Tag Archives: learning

Share Something Every Day – Various

First thing is that 13th September is my blogiversary. It’s now seventeen years since I bit the bullet and committed to keeping a weblog at https://perfectpath.co.uk and not deleting it. The main things I thought about this today were how much stuff there is in here and how I’ve never quite achieved the goal I had at the start of using it as a learning tool, it’s been great for recording and capturing and supporting that first burst of creativity but I’ve not managed the double loop stuff. Not on the blog material itself. This is probably a lie and if I went digging I’d find the evidence – the most obvious kind of thing is to see how my thinking does develop over a number of posts, just through the writing down of ideas and arguments and rambling nonsense.

I made some progress today on automating the workflow – especially making a pipe between Drafts and logseq – I’m bored with thinking about it and why it’s important – it’s not that important, but it’s neat.

I was at work this morning and most of the time was at a funeral. It’s an occupational hazard of working with older people that you see more death than the average person. I think so anyway, it sounds right, but then I think of all the people I’ve worked with who died, who were (almost by definition) below retirement age and there’s something about the structure of this sentence that makes it sound like they died because they worked with me. Which they didn’t. I am not a psychopath. Psychopaths don’t keep a blog for seventeen years.

No matter, a Requiem Mass on Monday morning is a sobering thing, whoever you are. None of the silly things floating through my head over the weekend were important compared to the visceral grief of a woman who’s lost her husband and partner in joy and laughter, even in the face of a strong faith in the resurrection. And we got to sing Psalm 23 to Crimond, which is one of my favourite things to do at any time. I’ve always loved belting it out regardless of whatever reedy wheezing and croaking of those around me. I miss Roy, who I met through his attendance at our dementia-friendly café and singing group. He had a great smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was always smartly dressed and loved his bow ties. And despite not being able to remember much about what he’d done earlier in the morning, he loved talking about his working life as a chauffeur for the top brass at British Aerospace. I already missed his face for a while because of COVID when Julia told me that she was having a bed put up in the living room to look after him and that he wouldn’t have long. I last saw them both just after Christmas – there wasn’t any point in them getting excited about restrictions being lifted particularly, they knew that they didn’t have too much longer together.

I scanned this photo of my grandma today. I’m sure she’s in her garden – a middle-aged 1950s housewife. It was taken by my dad on his twin-lens reflex. She couldn’t see without her glasses but she also refused to be photographed wearing them. She’s probably about ten years younger in this picture than I am now. Being in your mid-forties then was not as it is now, her life must have felt like it was nearly over. Her older sister had died a few years previously. Her youngest son was a teenager, her oldest had just come back from Oxford early. She didn’t like her husband very much. She didn’t know it, but in a few years time she’d have a bleed on her brain and almost die. She also didn’t know that she’d got another thirty-odd years to live and would see her first two great-grandchildren. Who knows what she was thinking here.

Olive Davis in her garden c1958-60

Time passes.

Share Something Every Day – Sunday Review

I overdid it this week. I found that adding in exercise, more water and better sleep this week worked well on my ADHD, but left me vulnerable to doing too much. It all needs to be balanced with rest outside of sleeping at night. Yes it’s all common sense. No I still am not able to do it consistently. Also Friday has become this really busy day where I do Tuttle and then Friday Lunch at church and try to catch up with everything I’ve missed in the afternoon without having a proper lunch break… again.

Using otter.ai while I’m walking to talk through what’s on my mind has been really useful. It’s like having the ability to write index cards while I walk along the road. And I’ve been using logseq more this week, it feels more hypertexty and wiki-like for some reason. It also creates Markdown files by default, which I like.

I spent some time today going through the 15 cards (some of them I haven’t done anything on yet at all!). Again, I used otter, but this time at my desk. And I pulled them out of the box randomly and said what I thought the most important project and product for each card should be. It’s an exercise I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but have found it hard to write. It’s hard to write spontaneous notes like that, especially if you try to type them. So it’s a rambling mess, but I’ve got some more structure now. Some of them are long-form, long-term projects, others are the sort of thing where I might choose to do something every day for thirty days, or even just try to incorporate them into my morning or daily practice – like making photos, for example, it’s just good for me daily to give myself even 15 minutes of focusing on the visual and what’s going on around me that might be photographed – no obvious project jumping out at me, except make more.

So here’s some beans for you.

Untitled

I’ve noticed frustration setting in this weekend. With lack of progress, with having to rest, with people having expectations of me (which I’ve totally encouraged) with the things that are just not being touched at all – basically just by not being able to do all the things, all the time.

I need to prepare better for the week and choose some things that really need to be done to get done. There are a couple of family and work things that really need sorting.

