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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pete's offer

I've been really thinking about what I CAN teach. When I consider what I know a lot about and have a lot of experience with, I know that where I am strong is in dealing with the ambiguity and journey of projects, and in creating the ecological classroom conditions that enable people to self-direct their learning in a way that is successful for them.  I've learned this largely through failing to varying degrees  for the last 8 years. (I've published at least two articles on my failures, which I see as a growing area of my expertise :) )

Pete and I met today and he put forth a beautiful offer to collaborate on teaching physics. This is a brave move for him for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that there is a way in which I "set him off." This is kind of a mutual dynamic and we both acknowledged that if we were to work more closely together, we would have to work through this.

Strokes of brilliance...

Okay, I'm up, I'm down.  Whatever.

I need to archive what I believe are the strokes of brilliance from our last meeting.

First, you must know that Liz, like me and Neal, have been thinking all along that we couldn't teaching any of the courses that we've been consider.

At one point, Liz said, "We've been been thinking all along of what we can't teach.  Maybe we're approaching this all wrong. We should be thinking of what we CAN teach..."

A gigantic ball of irritation...

That's what I had created by Friday morning. I was holding this ball so close to my chest that I could not see its contents. I am quite sure that I've created this ball, manufactured these feelings that I have about what occurs to me as our collective, institutional inertia.

I'm afraid of writing all these things because anyone who is participating in the faculty group could read these thoughts and imagine that I'm making some cloaked personal attack in these words.  It is not at all my intent. (I'm not sure this is a comfort, but when I personally attack someone, it is most certainly direct and there is no mistaking it for anything else.)