Tuesday, December 12, 2017

From one dot to another...

Dear Dot...er dot...er whoever....

I realise that you may not recognise yourself as Dot or dot.

But, whether you do or whether you don't...

I mean.

You mean?

That's already quite a lot...


It will have to do...

I mean.

What are we on the grander scale of things?

Are we anything more than mere specks...dots...star dust?



And he was GOD.

To put an over fine point on it.

Or a comma, a semi fucking colon;



I mean.

You don't understand.

Me neither.

You mean.

We are punctuation to posterity.

(What might it mean? He doesn't know. He leaves it as a véhicule for divertissement.)

Ha ha.

That's French.



Ooh. la. la.



A question mark?


An exclamation mark!

A colon:

A mad dash -



Shh.... (a final acronym...)

Written off, or laid down.



Underscore _


I mean.

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” 

Carl Sagan

We are the world.

Well...a bit of it.

Punctuation to posterity.

Beat it...Michael.

Dot to dot.


A dot, I spent hours going dotting a page.


I know not why.

I mean.

That is enough.

But there was something in the dots.

There was a connection.



A hashtag. 

Does that have a dash?



Just a link.

#  (absurd when you think about it...on a grander scale of things)

There was a feeling.

It sparked creativity.

I suspect it is what is essential here.

What did you say Carl?


Carl Sagan

I suppose that is what creativity stems from.

What connects?


What connects? God damn it!



X now?


Love learning or its pendants: 
Love yearning 
Love mourning 

Drives us.


What else is there to do?


So I connect dots.

With a hashtag.


And I groan at Despacito.

And then the dog says...

Monday, December 4, 2017

Out on a limb without a leg to stand on.

It's 9:30 in the morning and this wasn't supposed to be happening.

I had other things planned. 

And yet.

Here I am live-blogging a process with all of it's pauses and....history. 
(he adds as an after-thought at 9:38)

Well I find myself leaving this twine of Ariadne. 

God knows why. I don't believe in God.

I come here and intersperse a line...forgetting why.

I take a few deep breaths. 

Other things jump in via DM.

10:34 I spend forty five minutes speaking with my friend Marcin over in Poland about two conference submissions.

I return to this page...to what had already been written.


I read through it and come back to CFP's (I interpret that as call for publications)

I select "The Scholarly and the Digital." rather gingerly. 

Rather gingerly? 


The term "Scholarly" is not one that I would associate as one of my preoccupations.

But I suppose it is time to reassess that.


Indeed what does it mean to be "scholarly" in complex digitally saturated times.

How do we pull "this" together?

Who pulls "what" together?

This "pulling together"....

What if it means "pushing apart"?

What it it means "letting it flow"?

What if it means "constantly reassessing" boundaries?

What if "scholarly and the digital" "loosely, momentarily hangs together"?

What if we left the centuries built "church walls  of academia" to rediscover "an ambulatory perhaps heretical oralistic dialogue"?

What if we break down the altar to the written word?

What if truth is negotiable, context bound, often provisional but essentially timeless?

What is truth if more than love?

How can love be anything more than intensely personal?

I find myself returning to Jesse Stommel. 

He was in a sense my starting point here, when reflecting on a slide count: 73 slides for 30 minutes.

I found myself stripping away any hope that I might have had for a comforting, timed, rehearsed, linear script.  

I was out on a limb, without a leg to stand on.

I find myself returning to Jesse Stommel.

I plonk a quote here:

“Digital pedagogy is becoming, for me, coterminous with critical pedagogy, given the degree to which the digital can function both as a tool for and an obstacle to liberation.”
~ Jesse Stommel, “Decoding Digital Pedagogy, pt. 2: (Un)Mapping the Terrain”

Blimey, "(Un)Mapping... [(Un)Mining?] the Terrain?

Where is that link to the page I had?

I end up tweeting the link to myself from my phone.

"To queer Open is to imagine it as an emergent space always in process. Open Education is not confirmed by courses, platforms, syllabi, hierarchies, but exactly resists those containers, imagining a space for marginalized representation — a space that recognizes our unique embodied contexts and offers opportunities for liberation from them."

Jesse's words above will accompany me in my reflection.

Fluidity in thought, in identity, in containers, in dialogue, in contexts, in scholarship.

Fluidity....I find myself connecting to #lesmauxdesmots.

There are those words which, if small, become battlefields.






Fluidity, scholarity, solidity...

