Thursday, January 28, 2016

Do you have ID?

Do you have ID?
OMG. Yes it's here.
I've been framed again.
I am remade in your image.
That's scary.

Boundaries and desire.

I have been reflecting on what motivates desire to act and what limits action in an institutional learning context.

As a teacher, there are varying constraints which limit action.

Some constraints are clearly desirable or even essential to our own existence, our identity or an institution's or a groups existence.

Faced with what is a considered unacceptable demand or threat, a person, a teacher even,  may be motivated to attempt to overcome, get around, ignore, physical, political, philosophical, pyschological, cultural, hierarchical...(other) limits.

Clearly what is acceptable to one person is not necessarily acceptable to another.

 The perceived risk of overcoming or simply ignoring constraints will clearly depend on the individual person or group.

At times, boundaries may be breached, or simply crumble and disappear.

Beliefs may over time change or be transformed.

Inside out, outside in.

Desire to act will depend on intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Desire to fulfill a role in an (educational) institution will depend on a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Can one say that purely intrinsic motivation exists?

Perhaps not in a professional setting at least.

He notes that question for another day.

He returns to the confines of he institution.

There are days when we would rather be elsewhere...

There are days when a feeling of professional responsibility, a desire not to let down one's friends or colleagues in the lurch or a fear of losing regular/irregular income only just outweigh the desire to walk away...

The desire to not lose face amongst one's peers weighs heavily.

There are people in all professional activities who hate every moment of their professional existence.

There are people in all professional activities who would rather leave the work to the others...

There are people in all professional activities who have an overwhelming desire for power over others....

Man and machine...  

I am a 'fonctionnaire' - a servant of the state, in service to an education system.

I am a cog in a vast machine. Like all cogs which 'malfonctionne' I am replaceable.

Within a university,educational 'cog's are given more freedom of movement than in schools.

I may define within certain limits the program for the students, (indeed it is my responsibility). I may define the methods, the means of assessment.  Teachers are rarely if ever observed.  Students need to be seen to be, or believed to be in class at particular times and grades need to be rendered to the administration every term.  If I am requested to attend particular training or meetings I go.

Complaints are to be avoided.

The smooth running of the institution's administrative machine is primordial.

Then the machine ground to a halt.

A few days later

What on earth was I thinking?

This is all so complex.

Hurried Conclusion.

This is all so complex.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My lawyer is a dog.

"Wuf, wuf, snarl"

I am, against my better judgement participating in conversation with people talking about...
(who is this better and why is he/she speaking to me?) 


"wuf, wuf, snarl...huh?"

I felt it wasn't for me.

I never read instruction manuals (until it is too late).

I once worked with people who called themselves  'Ingénieur Pédagogique'
(instructional designers).

I was impressed.

I am just a teacher.

I asked annoying questions about LMS's.

I obviously didn't understand.

Serious Business.

In France if you are the business you are an engineer of something.

I blame Napoleon bloody Bonaparte, that great liberal thinker.

I looked at the invitation to participate in #MOOCMOOC it included the words:


I had nightmares of Skinner and bloody CD roms.

"It's a nice day today, isn't it? [REPEAT] It's a nice day today isn't it?"


"Oh gawd!" I thought.

I didn't feel that it would be for me.


I have been conned into participating.

It happened on Twitter.

I fell into a dialogue with PEOPLE.

They have my attention least for now...

I now have a bloody Storify to work on from last night and then blog about.

There aren't even any deadlines or badges.


What am I letting myself in for?


Coffee break.

So I sat down for coffee with a bunch of playmobil and a few students.

We started talking about their research questions.

With about two hundred students to help get up and curious, I need coffee and a comfortable chair.

Banter scaffold.

Some are immediately curious and are looking for a sounding board for their ideas.

(It was pretty much like the conversations that I am still working on for #moocbloodymooc.)

We engage in a bit of banter - throwing ideas, pictures, and sounds off of each other.

They go off with enthusiasm...(like me here.)

Banksy approach to education.

I was delighted to be learning in the company of some of my fellow co-learners (students) this morning.

With one, we started talking about Street Art and its influence on political debate.

We framed and reframed the debate...together.

Is Street Art still Street Art when it is shared as a photo on Twitter?

