Link to jeanne's Birdie Index You Are Different From Me! Now How Can That Be?

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Transforming the Imaginary:
You Are Different From Me! Now, How Can That Be?

Animated ostrich collapsing into ball.  Collected long ago, not sure of collection.The Ostrich by jeanne

Somebody laughed.
Somebody pointed.
Somebody thought it was funny!

The ostrich, you see
. . . . . . doesn't look like me
Now
. . . . . . how can that be?

How We Enter Dialog

This exchange begins to show how others enter the ongoing dialog. Delaine Bagley wasn't on the active group of discussants who were e-mailing each other non-stop over the Winter Break. But she was following the site, and, hence, the discussion at a step once-removed. Because we keep the e-mailed discourse open, Delaine's communication today fit right into the discourse. One problem: I can't paint her because I need more exchanges with her. But that will come.

Michael Planck was away. But we included him on our e-mail list, anyway; and then one day he was back, and right in the thick of things again. This would seem to be a much more loosely defined sense of "belonging" to the group, and one that works across thousands of miles, and across the crises of quotidien existence in today's academy. It might also fit better for a generation raised on TV, that could be turned on and off at will, and where reruns are integral to programming.

jeanne, January 18, 2001.

Local Hub Sites
Created: January 18, 2001
Latest update: January 18, 2001
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

On Thursday, January 18, 2001, Delaine Bagley forwarded this message:

Final Exam

It was the final examination for an introductory English course at the local university. Like many such freshman courses, it was designed to weed out new students, having over 700 students in the class!

The examination was two hours long, and exam booklets were provided. The professor was very strict and told the class that any exam that was not on his desk in exactly two hours would not be accepted and the student would fail.

hour into the exam, a student came rushing in and asked the professor for an exam booklet.

"You're not going to have time to finish this," the professor stated sarcastically as he handed the student a booklet.

"Yes I will," replied the student. He then took a seat and began writing.

After two hours, the professor called for the exams, and the students filed up and handed them in. All except the late student, who continued writing.

hour later, the last student came up to the professor who was sitting at his desk preparing for his next class. He attempted to put his exam on the stack of exam booklets already there.

"No you don't, I'm not going to accept that. It's late."

The student looked incredulous and angry. "Do you know WHO I am?"

"No, as a matter of fact I don't," replied the professor with an air of sarcasm in his voice.

"DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" the student asked again.

"No, and I don't care." replied the professor with an air of superiority.

"Good," replied the student, who quickly lifted the stack of completed exams, stuffed his in the middle, and walked out of the room.

On Thursday, January 18, 2001, jeanne clucked and fussed and responded:

Now, Delaine, I don't have your face clearly in place; but I do have the background, right by the door in Distributive Justice. I remember you there, right next to the Void. And this is precisely what I find! Just like Tina, you send me these pieces, and so does Catherine Lamar, and Tina Juen. And you just leave them there in my lap. No conceptual linking, no explanation. What am I to think?

Think? Think? Oh, my goodness. Following Mac's example a few days ago. Is this how patterns emerge? Surely you couldn't be telling me what you learned by forwarding these random bits of Internet tomfoolery. Or could you?

Tina's "the teacher who practiced loving. (Add link.) Mac's "talking to herself." (Add link.) Is Delaine telling me that she just read a piece on Structural Violence and then came across this piece? Are you all telling me that aha! understanding precedes the articulation of conceptual linking? You mean there's a concrete way to express conceptual linking? You mean it's like creating analogies by picking out the pieces that fit together, and then going off and finding one of your own to add to the list of analogies? I rather like that. Bruner interprets Vygotsky as saying that conceptual thinking can be taught, and Bruner did so by using concrete examples to get to the abstract. Maybe this isn't such a bad idea afterall!

If I created a file for analogies for the concepts we stress most, like "structural violence," then we could all contribute the analogies we find. I like that! I like that! But then you'll all need to understand that you've stopped short of articulating the conceptual link. You've just demonstrated it concretely. That's latent learning at this stage of conceptual substantive production. That means that what's left for you to do is to mull the link over and express it in your own words. After we all play with the concrete example.

We did this with Joanne Carillo's "agency and structural context." We did it with Tina's "teacher who practiced loving." We can do it with Delaine's "structural violence of exams." love and peace, jeanne