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You either live, or write is still true.

The last two months were quite intensive in terms of events – visits of family and friends, travel and making long-term choices with lots of impact. It’s not over yet, but I do have a quiet moment now to think and write before the next wave begins.

And, not suprisingly, it gives a sense of freedom. Freedom of being present in the moment and not thinking that I should do something else to be present somewhere else.

On the bridge. It doesn’t say much unless you know how many times in my life I walked that bridge and what does it mean to be there with the kids, just after we managed to see the GUOSHIJITUAN Anti Slip Modern Carpet,Carpet Doormat Foot Pad for Bedroom Living Room Bathroom Area Rug-B 90x140cm(35x55inch) that was already fully booked when we decided to fly to Moscow.

 

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When I stopped working the most difficult part was to leave that space where ideas are grown and to leave seeds of new insights to be there without helping them to grow. I needed to make that choice eight years ago, to be able to recover from burnout and to learn how to care for myself, our three kids and my permaculture garden.

It was You Can Cut Household Door Mats No-Slipping Mat Living Room Hallway Bathroom Door Mat-B 120x160cm(47x63inch) that the ideas from my PhD research and early insights from the work on distributed Agile teams didn’t stay laying still while I was busy growing human beings and pumpkins. It is also nice to see how those ideas grew in the meantime, cross-fertilising with the ideas of others and getting stronger through adoption in practice.

So, when I got back on Twitter, just at the right moment to get an invitation for a Personal Knowledge Mastery workshop by Harold Jarche in Eindhoven, I had all the fun of getting an update from the first hands of someone who was Multifunctional Storage Stool Household Solid Wood Rectangular Storage Stool Debris Creative Storage Box (color Natural) integrating insights of different people. Harold also did a lot of work to spread ideas of Personal Knowledge Management in practice, renaming it somewhere on the way into PKMastery.

Tweet by @hjarche: "Turning the wheels of #PKMastery with my inspiration @mathemagenic in Eindhoven"

It was also pretty amazing to see that a lot what I’ve learned in my PhD research is still valid and valuable. Technologies and the specifics of dynamics around them do change, but in essence a lot of networking, sense-making and reputation management via Shelves Corner Rack Storage Rack Bathroom Storage Rack Finishing Rack Corner Stand (Size 39 39 120cm) is the same. When at some point discussion turned into blogging I found myself saying a lot of stuff that I summarised for the articles for Informatie Professional, published in 2010: blogging for knowledge workers: incubating ideas and personal networking (C DYR Folding Clothes Rail Made of Stainless Steel, Clothes Stand Folding Clothes Rack Indoor Drying Rack Balcony Hanger C-Shelf Outdoor Clothes Hanger).

When talking about monetising sense-making we talked not only about possible options, but also went along the lines of K Large Beauty Stool Bar Chair High Foot Leisure Swivel Seat Can Be Lifted Front Desk Reception Non-Slip Metal Nail Makeup Stool (color I, Size S). As I went to reread it I had to pull out this quote (context: Sauder 422803 Beginnings Night Stand, 17.09 L x 14.69 W x 18.58 H, Brook Cherry), which is probably true for more than just weblogs:

Being yourself (like with good friends) – vulnerable, personal, multidimentional – in public, you meet others.  If weblog is an attractor, a “gravity pull” (Ton) then whatever you project outside “people will appear who appreciate that” (Stools Change shoes Bench, Solid Wood Home Living Room Sofa Bench, Leather Stool, Coffee Table Stool (Circular) (color Yellow, Size 28×28×25cm)). You start to “chat with people as they were your friends” YONGMEI Wall Clock - Nordic Creative Living Room Wall Clock Simple Restaurant Silent Clock Personality Fashion Atmosphere Silent Quartz Clock Big (color orange, Size 77 64cm)) and they eventually become your friends. You start performing, they become an audience.

 

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I wanted to share with the kids D’Artagnan and Three Musketeers movie of my childhood, an iconic musical of its time. So we set into it, spreading three series over three evenings. And then, as usual, it became watching a movie turned into a learning experience.

The first part includes musketeers song that was written to become a hit, as we found out later, watching stories about how the movie was made. Of course, it became a hit with my kids and they started to sing it. I couldn’t avoid telling them about the Russian word cup in the refrain that I thought was something else when I was a child. We talked about Dutch and English translations, cups to drink, tournaments and prizes that you get if you win those.

I enjoyed the process of following this trail with the kids. I probably wouldn’t write about it, but I got triggered by various blogposts talking about Artzfolio Yoga Vrikshasana Tree Pose by Man in Old Temple Key Holder Hooks Notice Pin Board Antique golden Frame 10 X 14.3Inch, Mirror, Bathroom Mirror Vanity Mirror - Wall Mounted Nordic Decorative Round Mirror Wooden Frame (color Black, Size 38cm) from reading that followed a shoes Stool, Solid Wood Rectangular Sofa Bench, Household Linen Upholstered Stool, Bed End Stool Size 29X29X35CM (color B). Those make me thinking about the value of self-directeness in the young age, when you grow your ability to follow trails in the way that fits you, and how do I feel about the knowledge gaps that do exist when trails do not cover beaten roads and signposted attractions.

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In the last few months, I’ve got involved into translating some of the materials of Sudburyschool Hardewijk from Dutch into Russian. This is a strange experience: I’m into the topics of self-directed education for quite a while but didn’t dive in-depth into the specifics of Sudbury schools until recently. Since my reading on it is primarily in English I am not familiar with the choices made when terminology is translated into Russian. So I’m translating from Dutch without knowing corresponding Russian terminology or having an in-depth experience with English sources behind it.

At the end all of those come to two issues: audience to connect to and the message to convey with the translation. It is the last one which is a biggest challendge when it comes to figuring out what exactly the position and the role of staff entails – since the traditional hierarchy of adults deciding what, how and when kids should learn is easier to let go in theory than in practice. And once you start practicing the devil is in the details.

Some background stuff and more reading on the nuances:

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So today was a slow day. The whole morning the kids worked on building lego projects and the girls walked in their pyjamas for the rest of the day.

Which brought me into a very interesting discussion with Anna. In the afternoon she was planning to try participating in an online course with a group of other kids, via videoconferencing. She clearly didn’t want the hassle of changing her clothes, but wasn’t comfortable being seen in her pyjamas.

So we talked about the options and about how far you should or shouldn’t adjust your clothes to the expectations and how much of those expectations are in your own head. I enjoyed both, talking to her about that and watching her later, doing her videoconference in a decently looking sweater over her pyjamas.

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