The Fine Art of Surfacing

18 Jan

So I sat and watched Alan Levine talk about the book/movie Being There and he used Chauncey Gardener (Chance) as an illustration of points in a presentation about digital storytelling. Today, our story is about Gardner Campbell, a Gardener none the less, of stories and talents and prose/art/stuff and all the connected microbes of the soil. But I digress, and in fact, have completely forgotten what I was going to say. Hold on.

Right, I recall. As I read Alan’s recent nimble post I was struck by how all of our journeys have wended through the troubled and challenging waters of the cPanel and html and widgets and stuff in the rectangle. As my job would have it, I was most struck with his pondering on faculty levels of skill/need/talent and how the fear of drowning can get in the way of The Fine Art of Surfacing. As Alan remarked:

We know the usual reasons for discounting the possibilities. “Our faculty cannot dive deep”, “They are trained to be swimmers, not divers”, “diving is not scalable, what if everyone dove down and did not come up?”

Well, we need to practice surfacing as well as diving, right! So, without going into the longer story of my hero Sir Bob, nor telling the stories of a couple of deeply challenging songs on the album, particularly as a resident of Arizona, I will say that one again, I am led down the path of metaphors and analogies that always lead me to the waters edge.

Gardeners understand the soil and teachers need to understand the stuff that surrounds the interactions they have with students. There are many, none really better or worse than others, but all somehow different. Like gardening, we need to tend to not only the soils, and be reminded of the words from another hero of mine, Chance the Gardener:

“As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden”

Keeping the fire bright and the passion and excitement of all these tools and the structures they create is an important part of the learning to cultivate the garden of our cyber structure and interconnectedness in the real work/cyber life. Those two things may be more similar than different, and perhaps even one thing, though we have culturally trained ourselves to see them as different?

So there you have. I was inspired by Alan’s look at diving and the language and world of this class and the land of the rectangle. And I just had to say all of that. Because I want to be a gardener when I grow up.


2 Responses to “The Fine Art of Surfacing”

  1. Alan January 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Thanks Todd. I want to be Gardner when I grow up 😉


  1. The Fine Art of Surfacing Ideas in a Community of Learners - - January 22, 2013

    […] I will try to get the courage to jump again. (I realize now that I had written about this same idea, sort of, with a post title the same in January of 11′ […]

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