherine Cronin in Plymouth at the Pelecon conference in 2012, and Teresa Mackinnon has been my close colleague and friend for over four years for the CLAVIER project.

Then there were other people who I had already met in hangouts. Maha, I had hung out with during #rhizo14 and in a session for Connected Learning TV and EdConteXts,  Keith Hamon and I had had a number of  #clavpicnics with Terry Elliott the year before (was it so long ago?), Autumm Caines, Suzan Koseoglu and Wendy Taleo I had met up the day before to prepare for the Virtually Connecting sessions.

I had been somewhere there with them, at the same time.

Then it starts getting confusing for me...

Swarms and blurring boundaries

I had never ever spoken to or been in a synchronous hangout with Rebecca, Sarah Honeychurch, Bonnie Stewart, Alan Levine, Jonathan Worth, Amy Burvall, Martin Hawksey, Lisa Hamershaimb before. I had, however, previously watched them speaking in previous assorted hangouts, videos.

Sarah and Rebecca, Maha and Keith had been fellow swarmees during work on an article for Hybrid Pedagogy and associated (ad)ventures.

Alan, Jonathan, and Amy, I had come to know through Connected Courses.

Martin Hawksey has been a constant life-saver to me for all things social network analysis.

Martin Weller, I was familiar with from some of his work, his blog and a short appearance in #rhizo14 concerning a shed in Arkansas (what the hell was that about?).

Stephanie Loomis, I had come across during CLMOOC.

Sue Beckingham I had sort of come across during the #blimage thingy via Steve Wheeler.

Others were completely new to me: Kate Bartlett, Rebecca SmallshawCinzi Pusceddu, Rayane Fayed, Rachel Hammel, Joseph Murphy, George Station (though maybe he was familiar too because of Digiped?) Laura Czerniewicz but were no doubt connected to others that I knew.

In the playground

When I look at this, it seems that there was, to use a word Martin Weller used in one of the hangouts, an identifiable 'gang' that I had been playing with and another part of a same (?) ever fluctuating and diversely connecting gang-crowd, some of whom I had been observing on the other side of the playground, (I can't think of a better way of explaining it) with whom I felt, I feel attachment.

Is this real or virtual attachment?

We are surely not attached for the same reasons or with same perceptions...or are we?

I am not quite sure if I were to take a Hawkseye (as in Martin Hawskey) view of the network if I would understand better the complex patterns of which I am a tiny but, for me at least, signifying part.

We are no doubt attached even when we are not aware.

Identity parades...

Whose we is we?

Whose they is they?

Whose I am I?

Who am I now?

Who was I then?


What does all of 'this' mean, taken as a whole? (Where do I draw the line for this?)

There is perhaps a latent desire to connect more closely in some way, or at least to announce some sort of tribal belonging.

We no doubt recognise each other by those or what we have in common.

What is this swarming tribe of which I am a part?

Is this real, is this virtual, is this...?

Tribe, seems to me to be too rigid a term.

Swarm seems rather less than human.

Where or what is our commonality?

Where do we find common ground?

Coming back to ground ALTc

When I look at this, with a little distance... there are a number of things which stike me.

1) I have many real friends who I have never met offline. These friendships are not virtual.

2) I am not sure that I would have been able to have so many useful conversations with these people had I been in Manchester for the conference.

3) I am sure that the effort invested in Virtually Connecting and the engagement made both deepened my ties with the people present (in the hangouts) and with the conference proceedings.

4) I developed immediately transferrable skills in the setting up of hangouts on air, the animation of discussions, and in dealing with distant time-zones.

5) I gained enormously from working in a team. You learn much about people when you do more than discuss or exchange tweets or comment on blog posts. You learn about their professional qualities, you learn from them and expand your own knowledge.

6) None of this would have happened, perhaps, if I had not been able to engage with  a 'gang' in #rhizo14.

7) There is something quite absurdly moving about being together with people who have made the effort to get up at five o'clock in the morning, to stay awake until three o'clock in the morning, to be with somebody in spring when I am in (he hesitates...where am I?) autumn, to be with someone in a place where it never snows, with someone in a place where it often always rains, with someone in a place where it often always snows, with someone in place where the cockrel crows, with a bunch of people in a hotel bar in a place which used to be my home, with others off-screen, who I have met before online, looking after a little girl who appears in hangouts with her mum,  with at just that moment my little daughter who appears in her bedroom to say hi.

8) I am left with new attachments, a playlist memory aid, a number of impressions of a conference and a swarm of difficult questions.

Memories at play

So, these were memorable moments, these moments remind me of being in another place rehearsing for a play.

We were a team brought together around a play.

We brought ourselves to the play and the play changed.

We were a little world for a moment.

We were somewhere else.

We were in between.

In between is really no where you can go alone.

Real place out of time

It's a real place that I remember.

We were there...

Connecting places in between

And then it came back to me.

This place, I had already given a name.

I went to Plymouth in 2012 "In search of Nomad's Land".

I came back to the edge of chaos in my daughter's bedroom, with its pink curtains, with its curiously arranged toys, I sat down with a tame tiger and I knew that I had found it.


The density of the 'network' in the post became apparent to me when I started inserting links to the various nodes which underpin it.

Nomad's Land is clearly of indiscriminate size, has an ever fluctuating population, and is in a time zone where time itself has gone crazy...

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Energy flows…
Look of sudden shock.
Charge down to only 36%!
No mains cable available to hand.
Review notice: “Back up of data recommended!”
See small print: “No refunds, No guarantees, No exchanges.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


This morning I came to the university for departmental meetings.

