Tag Archive | informal learning

flickr’s seductive power

I have recently become a ‘flickr pro’ member and started using groups more meaningfully. It is a social networking site that taps into my unconscious, I feel. Frequently I am surprised to see my own connotations that spring up when presented with a new image uploaded by one of my contacts.

I love the daily flickr newsletter and those previews, the mix of them, 5 in a line maximum per contact, every day a visual treat. They trigger unknown associations in me. I click on the one that makes me most curious when I don’t have much time to explore all of them.

You never know, sometimes it’s light and shadows, details in the background, personal tags that add another layer of meaning, a comment by another viewer that is moving. It’s so intense the dynamic, like being pulled into a narrative that resembles a film. A few images tell a story but the story differs from what the person saw who took the shot which also differs from the real story. Interpretation of the interpretation.

Today, TooSix uploaded a simple neonsign saying Kreuzberg – the part in Berlin where I spent nearly 7 years – it made me do what expected least: a German poem-style memory unfolded, I typed without really thinking. I hadn’t been aware this was still living inside me. So fresh. Nothing’s ever lost. Nice. Grateful for the inspiration, thanks TooSix.

Gute alte Zeiten. Sehnsucht. Ratten. Strassenkehrer. Doner Kebap. Best in town. Politische Debatten nach 2 morgens. Ach.
Ein Neon Schild. Nicht mehr. Nicht weniger.

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playtime: learning a wealth of new skills

With all the studies going on, I don’t want to repeat my errors of the past (too focused in one area, lack of stimulation and progress in another). It’s all about getting the balance right – having a few slots per week for regular exercise and the odd special keep me going. I started spinning classes in February this year, after years of rather dull gym routines, that pushed me to new limits – and insights. I was surprised and indulged in these new skills. Luckily, I am also enjoying an instructor who loves his job and never gets tired challenging us. I tried climbing and bouldering recently, after coming back from California where the outdoor-lifestyle made me think about the life indoors in less sunny and less spacious London. The teamwork in abseiling practice, the mental challenge, the fear in a controlled drop – it all adds to the sets of knowledge bites which are not formally recognised. Which, I believe, are undervalued – or, taken for granted, depending on the situational context – until a situation comes up that proves that a whole range of skills are not given but acquired.

So, ahead is a period of 10 very densely packed months with the social research methods and skills exam in October and a total of 12 papers (amounting to a daunting 40,000 words) plus numerous pieces of assessed contributions to online collaboration (it’s no longer fun and play only) for the MAODE – here is what I hope to try at some point, let’s see what I will be able to try and realise:

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