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inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #26 of 48: Teleological dyslexic (ceder) Sun 3 Oct 10 22:28
    
Naw--learnings great!  Just need to find the right platform.  Get a
"grant" from... I forget Christofer's benefactor.  But the vision was
the inspiration.  It's just bad teachers, cranky rules, and violence
against creativity.  No wonder everyone ELSE is poor . . .

billy  boy
     billy boy 
          ...... oh where...
.................................can  
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #27 of 48: Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Mon 4 Oct 10 05:17
    
Loved the thoughts on apprenticeship and mentoring. It’s a model which
has become sorely missed in our schools and often our businesses as
well.

Glad to hear there are many looking forward to creative journeys
post-retirement. 

It does lead me to wonder about how much we have intertwined $$ with
learning. 
While a good education is often an integral part of a successful
career and decent standard of living, I think the greatest learning
happens when we can look at life, for a moment, as if the money didn’t
matter. 

The kind of inspiration that happened during the Renaissance wasn’t
just an intellectual, logical pursuit towards fame and fortune. It was
an emotional tide. It captured the imagination and swept over an entire
continent as the world began to reveal her long held secrets. 

Granted that it isn’t easy to get excited like that while holding down
a day job, or being a parent, or after finishing a long day at school
and coming home to a mountain of homework. 

Learning to connect the day–to–day with our passions and aspirations
is a creative challenge in and of itself. One of my hopes through a
book like Lost in Learning is that people will come away believing it’s
possible and engage in the emotional labor necessary to unleash their
inner explorer and creator. 
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #28 of 48: Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 4 Oct 10 06:18
    
I had a great debate yesterday.  My friend's husband and I have very
different political viewpoints, however in this particular discussion
we were able to firmly agree that if we spent our collective national
dollar on education at home and abroad our economic problems and our
international relations issues would be better served than spending
that dollar on war and incarceration.  

I think mentorships and apprenticeships are the future.  But I think I
may be woefully lonely in that thinking.
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #29 of 48: . (wickett) Mon 4 Oct 10 12:14
    

One of the reasons that the German economy has continued to steam ahead is
its sustem of educational tracks, some leading to apprenticeships.  
Directing students into fields that suit their interests and capacities 
and then supporting them as they master the requisite expertise is, I 
understand, highly effective there.

In the US?  No.

How do you imagine transitioning US education and job training to that 
model or similar?
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #30 of 48: bill braasch (bbraasch) Mon 4 Oct 10 12:37
    
My high school in Chicago had shop classes, but that was rare even in the
middle 1960's.  It has been the company school for Pullman when the
neighborhood had been a company town.  By the time I graduated, they were
making plans to close the shop classes and become a college prep school.

John Hagel and John Seely Brown wrote a book about chinese motorcycle
manufacturing, where the factories reverse engineered components to build a
less expensive motorcycle for their market.  The $600 motorcycle cut a few
corners on things like pollution control, but the way they pulled together
teams to design and build things was the interesting part of the story.

Last week I read that the Chinese are starting a bunch of electric car
companies, something of a learning contest to build the best car.

We need to stop thinking about how to outsource that kind of creativity and
find ways to bring it back into our learning system.
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #31 of 48: . (wickett) Mon 4 Oct 10 13:56
    

Shop classes have been chopped so heavility, I wonder if there are any left.
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #32 of 48: Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 4 Oct 10 17:01
    
It's too bad.  A lot of kids would stay in school, and maybe try to
read the classics, if shop class were still offered. 
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #33 of 48: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Mon 4 Oct 10 20:17
    
Just arriving to the conversation, so just point me to prior posts if
this is already answered.   So what is the emotional labor necessary to
unleash one's inner explorer and creator?
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #34 of 48: Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Tue 5 Oct 10 14:51
    
The shop talk is intriguing. While educating for manufacturing jobs
that continue to shrink, doesn’t make a lot of sense, I think the real
treasure in there is this idea of TINKERING. 

It’s something we’ve forgotten about in education, but an essential
and innate part of learning. Trying something out, playing with an
idea, making mistakes (lots of them) and learning every time you do. 

Of course we’re not taught to make mistakes. We’re taught to avoid
them at all costs and to avoid, as best we can, putting ourselves in
positions where we are likely to make them.

This is where emotional labor comes in. We have a lot of
predispositions to safety, comfort and fear that we have to confront
when we decide to become explorers. 

Unleashing our inner creator begins by reassessing what we believe
about who we are and the value of what we have to offer. 