Is it Street Art when Deborah De Robertis 'exposes' herself in the Musée Orsay? 

Is her performance art pornography?

Why is Manet's painting of Olympia not pornography?

What is the relationship between viral images like 'Je suis Charlie' and the 'traditional media' and the politicians and mass demonstrations in Paris?

I wasn't expecting to be co-framing such a debate with one of the students from Sport Science...over coffee.

Coffee tables, and comfortable chairs restructure relationships.

I never know what I will learn.

That is the joy of what I do, it is never predictable, I have to jump from Drugs in Sport, to Perfect Pitch in musicians, to Sport Fishing, to mushroom hunting.

I feel energised by our dialogues.

Other students have much more difficulty to ask questions.

They seem to have little practise in asking questions, most of their time is taken up by content.

Changing symbols...playing with people.

We sat around the coffee table and a bunch of Playmobil.

We started playing with the little people, the dog, the cow, the house, the boat, the medical bag.

Manipulating the toys seemed to help them to disassemble the tortured sentences that they had been trying and failing to write.

Were we talking about all the people, the kids, the women, the doctor, the policeman?

Were we talking about all the world, a town, a village, a house, an organism?

Do I have to speak dog?

Confronted by the request to define a research question, one student was freaking out and came up to me to ask:

"Est ce qu'il faut que la question soit poussée?" "Does the question have to be sophisticated?"

What he meant was:  does the question have to use that language that the experts I don't understand in class use.

We sometimes forget that others don't understand us
We sometimes forget that others are not all as enthusiastic as us.
We sometimes forget that others don't have the same literacies as us.

Being literate...being illiterate.

Playing Minecraft with my son made me realise how our joystick/gaming literacies are so far apart.

We are playing the games of others...

Working with high-performance athletes makes me realise how amazing their physical literacies are...

Moving around a dense text (network) requires the ability to connect, engage, orientate, select, synthesise...

It is not quite the same as pole-vaulting.

There is not quite the same exhiliration...for them.

Maybe we are blind to our/their literacies?

We could imagine 'scaffolding' which might be more or less adaptive to the individual learner.

(often text based or computer based - no good for people who are allergic to text.)

Liberté pour tous?

We could imagine 'scaffolding' which is deliberately opaque to certain groups of learners so that they are excluded from a knowledge community.

Language is clearly a hell of a great way to include and/or exclude people.


Language is clearly a hell of a great innovation to enable sophistication of connections between people(s) and their environments.

Cultural/narrative environments...(networks) are clearly more or less apparent to us.

After all, I'm a fish what the hell is water?

Fish interlude.

Scaffolding may be deliberately, or unconsciously conceived to protect certain groups' privileges.

(The LMS anybody?)

(I am ingénieur pédagogique)

Dog speak.

My lawyer is a dog.

He is deliberately bred to obscure contractual relationships, for the benefit of the privileged.

When I read the small print on terms and conditions of internet services...

I can't be bothered to work through every clause...

Is this web freedom?

I submit. 

We go for a walk.

Dog translation

There are others who are prepared to translate dog into English.

But God, those guys are necessary.

Our relationships have become so complex...(complicated?) ...we need experts.(we do don't we?)

They can give us a cheat code to get to the next level...
(for a small sum)

I suppose this is what we try to do in education.

We unpick dog.

We teach dog.


Science, technology and text literacy are holy untouchable.


I understand much more now one of Dave Cormier's provocation:

"Books are just stupid people."


There is a question which keeps dogging me.

Are we so used to unpicking dog that we kill the dog?

Is our frame of reference, our Western culture: this frame we have had since the Lumières... killing us?


Are our frames of reference the only way to live the world?

Are our frames of reference killing the world?

We frame so we are human.

We encourage agency of the individual. We live by freedom-Freire. Does that kill (a) people?

In encouraging agency of the individual do we lose sight of how we are connected in this tapestry we ourselves have woven?

Our tapestries are so beautifully diverse....yet.

Are we missing this essence beyond our words, beyond our ken?

"wuf, wuf, snarl..."

My dog is trying to tell me something...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lines of flight...

These are early days...

1995 I bought my first computer and connected it to the internet.

1999 I got a fixed post at the university.

2000 I was working on an internet conected resource centre in France and building a web site.

These are early days...

