I have been so busy that I haven’t been able to tackle the CLMOOC 6th project which is a wonderful theoretical collaboration between the U.S. National Park Service and educators on geo-mapping the spaces where we come together. And given that we camp every year in the U.S. at these amazing places, it would have been easy and joyful… So much fun and so inspiring to see what others are doing, though. Which always makes me want to participate.
But I’ve taken a new half time teaching position in an actual college after years of teaching adults of all kinds in the places where they work and live and play. I’m pretty excited and getting exciteder (some oppositional quality makes me want to be anti-grammatical after becoming faculty) – the classes I am teaching are great, the texts are exciting, new colleagues are so helpful and there’s a nice mix of things I know really well and look forward to sharing as well as new things to learn about and I like those differential explorations. But, still. New texts, old texts, someone else’s syllabus and lectures to support making my own, and three new tech platforms, a new-to-me institutional department and figuring out letting go of half of what I’ve been doing at my regular and much-loved work – whew!
So I figured I would forgo this as, taking on a new MOOC, I’d already given myself permission to lurk more than participate but then today as I multitasked – getting the car serviced whilst reading and annotating a text and creating lecture notes on how students might think about survey classes and master the assignments I suddenly looked down and realized I’d drawn a map. And then thought about how maps appear often in my graphic recordings. Sometimes as pictures of maps… But, even so, the graphics themselves are maps – ways to get from one place to another. That’s the point.
And so is the art I make – the mapping of movements and intersections… I like this quote by Albert Einstein, “Nothing happens until something moves,” and often think about how it applies to our interactions of all kinds.
I was fascinated by the intent watchfulness of this young art student as he circled The Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna, in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. I tried to draw his movements as well as the sculpture from different perspectives as I, too, circled it… in about ten minutes 🙂
So I thought it would be interesting just to share some of these useful mapping metaphors.
Draft of an illustrated mindmapping/Venn diagram. How a survey course takes a HUGE amount of tangled information and supports the student through a combination of readings, reflections on their own experience, interactions with others, and projects, to create a kind of sense-making map of the subject – about what happened when, some of which can be organized into things we now know, but also importantly, hopefully leaving one with a list of many questions to be followed up later.
Messy!!! Private graphics like this (see Brandy Agerbeck’s draw quad) only need to be understood by the person who made and will be using them. For me these are always interestingly meta-pedagogical as I can see in them how the larger graphics assist the memory, inspiration, organization and planning of larger groups that I work with – at those events I’m often so focused on the listening that I’m not always aware of the usefulness. Mapping out how one idea from the text – in this case, how stereotypes develop and may be countered – through the text, the research they cite and one’s own experience (in brown) through a kind of messy mind-mapping process out of which one can begin to formulate the paper to be written.
Then I started thinking of other, earlier examples. This is a not great photo of one of the first graphics I created publicly, a combination of graphic recording and using templates with a group of people with disabilities on “Climb Every Mountain” – what’s a challenge that you’ve addressed and what did you learn that could help you in your next challenge?
Often graphic recording is the recording of processes.
Parents organized this evening of speakers talking about different parts of the development of their children, their children’s networks and themselves.
In these two graphics, the first maps the future plan for a transition and independence by one organization doing great work, while the second maps what another organization has done in the context of similar actions around the continent.
Finally, this is one of my favourite drawings – an off the cuff “here by dragons” from a wonderful talk by David Wetherow at TASH‘s open space gathering. “Here be dragons” is what ancient maps used to say about unmapped places they were uncertain of.
And by the way National parks board you rock and the Jessie M. Honeyman park is my favourite place in the world so far 🙂
Happy travelling and happy camping!