I embed Jesse's keynote from Digital Pedagogy Lab's Vancouver 2017 iteration.

I prepare for more close reading, listening, watching and put this on pause to head towards a class. 11:30

Click on more info to see video with all comments, log in to Vialogues to comment.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Flight lines...

It all started out so predictably.

Waiting around for the boarding announcement.

Queueing for boarding by rows.

Showing identity and smartphone with flash-code.

Falling over my sodding suitcase on wheels.

At last, I was walking down the ramp towards the stationary Airbus 320 destination Corsica.

On entering the plane, it was apparent that this was no ordinary flight.

Indeed, this was a very particular flight.

I did notice that the air hostesses and stewards were peculiarly attired.

Regulation uniform had been hidden beneath crudely drawn, hurriedly personalised t shirts.

While their greeting on board was pretty customary, it was clear that their minds just weren't  on the job.

Something bigger than uniform, function and role was visibly bursting out - attachment, nostalgia, thrill, warmth, every day  human emotion.

On sitting down in our under-sized seats, on attaching our seatbelts we were introduced into a pop-up theatre of humanity.

"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, this flight is a very special occasion for our friend and colleague Poppy (we shall call her Poppy...in remembrance)...after 20 years of loyal service she is giving up her job as an air hostess to change her life."

At the end of the announcement quasi-spontaneous (rather forced) applause broke out around the aircraft.

"Hurrah for Poppy."

The air-safety instructions delivered mechanically beneath a silly t shirt, gaudy head-antenna and glitter were an event too exceptional for me not to note.

I took a photo of the steward's performance.

The steward in the steward immediately came towards me, stood over me and demanded that I delete the offending photo.

"Taking photos is against the rules." he said sternly.

I couldn't not agree with him on a number of levels.

First: I was unable to ask permission before hand. He could quite rightly find that a rude imposition.

Second: I was treating him as an object. (actually it was the strange juxtaposition of discourses which fascinated me).

Third: He had no means of knowing whether I might, not only steal his image, but spread it on social media.

Fourth: The celebration for Poppy, the applause, the silly t shirts may not have been officially sanctionned. Any photo of their transgression might have resulted in punnishment for the perpetrators of the celebrations for Poppy's farewell flight.

I deleted the offending photo...sheepishly.

What I didn't mention to the steward was that I hadn't taken one photo....I had taken two.

During the flight, I felt a moral dilemna: I wondered whether I should confess to the man, ask forgiveness (again) and explain what I wanted to do with the photo, ask for assent, or delete it before his eyes, thank him, and wish him well.

There was at no moment any untransactional dialogue between him and I.

During the flight, it was all steward-speak:

"Would you like savoury or sweet snack?"

"No we don't have any tonic water."

"Thank you."

"Bye bye."

He was much too taken up with his "hen-flight" celebrations to be bothered to speak to me when I stepped off the plane.

I decided to keep the photo.

On leaving the plane, there were the air-crew, champagne in hand,  taking selfies of each other in their glitter glasses, and t shirts with red hearts on them.

Was the fancy dress for Poppy or for the passengers?

I struggle to untie the ethics.

  • As passengers, we had no choice but to accept the Poppy theatre.
  • As passengers, we were a captive audience to the aircrew's celebration.
  • As passengers, we were expected to participate more as a back-drop - as  extras to their party, than invitees.

We were being reduced to the role of audience on reality TV.

On arriving the airport, I went to seek a means of escape.

My connecting flight being in a few hours, I walked up and down trailing my baggage, looking for a bus, taxi, pavement (sidewalk).

I was confronted by transport desert.

Et merde.

I resigned myself to a long stay in the airport.

No transport, rubbish souvenir shop, low battery.

It's extraordinary how electric sockets become oasis in transport desert.

I found the shortest charging cable known to modern man or woman or wilerbeast in a combination safe on a wall.

Who invented that beauty?


No movable chairs. None. Only fixed chairs. Only fixed metal uncomfortable chairs.

A woman helpfully suggested that I might leave my phone in the safe to charge.

She didn't understand my plight.

I wanted to use the bloody phone to release my soul purgatory not lock it up in a box.

I sat uncomfortably, at an angle on my suitcase, my back suffering, my head throbbing at their fucking security messages which were every ten minutes.

"Your suitcase will be taken away and destroyed if left unattended."

I couldn't leave the suitcase unattended cos it was the thing I was sitting on.

