It's frustrating being around face-to-face people for too long. Same-time, same-place routines make me feel like a guinea-pig in a cage. Every now and then I turn on the computer, catching glimpses of the beckoning sounds and smells of the park while I'm stuck inside.
Christmas is great, but I can't wait to go home and play Big Universe.
And my main New Year's Resolution is going to be finding ways to more smoothly integrate the two .
The only time I ever had a regular office-hours routine was back in 1981 (+/-) when I did a work-placement in Miss Selfridge. Since then I've been independent or worked in Higher Education.
Being independent, and loving what I do, I've always exaggerated my working hours - with the last ten years verging on the crazy (especially on the computer) as I focused on work in the morning, afternoon, night and weekend. And in the spaces in between.
But I always have the intention of taking at least a day off during the week to compensate. I imagined that I could go to the beach or to the shops when everyone else was at work. Or lie in bed until midday and work until 5 in the morning. Of course, that never happened!
More recently, as I've got better at building in time- away- from- the- computer and thought more about my quality of life, I've come to accept that I have a more healthy rhythm if I keep "normal" hours - with waking and food routines, shopping and days off within the same range as "everyone else" and with the day-off during the week being a choice rather than a routine. I also find that I operate better with a regular schedule of meetings and events. I'm puzzled why that should be.
I think it's because I'm not very good at taking time off and it's too easy to give up the day-off during the week, if someone wants a meeting or if there are things on the to-do list. Perhaps regular routines also give a structure to the disorientation of traveling.
I also that it could be a survival strategy for overload. There is so much of everything now - so many emails, so much information, so many projects and things to do, that being able to leave the structure of life (9 - 5, weekends ...etc) to something else, leaves me the freedom to do what I want within that structure. It's enough to know that I can extend and alter the schedule if I choose to, while in the meantime I find myself with more freedom if I play inside and extend an existing lifestyle rather than creating a new one.
I'm at a new desk. I've transformed one of my rooms into a new office - come guest room. The desk is tall and looks like a bar and you sit on bar stools (with lower back support). My idea is to have a space where I can work with people round the same table. We can talk and work and it's easy to slip in and out of the space.
I'm paying attention at the moment to the way my work with online tools is making me more conscious of offline spaces. I find myself worrying at the way people are reaching for online tools as panaceas. Mastering the tool becomes a pathway to a promised land.
I'm co-responsible for those expectations. And I increasingly doubt them. Spaces as places to be together and alone. How do we design for those spaces and places?
"Writers are often asked, How do you write? With a processor? an
electric typewriter? a quill? longhand? But the essential question is,
"Have you found a space, that empty space, which should surround you
when you write? Into that space, which is like a form of listening, of
attention, will come the words, the words your characters will speak,
ideas – inspiration.
If this writer cannot find this space, then poems and stories may be stillborn."
I'm struck by how "writers" could be a metaphor for people as creators of meaning. Do we need an empty space to surround us as we design meanings for our lives? Where are the empty spaces for listening and paying attention to words and inspiration? How meaningful is what we are doing, if we can't find that space? How many poems and stories of learning and change may be stillborn, if we grab the instruments and ignore the spaces?
My name is Bev Trayner and I live in Setúbal, Portugal. The focus of my research and practice is designing for learning in distributed communities. I am particularly interested in connecting people in international communities. Key words are: communities of practice, learning, meaning-making, inclusion, multiliteracies, Portugal, and Web2.0 technologies. Keeping a blog helps me navigate my way through different practices and world views. Phronesis includes pondering on the specifics and the universal. It follows on from my previous blog "Em duas línguas".
Eu sou Bev Trayner e moro em Setúbal, Portugal. O objecto da minha investigação e da minha prática é o design para aprendizagem nas “comunidades distribuídas” (virtuais). Estou particularmente interessada nas ligações entre pessoas nas comunidades internacionais. As palavras-chave são: comunidades de prática, aprendizagem, a produção de sentido, inclusão, multi-literacias, Portugal e as tecnologias de Web2.0
Escrevo este blog porque me ajuda a navegar entre diferentes práticas e diferentes visões do mundo. Phronesis, a contemplar o particular e o universal, vem no seguimento do meu blog "Em duas línguas."