Showing posts from July, 2014

July 30th #chinadiary (final entry)

Carl's final journal entry is perhaps the closest we get to an overall reflection on his six months travel away from his American homeland (despite his intention to find time for one more entry with his reactions on getting home). Given all that we know about Carl Rogers' life and work after this trip, the entry is not so revealing. Rather it shows that he is still processing his experience:
Although I haven't accomplished so very much that can be seen, yet the trip has been one of the most productive weeks that I have spend away from home. In the first place, I have been thinking over, talking over, and meditating over my experiences and impressions of China and the East.  He is also still contemplating his own connection to the kind of religious and missionary work he has been exploring on the trip, although concluding that "nine-tenths of our work looks utterly futile when one gets away and gets a chance to look at it from a distance."

He states categorically…

July 26th #chinadiary

Meridian Day "This is the first day I have ever lived that has had no date. It is located between July 26 and 27."
And that is pretty much all Carl says about this here, as he recaps the days missed, or rather he relates one momentous day when he climbed Mount Fuji, which he had planned with Ken, but decided to do without, as Ken was not well enough. Quite the fearless social explorer, Carl "picked up two nice chaps at the Japan Tourist Bureau" to climb with. However, having reached the sixth of nine stations to the summit, he realises their joint progress is too slow to get to the top for sunrise, so he set out at his own pace. He reached the top in a few hours and returned safely to ground level later, but I shall finish here by presenting in full Carl's poetic description of his experience of the view from the eighth station of Mount Fuji:  The country around the foot of the mountain, as far as one could see in every direction, was covered with a thick blan…

Colonial empires from 1492 to present.

Click on map to largify (Source: uploaded By Andrei nacu at en.wikipedia Later version(s) were uploaded by Zaparojdik at en.wikipedia. (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)

Lernfreiheit: learning liberty?

Google Translate gives 'Lernfreiheit' as 'Academic Freedom', although other sources suggest 'Freedom to Learn', which chimes beautifully with a person-centred approach to education, and 'Learning Liberty', which is probably even better as it sounds activist and puts me in mind of Paolo Freire. In its original context of the Humboldtian University, it meant a student's right to determine an individual course of study, which I not only fully support but which makes me want to problematise the corresponding concept of 'Lehrfreiheit', which embraces the right of professors to determine the content of their lectures and to publish the results of their research without prior approval. The last part is a given - yes, publish and be damned! However, I would much rather see something like a collaborative approach to determining lecture content, the same approach used by the Social Science Centre at Lincoln, which is run as a not-for-profit co-operati…

Student as Producer and the Angel of History

This is my first foray (here) into this territory and I'll keep it short (for now). Student as Producer is a project developed within the University of Lincoln, instigated by Mike Neary and developed with the help of Joss Winn and other engaged academics at Lincoln. Student as Producer is deeply, persuasively theorised, practical and necessary. However, the question is how can it survive within an educational space driven by neoliberal priorities?
My wing is poised to beat
but I would gladly return home
were I to stay to the end of days
I would still be this forlorn The extract is from a poem by Gershom Scholem, “Greetings from Angelus" [tr. Richard Sieburth], written for Walter Benjamin's 29th birthday. Benjamin is one of several key influences on the Student as Producer project, particularly his Author as Producer (1934) and he wrote the following about Paul Klee's painting (the same painting referenced in Scholem's poem), Angelus Novus:
A Klee painting named An…

Delete Your Facebook


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

"A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" was a widely distributed early paper on the applicability (or lack thereof) of government on the rapidly growing internet. It was written by John Perry Barlow, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and published online on February 8, 1996, from Davos, Switzerland. It was written primarily in response to the passing into law of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in the United States. The freedom of the Internet is still under threat, always will be, I guess, so it's worthwhile (re)reading this early shout for freedom online.
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.  We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty it…

Listen to Wikipedia: the sound of collaboration

While you read this, Wikipedia and its sister projects grow at a rate of over 10 edits per second by editors from all over the world.  Currently, English Wikipedia includes 4,561,520 articles and it is increased every day with over 800 new articles. This amount of data can be analysed in a huge number of ways. This page suggests that the best way to get an idea of the bigger picture is with statistics.
However, Listen to Wikipedia  is a visual and audio illustration of live editing activity on Wikipedia. Try it and enjoy the sound of people writing the free online encyclopedia. Listen to Wikipedia was written by Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi, and is open-source, the sound of collaboration is open and equal! 

