Category Archives: travel

BC Ideas Award: Community Mapping

I’m so excited to be part of a small group that’s received an award to do three sessions of community mapping in Vernon, Vancouver and Victoria (we thought we’d start with “V” for victory) from the B.C. Ideas, Community Living Venture.  To read more about the project, click here!    To read the original proposal, click here for the Ashoka Changemakers site (and please leave a comment!)  Essentially, we’ll meet with groups of about 50 people with disabilities in their communities and talk about where they are welcomed and feel their contributions are valued, using a world cafe model.   Shelley Nessman and a self advocate colleague will co-facilitate and I’ll graphically facilitate and self advocates will lead their table discussions.   We’ll take lots of photos and documentation and upload it to a blog to keep everyone posted!   What great fun 🙂   Thanks to Maggie, from the Community Living Venture, Ashoka Changemakers, to Ted Decker for having the original idea and to Barb Goode and Cheryl Fryfield for their help in mapping out the first steps!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Citizen Kane #graphicfacilitation

I’m just back from Chicago where I was part of the inaugural Brandy-Lab.   I’ve become increasingly interested in graphic facilitation and then discovered the work of Brandy Agerbeck, and her excellent book and amazing website, and then got word that she was going to do a rather rare intensive teaching gig.   It was a hold-your-breath kind of moment as I tried to figure out if I could afford it, if I wanted to go to Chicago for several days in August, on my own time while finishing up a graduate course and working on a new anthology for Spectrum Press and prepping for a course I am getting ready to co-teach.   Gary, as he so often does, made it all very simple: “Of course you have to go.   She’s who you want to study with, we’ve got the money, and you’ve got the time.   GO.”   Later on he would say, “I mean, who knows if we’ll ever have this money again, so we might as well spend it…” which was rather more disconcerting but by then I’d clicked on the registration button!   And, oh my, it was so well worth it.

She was like the teacher of my dreams, open to having the discussions of my dreams…  it was very dreamy.  And my companions in the Lab were just excellent – generous, creative, inspiring and excited about about the possibilities.

A thing I really like about Brandy’s page is a great portfolio of her various work, one of which is the facilitation of a talk “creating customer evangelists” – and I do think I qualify!   Anyway, I will put up all the drawings I did for the lab (about 10 drawings 4′ x 5′ so about 250 square feet of drawings over three days – which impressed the concierge at the hotel hugely!) in another posting, but today (I got home last night) I was finding it difficult to put down the markers – I wanted to figure out a way to encapsulate what I’d learned while I’m still processing it.

Perhaps my favourite thing on Brandy’s site is her graphic facilitation of The Wizard of Oz – it’s pure genius, and ever since seeing it I’ve wondered what movie I might use in a similar way.    This morning it occurred to me that a movie as well known is Orson Welle’s Citizen Kane, which only recently was bumped out of its “greatest movie ever made” role (by Vertigo, which I think is very debatable myself, but then I’d probably be voting for All About Eve anyway).   So here is my graphic facilitation of Citizen Kane in which I’m working on a few things: figuring out the big ideas and gathering them in a cohesive way, creating a hierarchy of big, medium and small ideas through lettering, being very conscious and intentional about color and exploring a limited palette (I kind of got into the black and white movie thing), and using a variety of differently sized images.   While it’s not perfect, I’m pleased with how much I learned in such a short time, and I am thrilled with some of the parts of this.   It was done in “real time” while listening to the movie and running over to watch bits, so it took about two hours and is about six feet by three feet.  I might clean this photo up more and replace it.

I really feel I got a lot out of the individualised nature of Brandy’s instruction.   Next year I hope to get back to Chicago and do some more 🙂

Tagged , , , , ,

Standing-Beautiful-Like-The-Sun at Wanuskewin

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ve been spending a great deal of time questioning the idea of teaching and traditional education lately (though this is really the theme of most of my working life), and part of what’s been interesting for me in this is approaching a couple of events in which I’ll prepare curricula with teaching partners and then spend a few days presenting, teaching, learning.   I’m also at the end of completing a graduate degree in adult education and equity studies and, as they should be, a number of things are falling into place – perhaps as questions and ideas about processes rather than answers, but falling into place…

So I was delighted when we spontaneously decided to take a day trip to Wanuskewin Heritage Park where we were told that we were nearly in time for the dance performance…  This is an amazing place, in an amazing landscape – magical and centering, and full of wonderful art that tells some of our least told and most important stories.   And our teacher-dancer for the afternoon, Cara, or Standing-Beautiful-Like-The-Sun, was absolutely inspiring on so many levels – she was so genuine, personal, connected and connecting, generous and giving, and told little and big stories, and explained so much about so many traditions in such a short time: it was incredible and I could have listened to her for weeks.   I’ve taken whole graduate level classes where I’m not sure I came away with a better sense of the subject.    I took these photos while she danced, and although I’m sure they don’t do her dancing or sharing justice, and I encourage you all to go there and see the dances (I can’t wait to go back!), I hope it will be something of a gift to watch the slideshow of her dancing.

So when next you see me teaching I might be trying to channel Standing-Beautiful-Like-The-Sun, one of the most remarkable teachers I’ve experienced, for such a short time.

Our friend Barb Goode says that everyone is here to teach something and one of the questions of our lives is: what are you teaching?   In your teaching, who or what has inspired you?

Tagged , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: