Haunted Cute Trash & Vicariously in Rome : Chronicle 15

Yesterday, in the movie Body Heat, I heard

“I vicariously…”

– the proof that people really use this word in English. We have it (“vicariant”) in France, but it’s a very rare one, used by scientists or in pedagogy. I was fascinated by this range-difference for a word’s usage and I also wrote an article about it, because it’s a tool : “Vicarious” : How to learn by watching others

 

When your students feedback your teacherness, it’s an obsession to me, a good conversation subject, and a great pattern to use elsewhere. It’s also true in therapy, in many other fields. Students can “climb in metacommunication” and tell you about your Art. It’s a feedback, it teaches you! It’s a great structure to explore, and I will probably do it.

 

Does your style come from your work, or do you think about it “out of action”?

 

Parents are exhausting in a bookstore. They need books for their child, who is œuf corse absolutely the greatest, the best, and is – like all the other ones – “really in advance for his age”. Come on!…

 

On WordPress, Categories & Tags mustn’t exceed 15 in total, or else your article won’t be included in the reader. Beware!

 

What surprises me the most, in someone I know, is the clear “will to be nasty”. When someone speaks and wants to hurt me…
One antidote is to notice it. Instead of being hurt by this unkindness, meanness, your brain is building an instant shield with reason, an assessment : “This person is trying to hurt me with words”. Like a submarine, your heart goes underwater, for protection. In an awe.

 

One day I met a trash which… opened electrically alone when your hand was about to reach it. BZZZRT! It was absolutely a mess. Non opening when you needed it to. Surprising you and killing you with quirky heart-attacks in the middle of the night (when you had to trash this saving life orange-juice bottle). Staying opened for no reason (and resisting to close down). Closing the lid too fast when you were trying to debag it to add a new trashbag. Oh bloody cute thing! And, well, I liked it a little too…

 

 

« when in Rome, do as the Romans do »
What does it mean? You have to obey the laws and rules or the society you visit? You have to adapt? But also… should you live a little of other people’s lives? If one day I visit Portland or Kansas City, do I seek French food, or do I taste local meals? Do I watch French TV series in my hotel, or do I go watch a theater play? Do I read my French books, or do I visit museums? Do I move in the tourists cattle, or do I rent a car to go 20 miles out of the city to sit on a bench and watch how people walk?

 

This function of friendship : listen and question.

 

“Manifestement Friand : Manifestly Fond Of” : write 3 short stories on this seed.

 

My father’s father was a soldier in France in 1940. He’s been made a prisoner by the Germans, sent in Germany and had to work there in a factory… bombed by a British or an American attack. He died, and, well, my father didn’t know his father, his childhood was a sad mess. This made him the man he was, and of course I’m now a part of that. I found this part of an interview on the web, and I copy-paste it to tell the readers about the resonance…

You witnessed aerial bombings in Nantes…
The bombings were a very complex and perverted phenomenon. You can’t understand the French collaboration and resistance movements if you don’t understand the occupation period. Being occupied is being in a situation of absolute perversity. You live next to your enemy, and your allies kill you. I was ten years old in 1942. I had to understand that the people who lived close by were my enemies, and the ones bombing me were my friends.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Some absences are impossible to accept.

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Amazement & Learning : Chronicle 12

It is when you have tried and failed that you are truly able to surrender. Though you fail time and again, you continue to try until, finally, there comes a point when you accept your failure; you fully experience and understand your incapacity to move forward. It is at that point that you surrender. So keep trying. That ultimate sense of failure must come to everyone, either today or tomorrow.”

Sri Mata Anandamayi

I love this quote, which seems to say that this “surrender” is, in fact, the answer : once you reached this, you surrender, you let go : you can go on another path. Try another thing, of another “nature”.

There’s an article to write, here. “Insist until you know your fail, until you’re done”. On purpose. Then consider your other options. Which are awaiting, probably.

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I remember a great conversation about teaching. This activity is VERY interesting to think about. There are so many questions you can ask a new teacher!

Flipped classrooms, Theory of multiple intelligences, of course, but also about discipline, how you “hold” a classroom, how you watch kids, what are the differences between countries. And this : do you sometimes use “amazement” to get kids to understand, or just keep following you?

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There are some letters… I find it wise not to send them.

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Gide in his diary tells about drunk people arguing :

– “I tell you I don’t need you.”
– “Perhaps not… But you need… not to need… me.”

Thanks for reading!

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Palm of Ordinary Seeds & Masters Wrong : Chronicle 8

Within my reach !
I could have touched !
I might have chanced that way !
Emily Dickinson 

 

For some of us, who have inside a sort of “rush”, a surge, an inner run-up force, there are many ways. You can Huckleberry Finn along a river, you can also Kerouac all along the road, you can choose a passion (collecting – forks or shipwreck books -, throw yourself into sports, politics, veganism or religion, anything that can keep you busy). If you have young kids, you don’t have to worry : these little brats will keep you busy. You can disappear, too, into alcoholism or antidepressants, or sleep. Shopping, why not, if you’re moneyfilled.