2005 I was coordinating a team of local teachers in France to develop online learning resources for 2000 students. Most students are still using a text book in their classes at the university. At home they have workbooks. The books cost them 30 euros. They don't bring computers to class. Smartphones have not yet been invented. I am working alone in a classroom with a blackboard and chalk. Wifi doesn't exist yet in the classrooms. They are still doing exams in ampthitheatres.

These are early days...

2008 I am using Facebook with all my students as a means of extending the classroom.

2009 I have never written a blog post.

2010 I wrote one blog post. I didn't know what Twitter was.

These are early days...

2012 I no longer have a classroom, I am working with a colleague in and open connected space.

2015 I wrote 120 blog posts. I am working with teachers and mentors in France, UK, Italy, Poland, USA, Australia, Egypt, Singapore, Haiti. I am doing research with people in France and Poland.

A group of students have largely self-organised a four-day learning program in the UK with their peers.

I spend a good deal of time learning and working with groups of  peers in cMOOCS and communicate via Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, Scoop It, Instagram, Blogs, Websites.

Students are working online and offline with other students and teachers from different countries.

They are learning to develop search literacies with a team of librarians, they are curating their research using a a web application Scoop It. Librarians are responsible for part of their English grade which is based on their explanation and reflection of their personal research approach.

I now have a database of 180 student curated collections made for their assessments. 

They are making videos posted on Youtube from their smartphones for their evaluations.

They are using collaborative Google Documents to complete self-directed reflective learning portfolios.  20% of their assessment is now dependent on the quality of their reflection. 20% of their assessment is based on work which they have chosen to do. 30% of their grade depends on their individual work - projects, videos, presentations, discussions.

Only 30% of their grade is directly dependent on their level in English.

No text books are used, no documents are assigned, all documents and projects are selected by the students. There is a box full of text books which the students can take home if they want (none of them do).

80% at least of students have a smartphone.

200 second year students have been evaluated on their networking activities with students in the UK.

40 students will be mentored by student teachers in Poland.

20 masters students have been working with students in Italy.

All students in one masters' program accepted to blog every day for a week in English and shared their posts with business people met around a hashtag.

Five years ago, I didn't know what a hashtag was.

These are early days...

2014-15 CLAVIER extended - the possibilities for more and more students and teachers to connect.

I started to question my role.

How did I want my learning activities, research activities, teaching activities, teaching and development activities to continue.

Some of the people that I work with are predominantly researchers.

Most of the people that I work with are teachers with varying contracts and varying motivations.

Did I want to be responsible for stretching out the possibilities to connect with students in other institutions?

Did I want to concentrate my energy on really developing a connected model of language learning in the classes that I am directly responsible for?

Did I want to spend much more time on research?

How best to connect to online and offline affinity groups?

Via institutions? Via existing informal or professional communities?

I am constantly (re)adapting my attention and energy depending on what connections open up effective learning possibilities for the students.

I have worked horizontally after a period of working alone vertically on my own digital literacies.

Now I am going to work on attempting to embed certain approaches not across language teaching networks but with colleagues in other disciplines to see if it possible to consolidate and deepen critical thinking, self-directed reflective learning, digital literacies, and in particular networking literacies...

Safe to fail

There is an expression that I gleaned from Dave Snowden and it is the concept of safe to fail.  I, we are working within what might be described as complex adaptive systems. Things are changing rapidly around us. There is no uninventing the internet possible, there is no uninventing the desire to fly.

Working on the edge of what is possible is potentially risky for those who want to stretch out.

The rewards are not necessarily obvious. Many will prefer to wait until there are viable means to fly as passengers...

I am constantly reassessing risk to myself and demanding what is sustainable.

We can get ahead of ourselves. We can be sucked into areas of turbulence or experience engine failure.

I strive for sustainable real talk with my fellow explorers, I really don't want to crash.

I rather prefer to take time to appreciate the view...

As someone once said, we are attempting to rebuild an aeroplane while flying it.

These are early days...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Year Zero...

Don't forget to wipe the board.

Wipe the slate clean.

Hide the answer book.

We don't want any cheating.

"We will burn the old grass and the new will grow."

Pol Pot.


