I never got around to defining the terms you highlight

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The Holiday Hangover Hundo Invite

Today in my inbox, I have three invitations that all involve drinking. Is it the time of year? Or does my inner-party girl attract certain type of friend?

The first is from the co-captain of my cycling team, Ben. A group of hardcore, and I mean hardcore cyclists, gather on New Years Day to ride a “hundo” also known as 100 miles.

No matter the weather forecast. It’s currently raining in inches in the Pacific NW. And most of them do it hungover. No exaggeration.

The average pace of 18.3 miles is a really nice way of saying “You’ve been warned.” Also, notice that they only stop for 25 minutes in a 5 hour ride. So. Thanks, dudes, but maybe in my next life.

The next photo is a tweet from Mike Caulfield’s FedWiki Daily for The Smallest Federated Wiki Happening. There’s a party in my neighborhood! For the record, I do show up to parties on time, never early, but I’m usually one of the last to leave.

Sometimes my inner-party girl forgets that she’s not 22 anymore.

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FedWiki Daily Note “Bring Booze”

The next image is an invitation to start celebrating New Year’s Eve at The Scottish High Camp.

The invite reads:

“We’ll bring in the New Year with the fine people of Newfoundland (4 1/2 time zones away). The celebration begins at 6pm.”

Oh man, it’s gonna be fun.

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Sorry for the blurry images. I’m still learning WordPress.

A bit more about Scottish High Camp. I’m heading there with my friend, who is currently single. New Year’s is the worst holiday for single folks. At least on Valentine’s Day you can buy chocolate and watch bad movies with your friends who hate that holiday (stop by, we’d love to have you). New Year’s, on the contrary, are filled with party people smooching and toasting. Bars are filled with folks on the prowl for a hook-up. And she hasn’t met her future mister yet, so I promised her I’d walk into the backcountry with her. We’ll snowshoe, knit, drink, eat, read, BS, take pictures, play games, and from the sound of this invite, make new friends. Can.Not.Wait.

The only thing we have to do is plan our trip around Mt. Rainier this summer. We’re going to hike The Wonderland Trail. It’s been a dream of mine since 90s–more on that in 2015.

I’m leaving in the early dark hours on the 30th, and I’m returning until January 2. I’m not sure of their internet service, but I’d like to disconnect from the computer for a few days. So sadly, I’ll miss the final days of The Happening, and I think that’s okay. I’m putting in a lot time now to make up for those lost three days, and it might make space for something totally cool to happen while I’m gone. I just hope they let me back in to check out what happened in my neighborhood while I was gone.

Speaking of, I had a few moments of bike dorkery with Ward Cunningham! Yes, friends, you know, the guy that created the first f–ing wiki! Holycats! And his wife has the Santa decoration as my mom on his counter. I logged on a few minutes to a Hangout with Maha Bali, and the connection was a bit garbly since she’s in Egypt. You know. Just your average night on the computer.

My connection was better with Mike on my home computer, and he’s such a patient teacher. He had tweeted that he didn’t know how to teach this, but I’d never know that had he not admitted it.

So here’s what I learned during that magical hour about the SFWH:

1. Ward knows how to mute his microphone when he’s snacking. Basic screen etiquette that a great many people do not have. It makes me think we need to redefine netiquette. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been annoyed by people eating during synchronous meetings.

2. I’m pretty sure my teacher-friend was drinking a beer. Maybe that’s why Caufield can’t spell Indurnas (wink).

3. Watching Mike use the Federated Wiki helps me understand how to navigate the thing. Click on the flags not the title of the pages. The flags, or the square-turned-avatar, help you navigate the history. Sassypants here thought she knew what she was doing (A Memoir). Now I get it!

4. Ward said something that helped make this type of writing click for me. He described the internet as “all this stuff” that “comes toward you.” The fedwiki is to make the information”easier to read for you.” Here’s the sentence I’d underline and star in my notes: “Your job is to make your own version.” All of the versions remain, so at any time, at any point, you can click on the history and rediscover what you wanted.