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My daughter was in England all past week in Plymouth, including the day people were killed and stabbed in London. You will see plenty of pictures of people in Europa saying “We Are Not Afraid”, and, like Londonians during the V1 V2 Nazi bombing during WWII, we are NOT afraid. I told my daughters to live, to shop, go to theaters and restaurants and have fun with friends. That’s our way to resist : to stay ourselves against idiots.

And yes : spot the emergency exits, everywhere they go.

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When you advise a friend to read a book, to watch a movie, and she or he asks why, you answer : “You will know once you’re on it”. With a certain smile, right?

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When a window is closed, another can open. What kind? What is different? What if it was the last window, closed for ever?

After a big disappointment, what’s left ? Pieces : misanthropy, auto-torture about ideals and dreams, and Art as a shelter.

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What do we do (or think we can do) against an formidable enemy, a wrong energy? What if you can’t resist because it would be stupidly useless? Seeds for an article :

  • Don Quichotte’s mills
  • A drop in the water
  • An attempt for appel d’air
  • Dessiller (open sb’s eyes)
  • Draw maps (for later)
  • Barometer (to warn)
  • Warn, alert
  • Guerilla
  • Witness
  • Grains of sand (in the clock)
  • Breaches & holes drilling

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Map of Variations :

To draw a map is very common. You can use it anytime, on anything. Territory, music, history, love. Then it’s not “really” a map, but a set of informations about something complex, a table, a chart.

Choose a song and list elements : lyrics, instruments, production, place of instruments in the sound, construction. There’s one “another nature” map, though : It’s how all these change and evolve in time.

Seed/Tool : in every chart you find or work on, think about the MoV.

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Feedbacking a patient can have a great effect, I read once. It’s probably the same for teachers, parents… It means : stopping being “The One Who Knows”, ride down next to your patient/student, and talk man-to-man about YOU. This can have a tremendous good effect. Your advice, on this?

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This is a seed for short stories : “When imminent danger is a godsend”. Why, where, how, etc. Your turn!

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Embarrassment when you see a Master out of his domain. Nietzsche’s music? Schoenberg’s paintings? Or someone you know? A great cook trying to fix his car? A genius computer programmer parenting? And so what?

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Sapiosexual breakups are the worse. Because instead of missing an inventing sex life, magic tenderness and a silky skin, you miss a thinking brain, a conversation master, a challenging thinker, you miss questions, surprises, bends and laughs. AND magic tenderness, okay. That’s worse, eventually.

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Eventually is a very tricky word for us French. I know it means “after some time”, or even “finally”. But in French, “éventuellement” means “possibly”, or “potentially”. Well, even now I have to check. Each time I use it. My brain doesn’t not want it. I always want to call Obama on the phone to explain him there’s a mistake.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Jean-Pascal

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“More of the Same Thing”, when insisting is a failure #Watzlawick #Change

More of the same thing is what I call a “wrong tool”. It means : INSIST. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s stupid. Push push and push in a dead end. Seems easy, but we all do the same mistake.

The pattern is simple :

You have a problem. You think you have the solution. You act. It fails. So you think you have to insist, push, go stronger, “more of the same thing”. you fail.

The problem is “you think into the box”, and you are SURE you have the solution, and that if you insist enough, you will get it. And it’s wrong!

It’s an old classic, told by Palo Alto therapy searchers and Paul Watzlawick. If you want to save your couple, if you want to help someone, if you want to flirt, if you want to talk to someone who doesn’t want to talk : STOP. The solution? It’s at the end of this article!

The book? Paul Watzlawick : Change. Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution.

The author gives an example (which I translated rapidly) :

A teacher in a class has a single kid “with problems”. She asks to meet the parents and learns that he has huge issues, comes from a broken family and is very lonely all the time. So she tries her best to take care of him and give the boy much more interest; but the solution is worse : his notes crash, he is more alone. She insists and it goes into a dead end. The therapist says that “the more of the same thing” she does, the worse it’ll go (what she does isolates the boy from the other kids, for example). She’s asked to ignore him. Only to compliment him if the notes are good. And it worked!

If a wife asks her husband to talk more to her, spontaneously, about his days or thoughts, he will tell little things as an effort, but he will feel more and more closed, which will… make the wife to be more focused on him, waiting, and “more of the same thing”, arguing continuously about why he doesn’t talk to her enough, which will embarrass him more and more, etc.

Chögyam Trungpa, who was a Buddhist Meditation Master, says that if someone answer “No” when you want to talk with him, you just have to disappear. If you don’t, if you insist, you just transform yourself into a nagging (oh, a new word!) Demon. He’s so right!

