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on learning & my 804 capstone project

March 26, 2015

lisa hammershaimb

No more words…or perhaps too many words.

Not sure if the churning inside me is due to anxiety at the thought of all that must be done and I am empty or because it is too full and too confused to ever hope to make sense of all I’ve experienced the past four months.

No more ideas….or perhaps too many ideas.

What I’ve learned is jumbled and bouncing endlessly around in my head, not in neat pathways or ordered, linear lines but in colors and images—in quotes and misquotes—permanently tied to other memories and emotions that have little to do with the content itself. Though I wish A led to B led to C, etc. when looking through my notes it’s apparent that everything is tied in some sort of story…scaffolded by things that are mostly mundane. I am not sure I can (or should) make learning and living two separate categories.

These articles were read while I was doing laundry.

This was the book I read over Christmas break, laying in front of the fireplace.

This article I read in Omaha, when some rougher personal things were going on and the full brain technical focus it required was a welcome reprieve.

Here’s what I was reading that fateful week in February when everything went wrong.

These articles were given to me by my Assignment 2 partner. We stayed up way too late discussing on Skype and when I finally did go to sleep it was in the happy glow that comes from a totally unexpected and delightful connection.

Here is the seminal distributed leadership text I read when I was in the midst of re-writing my first assignment. Though its no fault of the author, looking back through this work makes me feel embarrassed and ashamed…small and like I want to hide because the re-write process brought up a lot of insecurity in me I thought I had already worked through.

And here are the articles I read after streaming sessions from the LAK Conference and realizing there was much more to these ideas than I initially thought. I never knew these discussions were happening and this one makes me feel super hopeful about my future.

The list goes on and one as each element has both content of its own and content that I have managed to tag onto it because its entered into the stream of my own life. That’s both the problem and the magic of learning in this manner…nothing happens in an ordered manner and even more nothing happens in a vacuum. Reflecting back is fragmented and assembled and indeed learning itself seems to be fragmented and assembled. To show learning, what one needs to be is not clever at being assessed but rather clever at finding some sort of narrative (or perhaps creating a narrative) to externalize and communicate the internal mania that has been happening all along.

Part of me thinks this is wonderfully exciting because it means that learning is interwoven into every section of my day and myself and the knowledge I produce goes into the world, mixes and remixes with the other stories out there, and it’s a grand adventure of connections. The other part of me thinks this is hugely inconvenient because making sense for yourself is much harder than ticking boxes to show that you’ve learned. Making sense for yourself means that you don’t memorize what is correct but feel and think and assess at each turn what, for you, is correct.

And so back to creating and curating—assembling and sorting in an effort to understand all that has happened these past four months. Back to teasing out all the messy human parts in process and like a mosaic, see what larger image might emerge so that I can let it go and send it out. May it be a good one…may it be a gift.

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