The newbies must experience the same confusion as their forebears.

Is this initiation to a sect?

Yes this is...a new term...year zero.

The term begins...

What do your students see of the activities of others?

Do they get to build on the learning of others?

What traces do they leave for those who follow?

Graffiti on the desk?

Scribbles in the borrowed text book?

A broken chair?

Low-life learning.

Of course, we can never wipe the slate clean. not even Pol Pot managed that...

In the corridors of (informal?) learning students sketch schemes, caricatures, myths, share short-cuts through the maze.

They become (perhaps) thereby empowered by their peers.

Dumb and dumber.

I spoke to a student last week.

She smiled.

She feigned understanding or to avoid embarassment by busying herself statically on her chair.

She understood nothing.

She was Moldavian.

She spoke Roumanian and had only ever learnt French and Russian at school.

I felt ridiculous.

Dense and denser.

I remember the lectures at university.

Either I was dense or the lecture the extent that it may as well have been in a foreign language.

There was no pause for breath, there was no time to take legible notes. The graffiti was no help.

We feigned participation by scribbling on a page of A4.

I gave up going to those lectures.

Nobody had ever stopped the teacher to suggest that his lectures were, to us mere mortals, gibberish.

What means did the teacher have of knowing, before the end of year, that nobody understood?

Nobody had ever stopped the teacher to ask a question; they wouldn't have known where to start.

Logic and logical 

It reminds me of a story of my father who was asked to teach logic at theological college.

He knew nothing of logic so he borrowed the notes of the departed logic teacher.

He read the notes religiously, praying that nobody would stop him to ask a question....

He recounted his story with a gleam in his eye. He had an acute sense of ridicule...he found the story hilarious.

Learning and culture.

Teachers group together by affinity, they cross each other in corridors sometimes with only a nod. From time to time, they disappear to their conferences.  They go to meet those with whom they will discuss the progress of the research and advance learning.

Fortunately for their careers, a few years back...some guys introduced the printing press.

The act of reading and writing became something less esoteric, wider literacy became something desirable to the wider community.

It empowered a new guild: The Academic.

New ideas might be spread and discussed right around the continent...even further afield.

These were modern times.

I sometimes have the impression that we don't give enough thought to literacy.

I sometimes have the impression that we don't give enough thought to FAQ's.

I sometimes have the impression that we don't give enough thought to Market Research.

I sometimes have the impression that we don't give enough thought to Smart Portable Devices.

I sometimes just want to laugh.

I remember my father. He makes me smile...still.

It is important to maintain a sense of humour. It is perhaps this the most important lesson to learn.


An Italian Class...

And now...

And now a few questions.

What traces of your students do you keep and cherish?

Do you maintain relationships that you work so hard to establish with your students? Why?

What students frequently asked questions do you keep? What do you do with them?

What student suggestions, student advice, student stories do you keep? What do you do with them?

What connections do you enable between generations of students and other interesting people?

What do you do to enable learners find interesting documents, ideas, people?

What people do you invite to help you enable your students to learn?

What do you do to enable progress from year to year?

How do you evaluate progress from year to year? With standardised tests?

What literacies are appropriate to develop today? Why?

What sort of learning environment do you thrive in?

a) A blank cell
b) In a place with a group of people with whom you feel you can identify
c) In a country in which they speak an alien language.
d) In a classroom in which one teacher speaks about things which don't interest you.
e) Other..

Friday, January 22, 2016

Open doors are not enough.

Value and vanity.

"Wow, that was a great class."

"Wow, what an inspiration."

God, it's great for the ego!

Open doors are not enough.

I was asked this week whether I was going to any interesting conferences.

I am not going to any interesting conferences.

"To what extent will communicating at conferences enable change of education where I am", I ask.

I do thought experiments:

"To what extent will becoming minister of education enable change of education where I am," I ask.

"Be careful what you wish for."

I conclude that many brilliant people and less brilliant people become ministers.

Nothing much changes...

I shall never be minister...

I shed a few tears.

I am preparing to speak with Daniel Bassill and Terry Elliott about strategy next month.

I keep having to accept that I am not 'just an English teacher', I am not 'just a teacher'.

It is an insidious message that repeats itself:

"But you're you, you're hopeless, you know you've got no time, mind your own're just a bloody English teacher."


