Thursday, 29 January 2015

Stilling and stimulating the mind ...

I'm busy writing my report for the final assessment - on Information Literacy (IL). Talk about how to eat an elephant.  Or rather I feel like when my kids were overdue for birth - you knew it had to come but they were taking their own sweet time.  Same with the ideas about IL.  It's a huge topic, confounded by so many variables. I had to grapple with how I felt and thought about it before I could put anything coherent on paper. I just about reached that stage yesterday.  I'll blog about it some time once this assignment is in.

In the mean time, to cool and still my mind, or keep it otherwise occupied while in the background the IL thoughts are humming I've been reading and listening to some great podcasts - this one was by Salman Akhtar on the "Trauma of geographical dislocation" it's from a psychoanalytic point of view, so you need to get over the first few minutes and may want to skip the last few if Freud isn't your thing - but the bits inbetween are pure poetry.

On my bedside table at the moment is "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman" - I'm just loving the old fashioned writing and casual way he speaks about learning and education - so much is about curiosity and forging one's own path.  I wonder in the hyper-competitive environment of now if it would even be possible for students to meander so much in their learning and thought, taking out time to dabble in other subjects while pursuing their main degree?  In fact I'm really thinking a lot about why we have degrees and subjects and curriculums.  I know when I was studying business and accounting in the misapprehension that I wished to become an accountant (how can one become? surely you "are" something and then you just need to develop further?), I pursued a parallel existence studying languages and psychology on the side. Then in an alignment of thought, BBC world had a fascinating interview with Dr. Margaret Boden world specialist in artificial intelligence - why? Because she combined philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and a curiosity and passion for learning.  Serious dabblers shall inherit the earth in my world view.

If ever asked what I'd like my children to be (like) when they grow up or even now, I'd say just roll those polyglots together and I'd be happy.