Fantastic & Free online image editor

"Picadilo Photo Editor and Picadilo Photo Collage are two 100% free online photo editing tools that are both easy and fun to use."

That's what Picadilo say - and, you know what - they're right! Picadilo is fabulous, easy to use, free and no registration. I'm not sure how they do it, but they do and I shall be making good use from this point on.

Give it a try:

July 17th #chinadiary

Carl is in Tokyo but tells here of his day in Nagasaki on the way. He went ashore with eight Chinese students and very much enjoyed helping them have a good time, especially helping them translate menus.
However, the most interesting thing by far was watching the women coaling his ship - something that is new to me, too, and I found a postcard here from 1910 that shows the women passing coal up the stairways in baskets "which hold I suppose 20-25 pounds of coal, and the baskets move along the line as fast and as regularly as if it were a machine conveyor .... they were passing fifty five baskets to the minute, almost one per second." Carl feels very guilty watching their arduous labour and meditates on the fact that he is partly responsible for those conditions, which are of course to provide his transport back to the USA.

In Tokyo, he visits the Osakusa Temple, which he found to be "a terribly cheap and tawdry place" - which sounds pretty judgemental and is seemi…

Hangouts with, outwith, without Google Plus

Hangouts is still a fantastic product/service for video chat and especially for webcasting via 'Hangouts on Air'. Here's a previous post offering Guides to Google Hangouts.

Unfortunately, Hangouts IS still integrated with Google Plus, which I tried to learn to love and then accepted that I couldn't
Integration with Google Plus means that everything you do is saved automatically there. You could create a fake profile, but that's just more passwords to try to remember... too complicated and just unnecessary.

There might well be changes afoot, and at least one startup is already exploiting this complicating annoyance with Google Plus/Hangouts, by offering conference by way of a simple, no-nonsense link.

In the meantime, if you don't want to join Google Plus but do want to use Hangouts, the only way at the moment seems to be from inside your Gmail account.

Peggy K has a good angle on the rather unnecessary Google Plus-Hangouts nexus when she says: "I don'…

Globalization and You #mooc

The latest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) I am taking is called Globalization and You and I can heartily recommend it to anybody who has been affected by the world-changing processes known widely as 'globalization' (so that's you, then - it's a good title!). The tutor, Matthew Sparke from the University of Washington, is friendly, clear and deeply informative - I've already learnt so much that I didn't know and best of all THINKING around some of the concepts in relation to higher education and person-centredness.

There is almost nothing in the way of assessment (which is a very interesting development and to be honest great for me at the moment, as I need to focus more on my own writing) - however, participants are asked this week to complete our own fourth stanza to a John Masefield poem, Cargoes, which shows very nicely how aspects of globalization have been with us for a long time. Here's Masefield's poem, and I add my own stanza after the dotted…

July 10th #chinadiary

A recap of previous events, including a night-time houseboat trip on high water on the night of the 4th July, destination Hangchow College and a YM conference on the afternoon of the 5th. Carl was happy to have met some familiar faces there, but not so happy to have had to speak twice. He found it hard to leave the conference and new friends, many of whom he thinks he will never see again. There's a real sense of journey's end in the writing at this point.

Carl is offered a very nice job in India on the student YM staff, but he is not tempted as "the more I see out here, the more the importance of the best education I can get grows on me."

He is homeward bound and Carl surely hated to leave China: "There is something about China that 'gets' you." He feels pretty blue. He also says he finds it impossible to sum up his impressions of China - and yet I am moved by how he manages to be both eloquent and self-aware in saying so:
To try to give your impre…

July 4th, #chinadiary

Trains and boats and walking - days of travel from Soochow to Shanghai and Mokanshan and a canal trip "up the famous old Grand Canal" where Carl describes the many types of boat that he sees. Takes an eight-mile hike on the spare of the moment with Mr Geldhart, across a muddy plain and up to a mountain peak and in hard, driving rain. The intrepid pair arrived at 10.30 in the evening, rewarded with a "hot supper for us ... and a hot bath, and a good bed, so that our troubles for that day were ended."

He makes no mention of this significant day in North American history, other than to say "had several long talks with Luccock, and heard him make the Fourth of July address today."