I was told this week that we’re only meant to be dong work that is essential. Now, if this is true, then I know that it’s being said for good reasons – that our senior management are saying this out of a concern for staff – out of a wish to give people permission only to do what is needed and not to worry that they are not doing enough.
But the person who told me about this had understood it in another way. in their interpretation, we are not allowed to do anything that is not essential work – and they were feeling guilty for doing something that they enjoyed, but that was not considered essential.
I might have forgotten about this, but a couple of other conversations this week have got me thinking about it, and realising how important it is, especially right now, that we give ourselves permission to do things that are not essential – that we give ourselves permission to enjoy our work and our leisure time.
I know this – I write about it in my PhD and I practice it every day. CLMOOC and DS106 are good for me – they are serious fun. I laugh a lot, and learn a lot. But I still find it hard to give myself permission to spend time at work on things that are not visibly, immediately useful. This week, thanks to conversations with friends, I realised that I have been feeling guilty about any time I spent doing things I enjoy. If I’m not constantly working on things that I can show to others, then I’ve been worrying that others will think that I am not pulling my weight. And, of course, I am not the only one feeling like this.
So this weekend, as I chip away at my thesis, I want to remind everyone that it’s ok to enjoy your work, its absolutely fine to do some things that are not essential but that are enjoyable, and that we all need to give ourselves permission to have fun, serious or not.
Nearly there. This week I spoke to my supervisor and my Graduate School and I have sent off my “intention to submit” by March 31st 2021. It’s almost done- I just need to finish the final chapters and give it a thorough edit.
It’s been a long journey – as I scrawled down on a scrap of paper this week, my thesis has gone through changes: I began by looking at collaborative learning, moved to thinking about peer interactions and am ending with a rich picture of participatory learning.
I’ll leave the thanks for the acknowledgements, but for now I will give a shout out for my loyal little research assistant, who keeps me going through it all.
Yesterday, as part of the SocMedHE20 conference, we ran a competition to guess where Hamish the Cow was. Hamish was originally knitted by me back in the old world of social contact, before we realised we’d have to run this year’s event online. I remembered him this week, so we devised a plan to photoedit him into a series of images of Glasgow and tweet them out during the day using the hashtags #WheresHamishNoo and #WinHamishTheCoo We had a lot of fun. Maybe you will too.
Today I gave a presentation for the #SocMedHE20 conference, which was on the theme of “Using social media to build community, care and compassion” . It was a conference with a difference as it was all online – presenters were asked to submit up to 5 tweets which we then scheduled to be tweeted from the conference account (we called this a “Tweetposium”). Here’s mine – partly done to nudge myself to write a paper about it (the conference will have a special issue of the Journal of Social Media for Learning). Here’s what I said as a warm up:
My basic idea is that, at least for those of us who practice and share out in the open, learning can be seen as a performance – in a similar way to the thought that teaching is a performance (the sage on the stage). I’ll be using #CLMOOC and #DS106 to illustrate my answer.
The months go so quickly at the moment, but my photos remind me of what we’ve been doing. Mugdock continues to be a joy – harder now the nights are drawing in, but walks in the later afternoon help to blow away the cobwebs. And there was a kestrel.
I can’ t believe how quickly this month has flown. Uni’s back (though most of us never went away), autumn is here, the nights are drawing in. We’ve been driving out for walks when we can, always with cameras slung around our necks. Here’s a selection from Mugdock this month
Herons are beautiful birds. So big -huge wings and very distinctive in flight. When on the ground they often blend into the background, but here are some pictures I’ve taken this month. This one down at Victoria Park:
Victoria Park again – different day, but probably the same heron. I love it when they perch like old men in macs:
And another – almost certainly a different bird – at Mugdock last week:
One of the few blessings of lockdown has been our discovery of Mugdock. We always knew it was there, but recently we’ve been visiting regularly. Such beauty on our doorstep, and views like this: