counting and not counting… #rhizo15

And we move into week 2 of #rhizo15 with Dave Cormier and a cast of many, many others…

This week’s challenge
Get out there and count! What can we measure that isn’t learning? Think about all the other facets of the human experience… can we do better? What about all the fancy tools we’ve seen… can they help? Should we throw it out all together? Can we help people measure themselves? Is there a better way of looking at it? Be theoretical. Be practical… but GRADE ME!

 This is particularly interesting right now for a bunch of reasons, personal and professional, and I’m not yet seriously tackling the challenge or question.   Professionally I just spent an amazing day I’m still mulling over with Steve Patty talking about gathering and analyzing data to create meaningful evaluation strategies for organizations and projects, and am still reading his book and thinking about his ideas.   Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there are a number of projects in my field in which things are problematically counted to further reinforce a house of cards called one thing, “community living,” but counted up as hours of service(s).

Taos5SeptChocolateGinger

So this just has me thinking about how numbers look like evidence.  They look inarguable.  Yet, I live with someone who counts things.  Put a spreadsheet in front of him and he’ll start tallying things up top to bottom, sideways and diagonally…  say, “Yah, but what’s 1.56% of that X number” and he’ll spit it out like an adding machine.  He has many other talents and qualities but he’s a counter.  He does Sudoko for fun.  I can’t imagine.  I worked on a spreadsheet the other day for an hour and had to eat a box of chocolate covered ginger (in celebration of the rhizomatic) to recover.

This week I was thinking and writing about* the difficulties of reading Delueze and remembering my philosophy Professor saying I should read Badiou and sent Gary, my partner, this image of one impossible page.  By the time we went to walk the dog he was ready to explain it to me.

BadiouAll of it makes me very insecure.  As always the rhizomatic conversation challenges me.  So I like this question of what one might do with counting…  stuff…  learning…  journeys…  tweets….  In terms of Dave’s question / challenge: “What can we measure that isn’t learning? Think about all the other facets of the human experience… can we do better? What about all the fancy tools we’ve seen… can they help? Should we throw it out all together? Can we help people measure themselves? Is there a better way of looking at it? Be theoretical. Be practical”

One of the things that I feel certain about is that in supports and initiatives that are for and about people with intellectual disabilities, they should be involved in every aspect.  I am sick of rooms that don’t include everyone.  I went to a wonderful lively “happy” thing yesterday and afterwards met a theatre activist educator who said, as soon as we’d been introduced, “Did you notice who was not there?”  Yes.  Hmm…  the counting of absences.  What Tanya Titchkosky refers to as a complex states of “not-yetness”: “As a category of human interpretation, disability comes with the possibility of becoming a not-yet; included so as to be excluded, present and yet absent, at one and the same time not-fully-present-troubling-presence.”  Counted as potential?

Anyway, whether you are in this #rhizo15 MOOC or not, I’d be interested in your thoughts on this idea. I could use the help 🙂

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One thought on “counting and not counting… #rhizo15

  1. I love that image – I remember you showing it to me last year. That’s one way of counting the rhizome – chopping it into bits and smothering it with chocolate.

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