That's it, I have said it now.

Nothing, nothing will ever change.

Change for the better.

Over the past ten years, I have asked myself one question:

"What can I do to enable change for the better in language learning?"

Of course 'change for the better' is a loaded question.

What is to be our 'change for the better'?  
Who is 'our'?

I am working on my answers to those questions...

To be quite honest, I have asked myself wider questions:

"What can I do to enable change for the better in education here where I teach?"

Of course 'change for the better' is a loaded question.

What is to be our 'change for the better'?  
Who is 'our'?

To be quite honest, I have come to the conclusion that you can not enable change for the better in language learning, if you do not enable change for the better in education.

To be quite honest, I have come to the conclusion that you can not enable change for the better in education if you do no reflect on the role of education in society...if you do not reflect on the different players trying to 'enable change for 'their better' in education.

It is, it appears an open battlefield for our minds, for our money...for our activity...for our communities...

This is freedom.

This is one of many visions of freedom...

Freedom is both battlefield and battlecry.

Freedom for who?

Whose freedom?

Freedom for some is an anathema.

"Handle with care."

One can not remain, just an English teacher, neutral.

Just (English) teachers, just students, just researchers, just ministers are disposeable...

Other peoples' values judge us.

Nobody is irreplaceable.

If all the English teachers where I teach, were to adopt the same approach as myself and none of the other teachers in other disciplines, the effects of such a change would be contained...

If all language researchers only speak with other language researchers then the potential influence of such research is contained...

If all the language researchers only speak with other language researchers, then their language becomes increasingly opaque for those outside their conversations.

It is the Bronte Sisters' secret language writ large.

If researchers and teachers only ever speak with researchers and teachers what is the place of their institutions in the wider community?

Do institutions exist for the researchers? For the teachers? For the students? For the minister? For..?

Whose language do we speak? 

Whose interests do we serve?

I read with interest a blog post of Maha Bali concerning a conference on education reform in Egypt.

She speaks of a keynote by Pasi Sahlberg

 "It was an instance of a success of an international guest speaker who didn’t necessarily realize how controversial his speech is and so it was very satisfying for those of us on the more radical end of what education reform could/should look like. And possibly made policymakers cringe. Unless it totally went over their heads. For example he repeatedly said “don’t do what Finland did; do what would work for YOU” and people still continued to talk about copying snitches of the Finland model, often ignoring the emphasis on equity and trust in teachers in that model (possibly the main two “values” in it that are core and re-contextualizable)."

If Egypt is not Finland, then neither is Clermont Ferrand. 

I return to my question:

"What can I do to enable change for the better in education here where I teach?"

I do a thought experiment:

"To what extent will my becoming Pasi Sahlberg enable change for the better in education here where I teach?"

I conclude: a little perhaps.

I resign myself to not ever being Pasi Sahlberg.

I weep uncontrollably. (he lies)

I must be more realistic, I am just an English teacher.

I read Maha's blog a little further:

"Some of the highlights of his keynote were his comparison between countries who have been failing at reforming education (GERM = Global Edu Reform Movement) and those who succeed (see screenshot in the Storify embedded below)
Some of the things that continue to frustrate me with Pasi’s work (also had this problem with his book, Finnish Lessons) is why he continues to use PISA as the evidence of good education in Finland. It’s a standardized test. Even if it tested reading, math and science literacy accurately, it does not test the things he talked of as key to the purpose of education, namely supporting the child to grow into their potential and find their passion. Every time he says PISA it disappoints me. It’s looking at a (pretty narrow) outcome and making inferences about education quality. I know it’s probably true in Finland, that they have good quality, but it doesn’t tell me anything about what truly matters about education in Finland. It doesn’t tell me that actually good learning is happening in the classrooms. It just tells me about specific literacies, not the whole student."
I conclude that I do not want to be Pasi Sahlberg if I have to cite PISA.

Pasi Sahlberg is not the change I am looking for.

I return to conversations between Daniel Bassill, Terry Elliott and myself.

"Breaking down walls, opening minds.."

What do elite schools in France (or elsewhere) consider valuable?

A good teacher to student ratio? Meaningful learning? Mentoring? Networks?