Share Something Every Day – Coding 002

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I went for a nice long walk this morning, about 5 miles, before breakfast. It was warmer than it has been lately but still cloudy. It’s supposed to get warmer this week.

It was a good space to think about things – especially my desire to make some very simple automation for my blogging. Everything is so complicated and dominated by the various silos. I really ache for the kind of #indieweb vision of a server, under my control, running software that I understand fully and which only does the things that I want it to do, so that it serves me, rather than me having to bend my style of writing and capturing into someone else’s way of thinking.

I walked for 45 minutes and then turned round (took a photo to remind me of how far I’d gone – above) and walked back, talking into my phone about the things that I’d been thinking about. It works so much better for me to record like that. I haven’t listened back to it. It’s likely to be atrocious quality, but it gives me the chance of getting something done before breakfast that I haven’t done for a while. I’ll see if I can get better at doing that – and better at grabbing bits of audio as I go, to avoid the gross feeling that comes when I think about making a podcast. In the meantime, I think I’ll feed it to otter.ai and see what kind of transcription it can make of it.

I spent the rest of the day reading up and making notes on node.js and how it works. Patiently just plodding through the Hello World examples and seeing where I could break them or find ways that they didn’t work as I expected so that I could see how they do work. Standard.

That gave me a bit more confidence reading some other people’s code on GitHub and I realised that I have looked at similar things before, just given up when my brain started hurting and run away screaming. Much better these days. I got a couple of examples running on my Mac here and then spun up a cloud server to prove to myself that it really would work over the net 🙂

Still very early days and baby steps, but I’m much more confident that I can make something work. And that I can strip away pointless stuff in other people’s software to just provide the functions I want – really old school, but also using the computers to do the hard work that they’re suited to and not being dominated by some silo providers business model.

Nothing to show yet, but a good progress day.

Podcast: #IWD2016 Debrief at the end of the day with @technokitten

Download (6MB)

A little postscript to the interviews we did on International Women’s Day. Before we went off to sit in the National Theatre kitchen and have some tea (I had some chips, I think Helen had some soup, but I was too tired to remember clearly) we sat and talked over what had gone well and what we’d like to do next time. And of course, a big thank-you to all the people who got involved.

Unschooling and the Self-unemployed #unschool13

I spent a day last week at #unschool13 an unconference called by  Simon Gough to “explore learning outside school together”.  I qualified both as a parent of two young people who’ve had unconventional school experiences and as a witness to the learning powers of unconferences and gatherings like Everything Unplugged and of course #tuttle.

All were welcome and the right people were the ones who came.  It was a really interesting and at times challenging experience.  Just when I thought I was used to the uncertainty of the unconference format (after all, even the most wacky groups have a limited range of social interactions and odd ideas) we go and try doing one … with kids!  I appreciated it being small enough to remain one conversation for most of the day.

The thing that struck me most was the similarity between the conversations we were having about unschooling families engaging with schools and education authorities; and those we have at other times about self-unemployed people engaging with corporate entities.

In both conversations, the people know that they’re doing something useful and valuable in working in a different way.  Both sets of people believe that others would enjoy and prosper from following their way of life if they knew that it was an option.

The conversation went round in a few circles.  Substitute the word “school” with “corporate” and you’ll see what I mean: “What should our relationship with schools be ?  Should we be going in and using their facilities?  What value might schools get from having us visit and work there?  How do we do what we know is right and at the same time make enough money to pay our bills?  If we don’t engage with schools but form groups of families to learn specialist things together, then aren’t we just becoming a school?”

So it got me thinking about what social aspects of my self-unemployed life map across.  I don’t know, you tell me.

#tuttle-like meetups – I think that most home-schoolers do this kind of thing, getting together in a coffee shop and annoying the staff by sitting there all day.

#jelly and co-working – I’m not sure how much this happens, the equivalent would be people working on their own learning but having others nearby to help out, perhaps now and then co-operating on joint-learning projects.  I think it would be interesting to create a C4CC-like space for unschoolers, but would that just be like a Summerhill-y kind of school?

unconferences – of course these start to bridge the gap between the employed and the self-unemployed – it would be good to see some young(er) people at unconferences in some other role than prodigy or  hack-cannon-fodder.  I’d also be interested to see an unconference that just was under-eighteens only.

consulting – the things we’re learning by being outside the system *are* valuable to those inside, but it’s sometimes difficult to quantify that value and to set up a contractual arrangement to exchange value that suits both parties well enough.  I think we started to get there, especially with the first round of the Tuttle Consulting work.  It’s more about knowledge-sharing perhaps.