June 11, 2011
At the East Side Institute we’ve conducted online courses for almost ten years now. They’re not conventional, didactic courses but rather exercises in creating conversation and a conversational relationship while simultaneously playing with concepts. Sometimes these courses work beautifully and sometimes they work less well. My colleague Gwen Lowenheim just began a course this week and I think it’s going to be one of those beauties.
Gwen’s five-week course is entitled “Creating the World: How to Foster Creative Community.” An educator, consultant and community organizer, Gwen is hoping to involve participants in building their conversational group and studying the latest discoveries in creativity and play theory. A special feature of the course is that creativity expert Keith Sawyer will be a guest faculty member for a week.
“Creating the World” has 19 people in it from about a dozen countries and several professions. Even before they began to formally introduce themselves or discuss the assigned readings, they’ve started to create together.
Here’s a delightfully relational series of posts that, to me at least, bodes well for the five weeks:
Gwen sends a brief post:
“Hello all, This is a test for our Google group. You will be receiving your first post shortly.”
A woman from Nigeria responds:
Then a man from Bangladesh:
“What is waiting?
Waiting without expecting
Expecting without demanding
Demanding without desiring
Desiring with deserving
I am confused with definition and perception!
But all are knocking me romantically!
So, I can put the simple math:
Waiting = Romance!”
Then the woman in Nigeria again:
“Hi everyone.? Come to think of it, what is the big deal with definition? For instance what is the definition of definition? Does definition really define? Do things matter or have meaning apart from the meaning we make of them? I think the want of definitions inhibit our understanding of phenomena. So why don’t we discard definitions and move on?”
Yes! Just imagine…