5. The forking is basically making a copy for yourself. By forking, you’re standing at the copier machine making a copy for yourself. Now I understand Mike’s statement that the SFW is “Easy to use, hard to learn.” I wasn’t fully understanding that, and I’ve resisted reading too much of Mike’s blog or Ward’s talk on the fedwiki. Alan Levine’s notecard blog post helped me as well. 

As I mentioned in a tweet, I think it’s healthy for me to be the freaked out newbie. It will help me be the patient empathetic ed. tech. evangelist that I’d like to be. Remove the ed. tech from any of my presentations or research, and I’m really just talking about good teaching.

Side note: I learned more from Chuck D. and Joe Strummer about history than I did from any of my high school history teachers. When I finally sat down with encyclopedias at the library (I’m old) to look up the references in the songs I linked above, I knew I had to go into education. I don’t blame those teachers, mind you. The problem was and continues to be The System.

6. I can’t recommend attending the Office hours enough. Hit Recent Changes when you enter your fedwiki. Check it out. Watch Mike’s twitter. It’s worth your time. They were incredibly generous with their time and energy. Here’s my summary by Tweet:

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7. Emboldened by the office hours, I grabbed a Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome, and opened up my fedwiki. I read, clicked around, and then I saw a short post that Maha had done. I clicked on the link and found her Critical Citizenship for Critical Times.

And I was so moved. Somehow in this crazy little experiment I’ve connected with somebody who is really On. To. Something. Important. Needed.

She asks her readers at the end of her article:

I invite other people to join the conversation on the role of higher education in the current political situation. How do you envision your role as academic? How do you envision higher education’s influence?

And all I could think was: Who the hell cares what I think? I want to learn more from HER.

So. I changed some of her wording. I edited. I asked a question. I copied a quote from her article. I created a hyperlink to information that I thought she could develop more. And it was a little scary for me. What would she think? How would see my edits? Was I wiki-writing or being a writing teacher?

So I went to her blog and wrote this:

Alyson Indrunas said 5 hours ago

After hearing your voice for just a few moments, I decided to play with your writing about Freire. I plan to blog about it later. What I did felt odd because I struggled with feeling like I was erasing your words, and I can’t begin to know what your plans are/were for that post. I just know I wanted more. I’m pretty new to your scholarship, so I’m unsure if you have already addressed those ideas elsewhere. So I hope you see what I did as encouragement–“a tell me more”–that was playful and not silencing your original attempt. I’m just so curious about where you live and work. Clicking delete and rearranging your words felt both powerful and uncomfortable. Honestly, I’m kind of a navel-gazing American compared to you and anything I’m doing is so small compared to you. That being said, I just want to say give me more teacher-friend-writer. Give me more.

This was the first thing I read this morning. 

Maha Bali said 4 hours ago

Oh Alyson, what you did to my article is beautiful. Thank you. It will take me some time to answer your questions because even though the critical citizenship article is actually based on my PhD, I just realized i never got around to defining the terms you highlight!! (*blog title credit)

Deep breath. Sigh. Wow.

While I wrote last night, I listed to Radio Head’s OK Computer. And these lyrics from “Subterranean Homesick Alien” reminded me a bit of what’s happening in The Happening.

Up above/Aliens hover/Making home movies/For the folks back home

Of all these weird creatures/Who lock up their spirits/Drill holes in themselves/And live for their secrets

They’re all uptight
Uptight.. [x7]

I wish that they’d swoop down in a country lane/Late at night when I’m driving/Take me on board their beautiful ship/Show me the world as I’d love to see it

Emphasis all mine on the following lyrics:

I’d tell all my friends
But they’d never believe
They’d think that I’d finally lost it completely

People in my neighborhood are showing me the world as I’d like to see it. And everyone else thinks I’ve lost it completely.

About Alyson Indrunas

Always learning about instructional design, educational technology, professional development, adult education, and writing.
This entry was posted in All The Things. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I never got around to defining the terms you highlight

  1. Maha Bali says:

    I feel we are kindred souls (is that the right expression?)… Oh yes to all the below:

    I’d tell all my friends
    But they’d never believe
    They’d think that I’d finally lost it completely

    People in my neighborhood are showing me the world as I’d like to see it. And everyone else thinks I’ve lost it completely.


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