We have a gift
We have an idea to fix/change/help/improve something
We have a story to tell
We have questions that are worth asking and seeking answers for
        
Or consider these assumptions that often need confronting:

If it isn't worth money, it isn't worth learning/doing
Imagination is childish
Everything important has already been discovered or created
Daydreaming is a distraction from things you should be focusing on 
I just don’t have time to focus on creative pursuits

A creative mindset can require a realignment of priorities and what’s
truly important. This is emotional labor at it’s finest, pursuing our
passions and learning to move beyond our comfort zones. 
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #35 of 48: Lisa Harris (lrph) Wed 6 Oct 10 08:27
    
While our live-or-die testing has gotten a bit out of control, I don't
see any evidence that creativity and discovery are dismissed.  "If it
isn't worth money, it isn't worth learning/doing?  Can you tell us how
or why you have come to this conclusion?
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #36 of 48: . (wickett) Wed 6 Oct 10 10:08
    

Also, the lack of skills for manufacturing jobs is part of a vicious cycle:
no skills shrinks jobs, but without skills manufactury cannot expand.  Both
jobs and skills must expand symbiotically.
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #37 of 48: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 6 Oct 10 11:59
    
It seems as if there's a counter-pattern for most patterns in our
world. The people who pay a lot out of pocket to learn and experience
things in a hobby or recreation context are a strong counterpoint to
the feeling that you have to be paid for something for it to have
value.  From kayaking to quilting to artisan cheese-making to poetry
writing to steam punk fabrication, there is a lot of advanced learning
with a tinkering component that is done for sheer joy. Some want to go
pro, but many people value that the thing they love is done as a pure
amateur.
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #38 of 48: Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Wed 6 Oct 10 18:59
    
Gail - you're right that there are those who invest heavily in
learning for the love of it and it is a great thing. It also begs the
question of work vs. play. Is work what we do just so that we have
leisure time? Is school something we slog through just so that we can
do what we want?

At some point we've all found great joy in our work and the feelings
of mastery and meaning that attend tackling a challenging problem. Just
a matter of brings our hearts to our work

Money as a motivator on the other hand is somewhat symbolic of
learning for an immediate and obvious payback (Dan Pink covers this
excellently in his book Drive). The danger is when creativity loses out
to a societal expectations of what is practical and important. 

It's the "No money in poetry and no poetry in money" idea. Poet and
the author of the foreword to Lost in Learning, Ralph Windle, wrote a
fantastic book of Boardroom Ballads which brings these worlds together
delightfully. Is this something we can and should bridge?
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #39 of 48: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 6 Oct 10 20:10
    
I like your putting working with beliefs and assumptions into the
category of emotional labor.  And I do think there need to be more
bridges. 

It seems to me that, while it's wonderful that those
learning-for-the-love-of-it people and spaces exist, there is still the
teensy assumption that what they do for love in those worlds doesn't
matter in the societal expectations world, and that's a shame.
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #40 of 48: Lisa Harris (lrph) Fri 8 Oct 10 12:59
    
Can you tell us more about SAIL?  How did you come up with this?  Is
it part of your traveling exhibition as well, or do you only discuss it
in your book?
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #41 of 48: Teleological dyslexic (ceder) Sat 9 Oct 10 13:26
    
<keta> it is the follow-up and the learn-a-holics like me, I think. 
While I am now working on a DBA from Walden U, this project will
culminate with a discertation (AKA book).  There are those new book
writers who have inspired us (me) well-perns to think: maybe I can
write a book.  ;-)
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #42 of 48: Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Sat 9 Oct 10 17:32
    
There are a series of thought panels which accompany the exhibit, but
the monograph also travels with the works and SAIL is mostly covered
there. 

The SAIL metaphor came while thinking about the way deep learning can
often come of serendipity, taking off for a destination and finding
ourselves somewhere other than where we expected (i.e. Columbus finding
something quite different than India and never knowing). 

The S.A.I.L. acronym came later while pondering the creative process.
When I begin a photographic project I always follow these basic steps,
starting with a Story in mind I want to relate, searching for a
meaningful Angle, Immersing myself in the subject and seeking out the
Light which illuminates, clarifies, opens and solidifies my creative
notions. 

It seems like a similar sort of process applies to journalism, music
composition, writing and art generally the same as it applies to
scientific inquiry, invention and entrepreneurial innovations. 