There was an atmosphere of pervading gloom due to budgetary restrictions.

I sat down opened up the PC and clicked on the wifi.

I sighed.

I muttered: "Bloody typical."

The wifi was down (again).


I logged into a 4G wifi hotspot on my iPhone 6.

I smiled smugly to myself.

That 3G USB key that I had bought two years ago was already redundant, forgotten in a drawer.

The wifi connection was going to be particularly important to me today.

I had arranged to interview an ex-student, Sebastien Van Egroo for the CLAVIER project.

Sebastien is working with groups of young Haitians to give them training to become sports coaches/coordinators.

A news report about this work: appeared in Le Nouvelliste (which I learnt today is a nationally circulated daily newspaper in Haiti).

Of course, I thought to myself: there are people in the world who do not get their news from The Guardian.

The wifi reappeared in France.

I contacted Sebastien via Facebook Messenger.


The chat was as follows:

En ligne et en train de preparer pour te/vous parler. C'est bon pour toi/vous?

Non c est pas du tt bon pour nous frown emoticon nous n avons pas d electrecite en ce moment

Je communiqué via mon smart phone et j ai plus que 38% de battrie
OK c'est un super story

Nos ordinateurs sont décharge ça risque d être compliqué
Est ce que ca vous arrive souvent?

Mais je peux me connecte via skype sur mon smart phone si vous voulez mais j ai peur que nous ne puissions pas finir l entretien

Oui il y a des coupures très régulièrement l electrecite est donné par intermittence dans les quartier

Mais on ne sait jamais quand ça vient et quand ça part...
OK je propose qu'on se parle brievement par skype et ensuite fait un entretien par chat and gdoc. Et on reprogramme pour hangout

Mais nous devons enregistrer des jeunes ce matin qui vont faire un spectacle et il nous faudra de la battrie
Je ferai un poste blog sur nos experiences d'elec

On veut mettre la vidéo sur YouTube pour faire parler d eux
OK je peux utiliser ca si vous etes d'accord.

J ai peut de devoir économiser ma battrie pr pouvoir les enregistrer

Je les file ce matin et on mettra ça sur internet je pourrai vous envoyer le lien

OK est ce que je peux utiliser ce chat publiquement pour parler de ce moment?

Je suis vraiment dsl mr ensor mais ici c est le jour le jour et on s adapté vraiment en fonction des imprévus qui sont quotidien

Évidement aucun pb
OK donc je vous dis bon courage je vais ecrire un blog et le partager avec vous on vera une autre jour pour entretien

J ai de multitudes d anecdote à vous raconter sur la mise en place de notre projet ici.
Super. Un autre moment avec elec smile emoticon

Merci je vous tiens au courant à bientot

Je me déconnecté pr conserve la battrie
Ok a plus merci a tou

Translation into English:

Me: On line and preparing to speak with you. Is it OK for you?

Sebastien: No it's not good for us :-( we don't have any electricity. 
I am communicating on my smartphone and I only have 38% of the battery left.

Me: OK. Great that's a story.

Sebastien: Our computers have no battery left so it's going to be complicated. 
We can speak via Skype if you like but I fear that we won't be able to finish the interview.

Me: Do you have a lot of power cuts?

Sebastien: Yes the power cuts are regular in our district and we never know when it's going to happen or how long it will last.

Me: OK we can Skype briefly if you like, we could do a chat interview and reprogram the hangout.

Sebastien: But we will have to film the kids' show tomorrow morning and I'm afraid we won't have any battery left.

Me: I'll write a blog post about this experience of power cuts.

Sebastien: We want to put the video on Youtube and get people to see what the kids do.

Me: I can use that if you agree.

Sebastien: I have to save battery to be able to film them. 
We're going to film them tomorrow and I can send you the link if you like.

Sebastien: I'm sorry Mr Ensor but we just have to get by day to day. 
We have to adapt to daily uncertainties.  Sure (for sharing/using chat/video) no problem.

Me: OK. Take care. 
I'm going to write a blog and share it with you. 
We'll find another day to do the interview.

Sebastien: I've got masses of anecdotes to tell you about setting up this project here.

Me: Great! We'll do it when you have electricity.

Sebastien: I'll keep in touch. I'm logging off to save my battery.

Me: OK.  Thank you very much.


I remembered past conversations:

with Maha from Egypt
with Blaise from Cameroon
with Santosh from Nepal.


I remembered the ex-student from Haiti.

He suddenly didn't come to class.

His home town was destroyed.

He came back a while later, minus his joy to speak.

I remember the frustration and surprise of a group of French students that I introduced to Ayiti: The Cost of Life.

They didn't like the feeling of never being able to win a game.

I remembered the blog post that Susan shared about her students: "This is about you."

I remembered the student who used to sleep in English class.

(I discovered he slept because he was working nights.)

I was connected to the wifi via my iPhone 6 hotspot but I felt completely disconnected.

I felt overawed, helplessly privileged.


I go back to the Le Nouvelliste.

I feebly translate the headline into franglais.

This approximation appears appropriate to me:

"When education rhymes with hope."

I look forward to seeing the Haitian kids' show on Youtube.

Do we realise the importance of keeping that last 38% of our smartphone battery for those who matter?

I wrote to Santosh in Nepal.

I found it difficult.

I feel of no use whatsoever.

I feel like a helpless, perversely vicarious spectator.

How can we, 'connected educators', hope to usefully overcome such disconnections?


Education Sport Haiti Hangout On Air