(Initial) Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali's blog has now moved to http://blog.mahabali.me

Intellectual Love & #rhizo14

13 Comments

Today has been a virtual emotional day for me, reading lots of the blog posts about the official “end” of rhizo14, giving virtual hugs on twitter and facebook. Sarah could not have put it better when she wrote in a comment on my last blog post: “I now can’t imagine my life without all of you in it’ – i feel exactly the same way about so many people I have engaged with here.

Learning is an emotional journey for me. I am also an emotional teacher, as one of my students recently blogged, titling her post: “do you really care?”

I recently came across the notion of intellectual love and it has helped me to hear the term… It put a term to this deep love I feel when learning… So rarely do we express this properly, this passion we have for learning… I have expressed falling in intellectual love with the journal Hybrid Pedagogy, for example. Not all people are like that, and this was the subject of my second-ever blog post “we are nerds” that produced a great conversation on my personal facebook.

But I think, though I have been in intellectual love with Dave since I came across his ideas and started interacting with him on twitter (i think the first time Dave and Bonnie talked to me on twitter was the highlight of my week or something!) – the way I feel about people on rhizo14 is even more than that. More than intellectual love, though that, too, is there, but I really do care about so many people I have only “known” for 6 weeks! What miracle has Dave brought about that created this feeling? And what is more, I have been feeling that way since week 2, man! Seriously.

Am trying to reflect on why, but I think it might mainly be when I posted my “body of knowledge or embodied knowledge” post and the kind of support people gave for that (and Dave thanking me for writing it, but i only just remembered that now -it was the community support that did it, really), and then Maddie’s post and the way people cared about how she felt and what she was saying (and again, Dave caring personally to find out what happened). Since then, there has been a core group of ppl who care to respond to fb and blogs and tweets, but that group grows and new people somehow, amazingly, get in and seem like they had always been there (you know who you are). It has not been perfect, some ppl have had a tougher time than others, I know, and I don’t want to be dismissive of that. But am just on the “high” of emotion right now…

I have learned so many things about creating community from the ways different people have treated each other and me, and I don’t want these relationships with these people who are now so dear to me… To end. But as I said on fb, rhizomes have no beginning or end, right?

Thankfully many of us (rhizomatically) wanting to remain involved , including a couple of groups interested in doing research about the MOOC. Please share your story with #rhizo14 in our collaborative autoethnography by clicking here and let us know if you’d like to continue to be involved in future writeups based on this.

Two final notes:
If we ever meet f2f e,g, at a conference, how would we know each other? Clarissa and i were discussing this on Twitter and Dani suggested tattoos haha. I thought maybe a sticker on our forehead (tattoos not permitted for me ;))

Finally: if you have been like me and too shy to ask people to be your friend on facebook even outside rhizo14… I am too shy to ask people, i don’t want to impose but when one person did it today, i realized how much i would like to have u guys on my personal fb as well

But may the #rhizo14 fb and twitter hashtag live on so that we may continue to live off of it πŸ˜‰ ahem

Again, though: Please share your story with #rhizo14 in our collaborative autoethnography by clicking here and let us know if you’d like to continue to be involved in future writeups based on this.

Advertisements

Author: Maha Bali

Associate professor of practice, American University in Cairo

13 thoughts on “Intellectual Love & #rhizo14

  1. Hi Maha, nice post. Friendship is the answer I think we’ve been overlooking while puzzling over “community” and “networks” and other more professional ways to connect that don’t quite hit the mark. Friendship is fine:-)
    The autoethnography project sounds interesting. I’ve started a few times and keep falling back on the past few years which freezes me so I think I’ll work forward from day one in rhizo. Is that allowed?

    Scott

    • Thanks Scott – everything is allowed, it is v unstructured, write your story however you like, and it occurs to me folks can even use non-textual media, poetry, etc., as Sandra alludes to in her blog

  2. Dave or other is benign presence analagous to that of psychoanalyst.

    Love is transfer.

    Rhizome identified is couch-grass.

    Analysis is rhizomatic learning.

    Community is wall, or co-analyst/analysee.

    Power discussions concern freedom from dependence.

  3. It’s been powerful, for sure, and I am happy to bump into friends in different spaces and different projects, knowing that the mindset of curiosity and intellectual pursuit (love, perhaps?) will make the time worthwhile. If I were on Facebook (I am not, for philosophical reasons), I’d friend you in an instant. As such, I look forward to “bumping” into you whereever we find ourselves.
    Kevin

  4. We can all get rhizo T shirts and wear them!

  5. I just heard an interview on Radio New Zealand with Dr Vladimir Hachinski (a Distinguished University Professor of Neurology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada).

    At the end of the interview, he poses the following question:
    “What intervention is most effective in changing human behaviour for the better?”.

    The answer:
    “The love of mankind, the love of friendship, the love of family”.

    Description: (Saturday Morning, Radio New Zealand, Sat. Feb. 22 2014): http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday
    Interview: Vladimir Hachinski: stroke and recovery ( audio 40′ 5″ ): http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2586672

  6. Maha, there’s a core group who met during the original MOOC, CCK 2008, who have a long history now of contributing to community learning through blogging and research and, yes, participation in many MOOCs since. Several have made outstanding contributions to Rhizo14. It sounds like you’ve been fortunate to become a part of such a group. No doubt that you’ll stay in touch and do great things together. Like Kevin, I’m not a Facebooker, but I’ll look forward to seeing you around the Web and future MOOCs. The passion for learning and teaching so evident in your reflective posts have been inspiring. Thank you!

    • Hi Cris, thanks for that. Strangely, when I first started, I expected to feel excluded because of all the other ppl who had been doing this for ages and knew each other. Instead, I think I learned from their behaviors. E.g. Jenny’s blogging style pointing to other ppl’s blogs, Jaap and Scott’s supportive commenting. A few others as well but these three were the first to come to mind. But strangely, for me facebook was the main thing. When I was just on twitter and blogs it was one level, facbook was another level of engagement. Thanks for making me think about this – will include it in my collaborative autoethnography

  7. Maha, i am in love with the idea “intellectual love”. I think it partly explains my obsession with books.

  8. I know, Len. It makes it all seem less nerdy! πŸ˜‰ and admits to the emotion and passion we truly do feel about what we do

  9. There is a feeling deep within that’s hard to explain. And it is not a “show off” kind. I wish i can explain it. i suppose playing with ideas, thinking up things, sharing, connecting, all are ingredients of this “thing”.

    On the matter of books, i find ever since #Rhizo14 that my new friends have become the books i read every day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s