As the time ticked by the onslaught of their loudspeakers drove me progressively madder.

Thank God for "Hyperspektiv" app which is a means of expressing dynamic paranoia like no other.

Hyperspektiv, PicPlayPost,  iMovie,  hours of sitting in alienating airport, bored, Audiocopy, Dynamite...BOOM!!!!!

I noted today in the Guardian that the prisoners of Guantanamo have an art exhibition going on in New York.

The article was entitled:


Well fuck yes.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Who buys the ferryman?

Everything was going to plan.

The suitcase was ready, the washbag packed, the papers checked, the boarding card downloaded.

I stepped across the thresh-hold and was hit by a gust of cold air.

The low-slung black-cab drew up, the boot opened...

I stepped down to sit on the leather seats and almost found myself sliding off onto the floor.

It was a new car.

The driver glanced back, checked the final instructions:

"Go to the end of the street, turn hard right, cross the main road, and then continue up there."

After passing the lights halting the absent dawn traffic we arrived in front of the gates.

We waited.
We waited.
We waited.

No colleague.

Telephone call.

"I am still in bed. I am really sorry. What do I do?"

"Try getting up and getting dressed." I offered helpfully...

All of this...this unexpected diversion, the emotion in the air, broke the scripted discourse.

Plan, phone, park, put bags in car, pointless pitiful...patter...paying...parting...(de)parture....

"It's cold, isn't it." "It's early, isn't it." "Can I have a receipt?"  "Thanks." "Have a nice flight." "Bye."

I and Charon (let's call him that) were brought together.

We spoke of how paying passengers abused their roles.

Who buys the ferryman?

"It's cold, turn up the heater. It's too hot now, turn down the heater. Change the music. I hate music."

They would do well to wonder who the driver is.

They would do well to wonder who the driver might be for their last flight.

They might seek more humility.

"People don't understand the work of a taxi driver." he said.

"We are like psychologists." he said.

"People open up to us."

"People tell us all sorts of things."

We spoke of constraint and separation, of birth, life, and death.

We spoke of the desire of the young to depart the home, the desire of parents to maintain control beyond the door.

"I fell out with my parents," he said.

"I found myself sleeping for nights in my car...alone."

We spoke of these liminal spaces....grief...flight...birth...life...taxi rides.

Who pays the ferryman?

I thanked him for the moment that we had spent together.

We shook hands warmly.

There was a feeling of mutual respect.

He disappeared into the night.

Meanwhile, my colleague had arrived.

We spoke on the phone.

Her baggage was oversized for the cabin.

She was terribly apologetic.

They wouldn't let her onto the plane.

"There are a number of ways of seeing it." I said.

"You are upset that you missed the flight."

"If this plane falls out of the sky, you will evoke divine intervention."

 I was caught between facile phrase and anxiety an instant.

Monday, November 13, 2017


I am up too early in the morning, juggling
in my head.

This is what researching complexity does to you  - you find yourself with two many balls spinning around in your brain.

Fuck it.

I dropped an F word.

I have diminished responsibility.


Some of those balls have been thrown into the air by others.

Stop it, stop it, bloody stop it.

There it is.

I dropped a B word.

It's your fault.

There are too many of them now.

All at once.


I dropped a D word.

I keep trying, but I need to practice more to keep it up.


Damn that Nietzshe.

What was it Sarah was saying the other day?

She had dream dialogues with a dead German philosopher.

Well as long as he left her to sleep and he didn't wake her up.

I am beyond dreaming.

I am regretfully awake.

At half past four in the morning.

I woke up to go and paste the juggling photo on a conference presentation.

That's what was keeping me up.

Up till midnight transcribing a conversation with a young teacher in a bar.

What was it that he said at the beginning of the dialogue?


Then the conversation went on for another fifty two minutes.


I have done eleven minutes of transcription.

It took me an hour.


So here I am.

I have all these bloody balls in my head.

Some of them are nodes on networks - people, stories, discourses, smartphones, classrooms.

Others are spread out over time.

Others you need a zoom lens to see and study.

I have turned into some sort of biologist with a microscope.

I have turned into some sort of naturalist in a hide listening to bird song, watching a fox, watching an owl, watching a boar eating acorns, watching me, watching me.

I keep my head low, I wear camouflage for fear that I will disturb the wildlife.

Is this my bloody hide?

It will get me skinned.

