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The Anxiety and Responsibility of Choice

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 21, 2006
Latest Update: May 21, 2006

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Index of Topics on Site Anxiety of Choice

Komeco wrote this morning to be sure I had her transform_dom id, and in doing so, she reminded me once again how scary my teaching style can be. I offer you everything: academic sources online; collaborative learning, so that you can freely ask for help; broad array of choices so that you can focus on what is of most interest to you and, hopefully go into that more deeply. But Star told me in Message No, 13497: "Words for all field mice," that I scare you guys. Me??? Scary???

I was getting overwhelmed for awhile too, frankly because so much was going over my head. I was not familiar with Jeanne's teaching style, and so I was very challenged. What? No syllabus? No text? No exams? It was too gray for me, at first. I wanted black and white; I wanted it all spelled out. There was too much freedom. Come to find out, having it all spelled out is much easier, and safer. Jeanne's way was tougher for me, because it forced me to think on my own, raise issues, and be creative.

I began calling Pat more. Pat shed light on who Jeanne is and her higher goal for her students. I kept calling Pat and Pat kept reassuring me. I don't even know if Pat knows she was reassuring me, but something about Pat is calming. So, when I was feeling overwhelmed, I would talk with Pat, and then go back into the class or the website and continue figuring things out. Pat never shut me out. Thank you Pat.

Jeanne has really figured out how to get us to learn, really learn! I never would have received so much, or even been open to learning if Jeanne had made it a requirement to go into a school with cards I made and teach kids something important. . . .

After grades go in, we really need to talk about this issue of my scaring you. I have a feeling it has something to do with trust and being hurt within an institution that denies answerability to many of us. That means I suspect that you're more scared of what institutional rabbits might be pulled out of the hat if you really do learn to skillfully use your answerability (Bakhtin), your God-given ability to react to everything that happens to you. But more of that in June.

I had Komeco's tranform_dom id, but haven't gotten to each of you yet. Komeco wrote to be sure I had her messages. And look at what she wrote:

I am enrolled in your soc 395 class. Here are a few listing that I wrote on transformdom:

13338,13337,13336,13335,13334,13332,13331,13330,13329,13204,13165,13103, 13101,13100,12933,12932,12734,12733,12731,12549,12544,12193,12192,11764,11761,11246, 11244,10527,10477,10053,10025,9954,9911.9910.

Komeco West

Komeko comes into class, communictes with me, and is a happy participant in our art projects. But she sent me over 30 messages for her learning records. Hello! If I post that much on Dear Habermas, we'll never manage to get through it. All I really want you to do is choose a message or two that you would like to represent your work on Dear Habermas. So, here's one of those places we get overwhelmed.

One reson for my putting up learning records is so that issues like this become clear, and we can figure out ways to make the freedom of choice we offer you less scary.

Discussion Questions

  1. How could jeanne tell from looking at the message numbers sent by Komeco, whether Komeco had worked continuously over the semester.

    Consider that the message numbers are in consecutive order, so if they go form 9002 . .11001 . . .12453 . . .13040 the numbers themselves tell me that you were on tranform_dom throughout the semester.

  2. Do I need over 30 messages to tell me that you engaged in continuous participation?

    Well, look at the answer to question no. 1. Doesn't it look like four messages migh have told me the same thing? This deosn't mean that you shouldn't continue to dialog on transform_dom. That's what it's for. But you don't need me to post all those messages to learning records. OK???

    It usually helps not to do more than you need to do.

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