I look at the presentation of HEC in the Economist:

it would seem that 'student led learning' and 'quality time' are considered priorities.

Its MBA program ranks highly and was recently overhauled:

"HEC revamped its curriculum in 2012, with the help of Bain & Co, a consultancy. The result is a more hands-on approach to analytical thinking and leadership development."

Hmm...'a more hands-on approach'.

"The school offers dual degrees with institutions such as New York University, Dartmouth’s Tuck school, MIT, Wharton, National University of Singapore, Chinese University of Hong Kong and London School of Economics." extensive and wide ranging network of learning opportunities.

No doubt they have plenty of opportunities to learn languages within these networks...

An effective mentoring program:

Yes they have one of those...

Indeed, mentees are enthusiastic about the individual support they receive:

"Discussing my plans seriously allowed me to see things a bit more clearly, as I was forced to formulate my expectations in front of a “stranger”, while knowing that he was not there to judge me."

Of course these people are privileged, they have extensive resources...

Don't poor people have...people??

Don't poor people have...time??

I think briefly that I need to study in depth what Daniel Bassill has been doing for the past 40 years...

I come back to Clermont Ferrand.

No we don't have the same resources as HEC....

No the students, the ones I teach at least, probably don't have the same 'skill-set' as those in HEC.

No they definitely don't have the same networks...

I reflect on what I can do...

I return to the question of mentoring.
I return to the question of wide ranging networks.
I return to the question of a more 'hands on approach' to language learning.
I return to the importance of communication.
I return to the importance of the diverse messages necessary to communicate.
I return to the question of who such communication should be most effectively targeted to.

I return to Daniel Bassill and his Tutor Mentor Program in Chicago.

I am just an English teacher.

I am not just an English teacher...

I repeat it to myself, it doesn't always help.

I think of all that money I am losing...all that time playing around.

I am weird, I continue all the same.

I reach out here.

"Discussing my plans seriously allowed me to see things a bit more clearly, as I was forced to formulate my expectations in front of a “stranger”, while knowing that he was not there to judge me."

Change for the better would enable learners to find meaning in their activity and to realise that they can play a role to improve relationships within their own communities. 

I am a learner.  I remember Keri Facer, "Learning Futures: Education, technology and social change."

Change for the better would enable learners to contribute freely within their communities without fear of judgement.

Acting strategically.

Time and energy is limited. 

I must act strategically with my resources.

My resources have increased dramatically since I connected to wider networks...

I should return to mapping my route, reflecting on strategy...

I realise that my messages to students are beginning to change...

I realise that the messages I receive from students are beginning to change...

I note the appearance of a growing number of mentors...

I note the positive effect of communicating openly...

How shall I act now?

("You're barmy" the insidious/sensible voice repeats)

Time is not money.

Time is not money. 

It was this thought which came to my mind after a conversation with Terry Elliott and Daniel Bassill.

I noted a Vialogues of that meeting, entitled "Breaking down walls, opening minds.." here for future return to.

I thought to myself that I would have an hour.

I looked up at the time.

It was way over an hour.

I had the impression that we had been speaking for ten minutes.

I had to go.

"Where did Monday go?"

Part of my childhood had died the week before.

Was there life on Mars?

It was on the radio in that purple painted bedroom of mine.

I might have been ten.

It, a spaceman, had been closed in a wardrobe.

I was fifty three now.

Time is not money.

It is at times a simple calculation.

Poverty is not a state to aspire to.

I looked around the bare walls.

Space swallowed me in a ten metre square.

There seemed little reason to walk from one end of the box to the other.

My head beat against the walls inside my head.

I had to go.

I couldn't stay still.

Life wouldn't let me.

No matter what you or I say.

Time is not money.

I found myself in a one metre square box, selling dreams in printed boxes.

Time wasn't money.

I did what I could to call time on poverty.

Day after day, I sold little paper boxes and received a little paper envelope with little paper money.

There were a few coins.

It was barely better than poverty but it felt like a way out.

I felt I had achieved something.

There was something about freedom about not allowing oneself to think.

Oh, the pleasure of absent-minded, soulless busyness!

It felt like success!

Get high!

It was barely better than poverty but it felt like a way out.

How can those in extreme poverty know joy?

