This week is a short post because I think last weeks post left a lot to chew over. I have been doing some self-reflection because that is what we are asking you to do. Yoga class is a great place to think about ego. (I am a pragmatist believe everything is connected) but one teacher talked about thinking of oneself as be made of three parts: body, ego and breath, which is interesting. In yoga I butt up against ego in terms of body and breath and it helps me think about it. I was thinking about it because sometimes it feels as if there is a bit of a battle between me and the advisee and I wonder if my ego is getting involved. I have to make sure I am not just saying things because that’s the way I would do it. But at the same time my role is kinda to know some established ways of doing things. It is a delicate balance to keep between suggesting something rather than instructing someone they have to do it, but also in a way so they notice you are suggesting it. It gets back to the relationship on this course between us all. It is one where the student is not sitting at the feet of the teacher but is empowered to go out pull information to them – this is a connectivism model: acknowledging how the internet has changed the dynamic of teaching by having some much information available. BUT information is not knowledge what we as advisors are trying to help you with is two things:
Looking at the quality and validity of the information
Using the information so it becomes knowledge.
It is here that the clash (that could be ego) happens because here we come across points when we feel we all ‘know’ something. And knowing something is an important feeling because it anchors us down. But 'knowing more' is not a threat – of course it changes what you know and change is scary. In these last few weeks of term there is a hanging on to things because there is so much to do and you are so busy. But in fact this is the time when things might change as you write them up, as you discuss them and there is nothing wrong with saying I thought this and as I started to put it into my reflection or plan or review I realised that…. You do not have to fight your corner and hang on to stuff. You are just asked to honestly evaluate and reflect. If you can explain it and give a good reason for it, than that is more than half of what we expect. Comments and feedback will shift things and change things for you and you will need a moment re-group. But it is not about ego, it is about the disarming, amazing experience of learning.
My advice is to get your work to best possible place before you send it for feedback. This is a much more daring thing to do than anything else because it means the feedback will shake what you have done because you have done your best so far. But then it can only get better with more exploration. If you send it knowing it is too long, or part of it is missing then you are taking the safe option of kinda controlling what your feedback will be because you already sort of know what you think you need to change (and you run the risk of only hearing the parts you already know.)
What do you think? How do you feel?