Spur to Greatness - Stark Nudity

Some plants may require a constantly moist soil whereas others will quickly rot if exposed to too much water in the ground. (Source: RuralMuse)

"Some productive educators may require rich networks of support, while others are spurred by the stark nudity of isolation." Isn't that a fun way to revise RuralMuse's words?  I don't mean to imply that people are vegetables or greenery, but rather, that we each our adaptable to various sources of inspiration. Wouldn't you agree?

Patrick J. Finn's words (Source: Literacy with an Attitude) had fire that could light us all up in a terrific bonfire makes the point that there are various ways to view conformity to the status quo:
  1. Magical conforming - this says there is no problem, or there's a problem but that nothing can be done about it.
  2. Naive conforming - there is a problem but that it is found in incompetent principals, teachers, parents, and/or students. Fix them, one by one, and it will be OK
  3. Critical Transforming - The problem is in the system. Change unjust and unproductive power relationships between parents, teachers, students and taxpayers. If you don't change those power relationships, that is change the status quo, it'll never be OK.
The problem is in the system. There's nothing incredibly new about this. The status quo is like a swampy goup that holds all in place, struggling futilely against the reality of the situation. Social media tools enable us to connect with each other in ways that mean the status quo is overcome. We learn to become more comfortable with strangers because getting comfortable with those around us is...dis-tasteful. Social media works like a city sewage system, carrying away the output of people that would disrupt the magical or naive conformists, allowing others to present it again in a new light as fertilizer for the soul.

Is there a problem with the attitude we have, that somehow we can siphon off our most status quo challenges and release them for re-use elsewhere? The richness of our individual plots of ground sacrificed for the fertile fecundity of a creative commons?

 I was and will be others that understand me and I don’t have to explain myself. It feels so good and the learning is incredible. Then, while working with the Golden Apple Scholars on an online project, I was helping the college students and fellow teachers, they could barely login and answer a question online. Many berate you and state “I don’t have time for that,” or “I couldn’t log in.” and “What is a hyperlink?”
What a divide we live in. One area of education that is plugged in and creating and one group that finds it hard to create online or simply set up an account on the various social networks. (We haven’t even talked about setting up a wiki or website) It would be easy for me to be with those who understand me and hang with the “techies,” but where is the balance? In the world of social networks and technology, we often ask “how can we move and change education?” Well, it doesn’t start with those who “get it,” it starts with those who “don’t.” We have to patiently sit and at times, “hold the hand,” of those who are extremely low in tech skills. We have to set up the non-techie for success. This has to be a conscience effort – ONE person at at time. The personalization of technology and the “private” lesson in tech has to be the norm for some of these individuals.
One of the reasons folks embrace Plurk social media over Twitter is the desire for deeper conversations. I asked, without response, if certain folks might be drawn to more to one over the other. Yet, the drive for balance, a desire to harmonize remains among those of us who have crossed over to the promised land. What motivates you, my co-worker, isn't what motivates me.

Common idealogies bind us together, even though we may not know one another's favorite toothpaste, whether we like open-toed sandals or running shoes. Though we work with each other every day, lurking beneath is the lunacy that will determine our destruction, the frustration of externalizing our thinking so that it makes sense to others. In Literacy with an Attitude, that is one of many differences between students who succeed and those who will not for fear. They are reliant on their own culture of support, a culture completely inadequate to navigating the world in search of greatness.

Heidi Hass Gabel put it this way in a comment she left on a blog entry from February, 2010:
I'm often reminded of a tweet by @thecleversheep - during a conversation on twitter, he said something along the lines of "we have a great responsibility when we see what others do not see..."
And that responsibility, I believe, has to do with what you're talking about here - to do something! Whether that is to say the unspeakable or to continually act with integrity, base on your core beliefs (whether anyone else agrees or not...).
It's often not the easy path, but learning to walk it with integrity, respect and love is critical to any effort to lead change!

In a recent blog entry, Heidi quotes the following from a Buddhist newsletter in love is the opposite of safe:
I realize this is a bummer, but think about it. Love is predicated on receptivity, on opening up again and again and again to your beloved, each time afresh. To do this, you have to let go of insisting that he or she conform to your standards for what a lover should look like, do, be, say, and instead allow him or her to simply be him or herself. Then you take it from there. To do otherwise, to continually choose who you wish this person was over who he or she actually is, is, well, it’s not love.
Is it love, or "unconditional positive regard" to use old jargon, to strive for undesired balance? Wouldn't it be better to share an invitation to live in intimacy, nurtured by a wider network of learners, or embracing stark separation that yields transformative change?

You tell me...a torch without flame is still committed to the fire.

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