My son, Sam, has just written a post about systems and networks (link). I found the post really interesting in a paternal sense and an epistemological sense.

The paternal part of me is delighted to read a blog post by Sam and to learn about his observations and reflections as a member of the #INF537 (link) Masters of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) online at Charles Sturt University.

The epistemological delight is in my commitment to self organising networks hinted at in Sam’s post. I have written a lot about networks (link) and have been thinking about these issues a great deal since the distributed, open course CCK08 (link), and becoming an accidental connectivist (link).

I am keen to persuade Sam privately and publicly to explore self organising networks (link) and to read more about Stephen Downes’ (link) and Alan Levine’s (link) work. I appreciate Sam’s particular working environment constraints (systemic) but am determined to explore the action possibilities he can address as a community driver and facilitate network flourishing within those constraints (link).

I sense that with energy anything is possible even in constrained contexts.

Photo Credit

The Maze (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

An everday example of R U OK?

I have been following the R U OK? Day for a number of years. One of my interests is in the everyday question of personal well being (link).

This week, the everyday was brought into sharp focus by a friend. He wrote an open letter to someone who was having some personal challenges.

I saw the open letter as a very public way of sharing the thin ice on which we all travel.

My friend wrote:


Just going to say a little bit to support you, maybe something you can get from it. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression most of my adult life. I’ve not wanted to leave the house, I’ve felt I was going to lose control, I’ve felt everyone could tell I was “different”.

Well, as it turns out, I am different – and so is everyone else. But nobody else can tell that by looking at you.

Set yourself small goals, and if you do have panic attacks, accept that they are just part of what makes you, you. Think of all the times the bad stuff didn’t happen. But mostly, accept it is part of you.

I’ll have bad days, and if I need a day to compose myself, I take it.

Take time to accept what you are.

End of speech.

I thought this was a wonderful letter. It has a profound honesty and a clarity that have helped me think how we support each other … everyday.

Photo Credit

RUOK Mate?

That time of year again

A picture of a football goal.

It is that wonderful time of the year again.

It was registration day for junior football at Braidwood Recreation Ground. My granddaughter, Ivy, and grandson, Jolyon, signed up eagerly and gleefully to join their respective activity groups.

I loved seeing both of them not play football.

It is that time of year when children are attracted to a ball like glue and they struggle with oversize shoes that parents hope will see two seasons.

It is the kind of late Autumn day that everyone loves. Parents and families huddle and chat to share their joy that their children are active and might find some friends to see them through the long Winter.

Glue was afoot and there was promise in the air.

No one shouted, everyone one laughed and enjoyed that very special first day.