Touches of sense?

Touches of madness rather.

It was Waldrop that set it off.

Well he dropped a bloody ball.

Well God...you have to blame somebody.

And muggins here picked it up.

And now it's spinning around in my head.

At dawn.



"The edge of chaos, the constantly shifting battle zone between stagnation and anarchy, the one place where a complex system can be spontaneous, adaptive and alive."
Mitchell Waldrop.

That's where I find myself at four forty eight in the morning.

At the edge of chaos.

I size it up.

I keep my eye on the ball.

I am clearly alive.

This is spontaneous.

I suppose this is some sort of  adaptive action.

I am alive.

But uncomfortably awake.

But, Mitchell did say "battle zone"... 


November 13th 2015.

Some die.

I am missing them.

I am missing them.

I am missing my friends out there.

In no particular order.

They keep popping up in my head.

Where's that juggling gif that I made?

There it is.

I thought it would come in some day.

It's a bit rough.

It will do.

Blimey, why did I choose those pictures?

I can't remember.

I am missing my friends out there.

In no particular order.

Terry, Kevin, Sarah, Wendy, Maha, Mia, Ken, Keith, Ron, Alan....uncle Tom Cobbley et al.

I could go on.

I'll be back.

Online....Offline, I have been juggling.


Concentrating on getting those balls up.

I have been juggling.

Stop throwing me bloody balls!

I already have too many.

I know they are juggling too.

My friends...that is.

I have been juggling.

But not here.

Not visibly.

I am juggling now.

On paper.

In my head.


I am looking forward to having more play time.

No. I am looking forward to less solitary games.

Too many balls in my head.

I have been quiet quite a while.

The conference presentation is almost ready.

I am almost ready.

Learning on the edge of chaos...

Trying to map a route with/through complexity ain't easy.

It ain't easy.

It won't go in straight lines.

There are too many curve balls to catch.

Sod it.

That's my limit.

There's those students to throw a few balls to.

They can juggle too.

For me, for them, for you.

We all drop off eventually.

I am hoping this will help me drop off.

For an hour and forty minutes.

What was it that Nietzsche was saying?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Speaking in tongues.

Glossolalia or speaking in tongues 
is a phenomenon in which people appear to speak in languages unknown to them. 
One definition used by linguists is the fluid vocalizing of speech-like syllables 
that lack any readily comprehended meaning,

“In order to manifest Aiki principle you must first have connectivity throughout your own body. This is the result of developing your ki or intent. Secondly your movement must be a balance of yin and yang so that there is no pressure into the point of meeting with your partner. In the Chinese Classics it states,”To yield is to adhere, to adhere is to yield.” This doesn’t mean giving up space but rather using the point of contact as a pivot point. On one side yielding (yin) to your partner’s force and on the other side entering (yang) into his space. In this way your partner is stuck to you and you are free to move in any way that you choose. This requires a great deal of sensitivity. It is a simple thing but very hard to master.”

Sensei Gleason.


Moving had become akin to crucifixion.

Hands raised.

Eyes closed. 

Peace appeared a rite.

It was an unsolicited gift, now given freely.

 "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?"

Nietzsche's ghost.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. 
And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” 

He appears, disembodied in her dreams.

Proto-fascist apparition, speaking Aramaic?

He sighs with a heavy heart.

He wails, he shakes his fist.

"Eli Eli lama sabachthani?"

The death of Nietzsche.

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” 

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Speaking in tongues.


All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
 At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;

And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
 And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.
 Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.
 The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank;
 and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.
 Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Forsaken, forgiven?

He was a self-engineered man.

"One should not understand this compulsion to construct concepts, species, forms, purposes, laws ('a world of identical cases') as if they enabled us to fix the real world; but as a compulsion to arrange a world for ourselves in which our existence is made possible:-we thereby create a world which is calculable, simplified, comprehensible, etc., for us."

Friedrich Nietzsche

His body was results driven.

Material success brought little succour for his soul.

Respect, he owned, respect, he forced.

Love, his own, love, he yearned.

No gain without pain.

Self-possessed pain.

Self-dispossesed pain.

His was an American dream.

He lived it, he breathed it.

His was an American fallacy.

He avoided an outstretched hand.

Only twice, he wept.

Once at her funeral.

Once at his funeral.

Mama, Dada 

"Eli Eli lama sabachthani?"