Of course you know the story of the bunch of guys flirting everyday with the beautiful lady in a bar, with no success. Only one guy understands the problem (“More of the same thing”). He just sits in the bar, no interest, showing his back to her. And paying her the most neutral way every night. And guess what? He become the only one who gets her interest…

The tool is also a dial :

It’s hard to detect when you insist “more of the same thing” stupidly, because you are SURE you’re about to succeed. Don’t be a demon. And think out of the box. Buy the book, by the way, it’s very good.

Thanks for reading!

#clown #lille3000

 

 

 

“Vicarious” : How to learn by watching others #pedagogy #empathy

Vicariant en Français. Vicarious in English. What a strange word! It’s a concept and I put it here very simply, as a tool, or a seed. Do what you want with it.

Vicarious : Experienced through somebody or something else.

It’s all about learning, first.

There are many ways of learning. Albert Bandura was interested by one of them : observational learning. A way to learn is by watching others.

Social learning theorylearning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur through observation.

Vicarious can be extended to other things.

For example : in the night your eyes can’t see, so you use your hands to “grope for” (en Français on dit “Chercher à Tâtons”, ain’t it cute?).

Vicarious : Experienced throught something else. To replace a function by another.

Think about this now :

Empathy is a vicariance, a Metaphor is a vicariance (a word for another), a Trauma can be vicarious (traumatised because you helped traumatised people), an Emulator is vicariant, and a Impostor is vicarious, etc. Once you have this tool, you can use it elsewhere.

Ref : Alain Berthoz, la Vicariance

 

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me!

 

I’m living vicariously through your pictures in Lille…

THINK ABOUT YOUR ART, or how to kill your “I know my job” pinned mindsets

I once knew a teacher who amazed me because she was constantly thinking about her Art, inventing new ways to progress, debriefing almost each day.

Of course I know the tale : Never ask a millipede to explain how he manages to get anywhere. He will tie himself in knots!

In fact, I think that most experienced people do not “think” that much about what they do and how they do it. They do their job! It’s how some teachers teach : “I know my job!”.

Unless you work in an area who needs to be really creative (architects, musicians, decorators), there’s a danger once you are “skilled”, once you finished your student’s life. Danger is : mindsets. “I know my job!”. WHY : because you stop learning!

What I remind from these conversations is a phrase she heard constantly from colleagues : “It’s not possible”. Kids this age CAN NOT read. Well, they can…

Well, that’s common sense, right? If you think “It’s not possible”, it probably won’t be!

Tool 1 : Think about your Art.

In your job, what do you do like a machine? Play the game of debriefing, for once. Ask a friend to help you think. Talk. Learn. One Eno’s Oblique Strategies suggests : “Explain it to your parents”. Detect and discover your mindsets. Some are good, useful. Some not.

Tool 2 : You’re now the helper. If you’re a manager, how will you see the little and big fixed/pinned ideas in your team, the “I know my job!”s? The “This is the way we do it”? Yey, change causes resistance to change. But that’s another article !

Thanks for reading!

#street #shadows #fall

 

Questions to a teacher… #teaching

Oh these questions, I have to write them.

How do you do ?

How do you juggle with two principals ? Do you have work at home ? Do you mainly teach teachers, or kids ? How do you do, for each ? Do you teach classes of teachers ? Who resists ? Who doesn’t ? How do you convince them ? Do some teachers watch you teach, sometimes ? Are some teachers, who love your work, able to convince others of “she’s so right on this !” ? Are you paid enough ? How do you report to your boss ? Emails ? Face to face ? Does she watch you teaching ? Do you teach kids one by one, or in classes ? Is your “pack” of children fixed, or does it change along the year ? Why ? What are your main difficulties ? What is easy ? What surprises you ? Do you meet parents ? Why ? Do you report teachers about kids progresses ? Do you put some kids “out” of your program ? Are some kids reported ? How do you works with speech pathologists ? Psychologists ? Do some ESL have other problems (like gifted ESL) ? How do you stay connected to the law ? Are some kids very difficult ? Did you have to call the police ? To change kids from a teacher to another ? What about comparing with previous years ? How do you get new ideas ? Do you use computer programs ? Do you show movies to kids ? Do you read about our job ? Do you get good advices from experimented colleagues ? Do you have enemies ? Why ? Do some people admire you ? Do some parents ask for an appointment with you ? Why ? What are the language kids come from ? Spanish, French, Russian ? How about the other special aid teachers ? Do you collaborate ? How ? How is the link between the grades ? Are there new teachers ? Did some people get fired ? Will you like it for years ? Can you climb the hierarchy ? Who helped you the most ? Do you have a rat pack ? Great moments ? Do you use music ? What about your thesis ? Do you have ideas for a book ? About what ? Do you like all this ? What do you miss ?

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