Is it joy to accept our little lot?

A way out. 

There was a reason to redouble efforts to find the way out.

Love was it.

Poverty with sunshine was an improvement.

Of all the very limited choices open to someone who doesn't speak the language, teaching one's language seemed the most attractive.

A choice not open to those with the wrong language.
A choice not open to those without the right education.

(Would cleaning boxes at night and sleeping while the sun shone have felt like an improvement?

Would love be enough?

For how long?)

How long can absent busyness feel like liberation?
How long can absent hedonism feel like life?

Time brings acceptance.
Does time bring acceptance?
Who cares for time - those who don't count?

Time is not money.

This is not the post that I intended to write.

It was to be something quite different.

It slipped out.

Day after day when I want to write nothing...

I end up writing this.

This is madness.

How does one find meaning in one's existence?

Is it by accident?

Is it like this -  an accident?

I am at peace to write.

I glance over at the clock.

Time is not money.

I am just an English teacher.

I should know my place.

"Don't start getting ideas above your position."

I know there are others who seem quite content with such a lot.

Are they lying?

The rest are none of my business.

I am a fragment of their, of my fragmented existence.

Surely not even a speck.

Two hours here, two hours there, make merry, it shall not last.

Time is not money.

While it lasts...

Take your little paper envelope.

"Now hush!"

I shall not just take.

Time is nothing.

So what is money?

I will be at peace.


"Safety Last!"

Harold Lloyd Clock Scene from "Safety Last!" 

The film opens in 1922 with Harold Lloyd (the character has the same name as the actor) behind bars. His mother and his girlfriend, Mildred, are consoling him as a somber official and priest show up. The three of them walk toward what looks like a noose. It then becomes obvious they are at a train station and the "noose" is actually a trackside pickup hoop used by train crews to receive orders without stopping, and the bars are merely the ticket barrier. He promises to send for his girlfriend so they can get married once he has "made good" in the big city. Then he is off.
He gets a job as a salesclerk at the De Vore Department Store, where he has to pull various stunts to get out of trouble with the picky and arrogantly self-important head floorwalker, Mr. Stubbs. He shares a rented room with his pal "Limpy" Bill, a construction worker.
When Harold finishes his shift, he sees an old friend from his hometown who is now a policeman walking the beat. After he leaves, Bill shows up. Bragging to Bill about his supposed influence with the police department (when in reality he merely knows that this particular policeman would not arrest either of them for a harmless prank, since Harold is an old friend of his), he persuades Bill to knock the policeman backwards over him while the man is using a callbox. When Bill does so, he knocks over the wrong policeman. To escape, he climbs up the façade of a building. The policeman tries to follow, but cannot get past the first floor; in frustration, he shouts at Bill, "YOU'LL DO TIME FOR THIS! THE FIRST TIME I LAY EYES ON YOU AGAIN, I'LL PINCH YOU!"
Meanwhile, Harold has been hiding his lack of success by sending his girlfriend expensive presents he cannot really afford. She mistakenly thinks he is successful enough to support a family and, with his mother's encouragement, takes a train to join him. In his embarrassment, he has to pretend to be the general manager, even succeeding in impersonating him to get back at Stubbs. While going to retrieve her purse (which Mildred left in the manager's office), he overhears the real general manager say he would give $1,000 to anyone who could attract people to the store. He remembers Bill's talent and pitches the idea of having a man climb the "12-story Bolton building", which De Vore's occupies. He gets Bill to agree to do it by offering him $500. The stunt is highly publicized and a large crowd gathers the next day.
When a drunkard shows "The Law" (the policeman who was pushed over) a newspaper story about the event, the lawman suspects Bill is going to be the climber. He waits at the starting point despite Harold's frantic efforts to get him to leave. Finally, unable to wait any longer, Bill suggests Harold climb the first story himself and then switch his hat and coat with Bill, who will continue on from there. After Harold starts up, the policeman spots Bill and chases him into the building. Every time Harold tries to switch places with Bill, the policeman appears and chases Bill away. Each time, Bill tells his friend he will meet him on the next floor up. Eventually, Harold reaches the top, despite his troubles with a clock and some hungry pigeons, and kisses his girl. She continues to believe that he's general manager of De Vore.

Image Credit.