This strong art/science connection and the lack of a strongly defined
gap between the two worlds of thought, was another interesting find in
this era where natural philosophy or science was still in its infancy. 
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #43 of 48: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 12 Oct 10 11:49
    
I love early science writing!  Instead of rushing to publish some tiny
factoid, early scientists were often able to explore nearly everything
known so far about their area of expertise along with presenting their
new observations. This also meant that amateurs were more welcome as
contributors to thought. Perhaps John Muir's writings about the
California Sierra Nevada are an example of a crossover with literature,
to follow the art theme.  Passionate love letters to the mountains,
combines with interesting observations of natural phenomena.  What is
it like to be in a tall tree in a mountain storm? Muir had to find out
and to write about it with gusto and 19th century passion, and that
provided an astonishingly effective form of lobbying for preservation
of wildlands in his day.   

Here's a paragraph of description from his observations riding out a
wind storm in a tall conifer tree in order to experience the world of
mountain forests: 

<b>" I kept my lofty perch for hours, frequently closing my eyes to
enjoy the music by itself, or to feast quietly on the delicious
fragrance that was streaming past. The fragrance of the woods was less
marked than that produced during warm rain, when so many balsamic buds
and leaves are steeped like tea; but, from the chafing of resiny
branches against each other, and the incessant attrition of myriads of
needles, the gale was spiced to a very tonic degree. And besides the
fragrance from these local sources there were traces of scents brought
from afar. For this wind came first from the sea, rubbing against its
fresh, briny waves, then distilled through the redwoods, threading rich
ferny gulches, and spreading itself in broad undulating currents over
many a flower-enameled ridge of the coast mountains, then across the
golden plains, up the purple foot-hills, and into these piny woods with
the varied incense gathered by the way. "
</b>

From
<http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/the_mountains_of_californ
ia/chapter_10.html>


Anyway, that's the example that came to mind.  That storm account is
just a few enjoyable pages long -- a blend of scientific observation,
literary description and adventure writing. How exciting it is to see
all that merged together.  

What is your favorite example you have discovered of that earlier
"strong art/science connection"?
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #44 of 48: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Wed 13 Oct 10 04:52
    
I want to thank Eva, Lisa and everyone else for an interesting
conversation over the last several weeks. Now our attention in Inkwell
turns to a new discussion, but this topic will remain open indefinitely
into the future for more discussion.
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #45 of 48: Lisa Harris (lrph) Wed 13 Oct 10 06:34
    
Thanks, Eva!
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #46 of 48: Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Wed 13 Oct 10 10:33
    
Thank you all!

And thanks <Gail> for that wonderful excerpt. It paints science in a
very romantic light and is a vivid reminder of why science was
originally called Natural Philosophy. 

The striking olfactory imagery is a fantastic example of the way every
sense was then engaged in trying to make sense of the natural world.
What an exciting time it must have been to be seeking knowledge as the
mysteries of nature began unfolding to human understanding. 

The crossover between logic and lyric, math and music, perception and
passion is a tremendous catalyst for discovery generally. While it may
make sense to divide academic disciplines and occupational functions
from a research and operations perspective learning almost always
happens best in the crossroads and overlaps. Divorcing art from science
is a recipe for mediocrity in both realms.

Celebrating Columbus Day this last week, I enjoyed reminiscing about
this map maker sitting in his study and poring over texts and atlases
in an effort to deduce the actual circumference of the known world.
Such a calculation he hoped would support his theory of a westward
passage. The thing is, if he had left it at that, a theory or
conjecture void of feeling and actual exploration it would have been a
footnote in history at best. 

Being a photographer, I think my favorite art/science connection would
have to be Galileo gazing through his telescope. That sense of peering
through a lens and seeing something both unexpected and awe-inspiring
is a familiar one. I love that before he even started taking notes
about what he was seeing, he simply tried to recreate the scene he
witnesseed as a freehand sketch. 

He could probably have taken copious technical notes to the same
effect, but there is something about the emotional impact of art,
something humanistic, that is crucial our efforts to make sense of our
world. 
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #47 of 48: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 13 Oct 10 11:20
    
Beautiful quote Gail, and I also want to thank you Eva.

>What an exciting time it must have been to be seeking knowledge as
the mysteries of nature began unfolding to human understanding. 

I think it's still an exciting time, with the only difference being
that we're pushed now unwillingly to the threshold of new discoveries
by the overwhelming pressures our species has placed on natural orders.
 But we have to discover to survive, and I think your insights hold a
beautiful key to how we do that - by spending more time and attention
and passion at the crossroads between art & science!
  
inkwell.vue.393 : Eva Timothy, "Lost in Learning"
permalink #48 of 48: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 13 Oct 10 11:22
    
Oh yes, wanted to add that a wonderful place where you can find some
of the modern Muirs and Galileos is at the annual Bioneers Conference
this weekend, in Marin and online.  www.bioneers.org
  



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