I am reflecting on my practice through aikido, how can we retain/attain unity in our connections?
To what extent is this patchwork of a piece an expression of mine?
To what extent is a domain of one's own a source of slavery?
To what extent can there be a commons if there is no property?
Is commons what is left after those with power have staken their claims?

Term “connection” in Aikido is often used inter changeably with “unity”. Both of them relate to Japanese words “Aiki” and “Musubi”.  They describe the quality of being in one’s body and interaction between partners that allows them to move together as one.  Although these terms are somewhat similar, they do have slightly different meaning.  For example, the word “connection” implies two separate entities meeting and forming “unity”.  Japanese term “Aiki” describes unity of energy, while “Musubi” means “tying together, or connecting two things or people”. Despite the subtle differences, all these terms will be used here as describing the same idea.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


I mean what are we paying attention to?

I was quite proud of my newly acquired skill of focussed listening.

I sat quietly, I turn my head to the group to my left.

One is speaking French.

"Oh your French is excellent."

I compliment.

The student smiles.

He speaks English.

He notices my attention elsewhere, he speaks French.

I turn my head to the group on the right.

"I did went to the park."

"I'm sorry, what did you say?"

The student looks confused.

"Er.....you er....to the park? 
(teacherly rising intonation)"

The student looks even more confused.

"Er....to the park?"

"I go to the park."

"Yes, you.....to the park" 
(accompanied by hand gesture to indicate past.

The student looks even more bloody confused.

He is now concentrating on interpreting my illegible hand gesture.

The other students are getting frustrated, tapping their fingers.

Three minutes of embarassed silence.

I give up.

This elicitation nonsense is lost in the park.

"You went to the park."

"Yes, I went to the park."

The student looks non-plussed.

I feel him shrugging his shoulders.

He continues trying to perform.

Who is he performing for?

Taking off the blinkers.

What was I trained to do?

How are we having our attention directed?

Who is directing our attention thus, for what, and for whose purposes?

How is such training making teachers ignorant of what is essential?


"He is dead," said Boxer sorrowfully. "I had no intention of doing that. I forgot that I was wearing iron shoes. Who will believe that I did not do this on purpose?"

George Orwell.

"He's so lazy," my colleague said to me of one student.

"He's so lazy," I said to myself of another student.

How do we know what harm we do with our iron shoes?

This year, I decided to reassess all my previous judgements.

Those students are not "lazy" this year.

They may not have done any "observable work" or shown any "observable learning" but "lazy" is not a useful lens through which to view people.

I thought I might question my judgements, my practices, my certainties, my perceptions.

I thought I might learn, really learn.

I thought I might go about analysing things more systematically.

What does learning really look like?

What does learning really feel like?

Where do we really need to be directing our attention, our efforts?

Seeing with new eyes.

I had to open my eyes differently, I had to experiment with shifting my attention.

I had to deliberately and continuously test my assumptions even more often than usual.

To what extent are we basing our judgements, our attitudes, our behaviour from positions of ignorance?


"Our sense of how the world works is often vastly cruder than we think."  Keil

(quoted from "Want a Deep Understanding? First, Know How Little You Know." Winston Sieck).

A student is holding his head in his hands.

"Is he disinterested?"

"Is he bored?"

"Are you OK?" I ask.

"How do you say malade?" He asks.

"Er ill or sick."

"I am sick." He says.

He goes on holding his head in his hands.

Taking off the blinkers.

I started writing this having just read Terry Elliott's piece entitled:

Epiphany: C. Wright Mills Sociological Imagination Is Also a Pedagogical One

In it he writes:

"More and more I feel like an anthropologist in my classroom.
For example, having read 54 summaries over a very challenging article by Jonathan Haidt, I had one extremely powerful insight.  And I only had that insight because I had a set of 30 minute conferences as well.
I am so lacking in sociological and pedagogical imagination that it only became clear to me after the dust settled that students ignore what they don’t understand."
This reflection connects with my current research.
I could echo Terry:
"More and more I feel like an anthropologist in my classroom.

Taking off the blinkers.

This reflection reminds me of conversations with Terry about grass...of how he, as a farmer with a close relationship with sheep, is able to read stories in grass which appear here in "Spring Flowers."

I am grass illiterate.

This reflection reminds me of the work of Gee and his "Critique of Traditional Schooling." and a quote of Kramsch:

"Context is not a backdrop to learning the language, it is the very object of learning. Thus we need to study context itself and its relation to the texts that both structure and are structured by it." 

