Open Thinkering


Weeknote 03/2024

A line of e-karts, charging, next to the racetrack

This week, I listened to a fantastic episode of Adam Grant’s WorkLife podcast featuring Lisa Feldman Barrett. I immediately shared it with several people, and even got my kids to listen to it. The reason I’m sharing it right at the top of this post, other than as an encouragement for you to listen to it, is because it directly relates to my understanding of this week. Both the notions of ’emotional granularity’ and telling yourself “it’s all just electrical signals in my brain” are incredibly useful concepts to have up your sleeve. Resilience is as much self-care and strategies as it is grit and determination.

The image at the top of this post is from Tuesday night, when I took our two teenagers to go e-karting thanks to my sister’s Christmas present. They had a great time, to the extent that my son would like to go to celebrate his birthday, which is next week. It fits with the driving theme, of course, because when you turn 17 in the UK, you’re allowed to learn to drive cars on public road. His birthday present this year? Two magnetic L-plates, driving lessons, and the oh-so-expensive insurance.

I’ve done a fair amount of MSc work this week. Almost as much, in fact, as the amount of paid work that I’ve done. I’m not sure whether that says more about the amount of business development we need to do, or how interesting I’m finding my studies. Probably both. I published the following MSc-related posts this week:

If you take a look at the category archive for my MSc, you’ll see that I’ve written 42 posts already, most of which probably weigh in at more than 1,000 words. So it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I’ve probably written ~50,000 words over and above my assessment so far for this module!

The conference proceedings for ePIC 2023 are now online. I attended this in Vienna at the start of December and enjoyed my time there, doing a (very) short talk and chairing a panel. My colleague Anne, who couldn’t present due to Covid, recorded her presentation on Open Recognition β€” A feminist practice for more equal workplaces.

Laura published a post which I helped with this week relating to the mental models and metaphors with which we’re trying to help the Digital Credentials Consortium. I created the image stacking mental models, metaphors, and symbolism, which I’m pretty happy with. It’s all about, as Bryan Mathers often says, ‘cognitive ease’.

I had a chat with Ivan about running workshops to help with the adoption of Bonfire in settings related to Open Science and Open Pedagogy. He’s got an upcoming session with students at UCL which I helped him plan. I also talked with Andrea Niosi, who I met at ePIC, and who wanted to talk about implementing the ideas in my posts around using Open Recognition to map real-world skills and attributes. She’s still looking for a budget for this, and I’m still searching for someone to help me built out a proof-of-concept.

WAO submitted a proposal responding to an invitation to tender from NCS around journey mapping young people’s experiences. We don’t usually respond to this kind of thing as it’s a massive time-suck, but we were asked to do so and had a really productive meeting with a couple of people at NCS. We’ll see. It would be great to get involved.

We also had a co-op half-day this week where we did a bunch of things including talking about events we might want to go to, inventing more budget calculators, and outlining some workshops we might want to offer. More on the latter soon, hopefully. Laura and I recorded an impromptu podcast episode as a potential first offering for Season 9 of The Tao of WAO. It’s a bit of a ramble chat about all kinds of things, somewhat in the vein of how Dai and I used to record TIDE.

Other than that, I’ve spent a lot of this week trying not to be cold (it’s been bitter outside), doing exercise, taking people places (many sporting practice/fixtures), and finishing the DLCs for Sniper Elite 3 on my Steamdeck. I’m also playing Sniper Elite 5 on my PS5 β€”when I can get on it.

Next week, as I’ve already said, it’s my son’s birthday. We should have some sort of clarity about buying a house; I would love to say we’ve had an offer accepted in my next weeknote. Other than that, I guess I better get my gameface on and get started on my second Tutor Marked Assessment (TMA02) for my MSc. Oh, and some business development…

2 thoughts on “Weeknote 03/2024

  1. Thanks for the link to that podcast episode – resonated a lot with me – and I loved the phrase she used “Get your butterflies in formation” πŸ™‚

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