Prayer Flags Are Wings

a messy office whiteboard

Prayer Flags Are Wings

Here is a messy moment from my life. 
The whiteboard in my office. 
O, how I want to wipe it clean, 
but there is much to sift and care for there
and here.
Moments and more, within moments,
 nesting babuskas.
 
I look at your words 
 and I see a community  
 you have made into sentences, 
 birds perched like hope, 
 ready to take wing, 
 a prayer.
 
I am thinking about my grand-daughter, my Caro-lion. 
 For the first time,
 she held her arms out to me, 
 a prayer of hope across the air to me 
 and now to you,
 my daughter, who I am writing to here.
I am flitting with love
just like a phoebe.
I will keep close today,
all my love, 
like prayer flags
beating back the dark wind.

Remixing Hypothes.is: Agency and Adjacency

robin eggs in a nest

I had an interview with Remi Kalir Saturday morning about Hypothes.is. It is part of his research effort to look more deeply into Hypothes.is as it is used in professional contexts. I mentioned to him the need to go further with what is generated in the margins that Hypothes.is enables, to not abandon them, to use/re-use them. Below is an attempt to think out loud about what I mean.

Here is the original piece that was slated for annotation.

I took Kevin Hodgson’s (@dogtrax) reply here

and remixed it as scene from a play.

(Scene follows.)

A Re-purposed Annotation

K: I don’t have the answers.

T: Thank the gods.

K: I just know.

T: What do you know?

K: We need to keep pushing against the testing machine

T: Speak it, Brother Lud

K: And the infrastructure horse it rode in on.

T: Amen and what the hell else.

K: Find paths forward, sideways, up around and through to help our students.

T: What if we can’t see clearly?

K: Do it, even if the path is not always visible. Especially then.

T: We can’t do this alone. We need each other…

K: …we need voices…

T: …in the margins supporting the work and learning going on…

K: ..we need networks, communities, affinity spaces, whatever you dare to call it.

T: Mos def, we need to raise the stakes.

K: I see your raise and call ya. Whadya got?

T: A heart flush.

K: A winnuh!

 

We could take any number of the other responses in the sidebar annotations of the original article  and do the same.  Make poems, multimodal works, original essays inspired by them, collaborative how-to’s, etc. . I am reminded of what Scott Bradlee does with PostModernJukebox–adapts pop songs to other times and styles. Why not that here? We just can’t thoughtlessly abandon the time and care invested in these “nests”. They are clearly more than sidebars. They have eggs in them.

If we don’t intent to hatch them, then we need to make it apparent that what we are doing from the beginning is intrinsic only.  I think that these sidebars represent great sources of agency and profound nudges toward the adjacent possible that  Stuart Kauffman suggests is at the heart of innovation and evolution.

P.S. This post represents another repurposing, a thinking out loud that might drive traffic and interest back to the original post which leads to more annotations and further re-purposings.   Amen.

Plan Yr Wrk, Wrk Yr Plan

I tell my students about the best piece of advice I ever got when my wife and I were running our chimney sweeping business. I tell them it made us a lot of money. I tell them we paid for our farm and home with this piece of advice. Now they’re attending. And what was that advice?

The owner of Copperfield Chimney Supply, Bob Daniels (Sooty Bob to everybody in the business) shared this piece of advice in a six-cassette pack of tapes which I wore out completely over the years. His advice was very simple:

So I repeat this to them ad  nauseum as they work their way through the process of asking and answering a “burning question” in their lives.

One of the tasks I ask of them is to create weekly research plans and then progress reports on the plans.  I do everything along with them, solidarity in learning dontcha know. Below is the assignment and my research plan for this week.

DEADLINE FOR RESEARCH PLAN: September 29, 2017

I want you to come up with a research plan for answering your I-Search question.  This might be a list of items you want to get done. Or it might be in paragraphs.  Make sure you prioritize. In other words, I want you to say what you will do first, second, third, etc.  If you can’t do the first item, move on to the second and so on.  Don’t let your priorities stop you from constantly moving forward.  Imagine you are a shark after your prey, the answer. You never stop moving forward.  We will discuss your plan and how you progressed through it at your conference.

Here is my research plan for the week. I will let you know how it went on Blackboard. You will have an opportunity to do so as well:

Get copy of MIchael Mosley’s book: Michael Mosley, The Clever Gut Diet.

Read Mosley’s book and mark it up looking for ways to combine it with my DayTwo data.

Prepare an email to my doctor on the kinds of bloodtests I want to include in my appointment next week.

Write my introduction where I tell my readers why I am pursuing the question.

Do a journalling exercise called feedforwarding where I imagine the results of my question as clearly as I can from 10,000 feet.

Clean up my I-Search outlines in Diigo.

Follow up on the forums I have visited and get more involved there:  quantified self forum and gut smart forum.

When they come for their conferences, we will chat about their plans and the progress they have made.  We will do this until their first draft is due in about three weeks–planning their work, working their plan, rinse, repeat.