It is only through ongoing dialogue that one can hope to partially understand what is going on within the boundaries of the class.

It is only through ongoing questioning of the structure of the boundaries which give context to our activities that we can begin to understand what is going on within our classes.

I notice a major difference between a group of students being integrated by teachers into a professional community of ergonomists, whose work uses scientific articles as support to their work, and students of teachers in other disciplines who use academic texts as hammers to beat the students into submission to underline power differentials.

Are we reading so as not to understand or so as to understand?


"Have you read Foucault?" I asked enthusistically.

My question was met with disgust from a student whose teacher had had her read Foucault.

Should I be surprised?

"Context is not a backdrop to learning the language, it is the very object of learning." Kramsch

Taking off the blinkers.

Asking the students to systematically provide language learning biographies has given me the means to focus my attention on certain students who were simply lacking attention, to help them analyse their own stories in relation to others and to question a system which leaves young adults feeling like failures.

Asking the students to systematically share their interests, passions, ambitions, opens up opportunities to connect them to documents, people, communities with whom they may be able to relate.

If I am doing such a bad job, maybe others younger than myself, closer to the students can be enlisted to act as more effective mediators?

I start to see the class not as a homogenous group but as an ecology of inter-twining networks with potential for more imaginative, perhaps more distant connections.

I have to get the students to share their own visions, their own feelings, their own perceptions of what is happening in the classroom and outside it.

In this way we can gain an insight into what is not observable.

One pair of eyes and ears become twenty pairs of eyes and ears.

At the same time I am looking to associate them to, or to co-imagine research projects concerning their own learning.

Student ergonomists' analysis of work situations becomes transferrable to our English classroom situation which has moved outdoors for the day.

Transferring a blackboard from the classroom to the space outside the building becomes an opportunity for these ergonomists to put into practice their developing competences.

How do they feel in this new environment?

Is their attention awakened?

Is their attention distracted? (interesting idea in itself)

Is this an "official" or an "unofficial" class?

Where are the boundaries?

Where are the emergent boundaries which shift according the ambient noise level with people having to move closer to be heard or closer to the board to read?

What happens when other people join the group sitting in the grass?

How does it affect relationships between the students and between the students and the teacher.

Do they feel more able to be themselves, or more at ease?

How does a passing plane or ambient nature affect their focus?

What happens when one student isolates himself from the class because he is suffering from allergies to the newly cut grass?

Should one simply exclude the student, go back in the classroom, ignore the student?

What should we think about "democratic" decisions when the majority decides that the minority should shut up and suffer?

I pick up the "grass" identifying three sorts of unnameable (by me) green plants and we speak about how blinkered we are when it comes to knowledge.

We think about how the green green grass of our home is a threat to others.

Indeed what is knowledge if it is not associated to our context...to our community?

This becomes a source for a discussion with students who take on different identities those of co-learners.

How does a classroom box induce ritual, learnt behaviour, phobic behaviour?

How does the conversation or the learning or the relationships become...in the words of the students:

"real conversation, real language, real learning."?

I am multiplying my efforts to enable student led activities to emerge in the classroom.

Whether that be training session led my students in adapted physical activity.

Or reflections on our own cultural barriers to eating insects.

Or the art of the artisan chocolate maker.

Or the relationship between the cocoa and the colony....

I am multiplying my efforts to enable student led activities to emerge outside the classroom.

A group of students link up with a foreign student to go rock-climbing in English.

Another Facebook group emerges around the idea of running in English.

Another ex-student pops up on a smartphone from Lima in Peru to speak to students inside the classroom about concepts and experiences of freedom.

Another musician pops up from the ranks of the unknown.

Another ex-student friend pops up to animate a personal development session with those wanting to understand the nature of travel.

I take a photograph of them to see what attentive learning looks like.

I see them stretching forward to listen.

I find myself being aware that my position of teacher has become that of the observer, the witness.

I come back to Terry's thoughts

"More and more I feel like an anthropologist in my classroom.

I find myself sharing a quote of Proust again.

“Le véritable voyage de découverte ne consiste pas à chercher de nouveaux paysages, mais à avoir de nouveaux yeux. ”

I share with the students the joy for me of teaching through learning, of learning through dialogue.

I spend some time after the lesson talking with the students about the importance for me of their observations, their analysis of the moments that we have spent together so that I may, with their help learn to read this our context(s).