Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 9 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Connecting, the “old way” :)

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 9 seconds

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I was about to write this post, when i saw Susan Watson’s post, in which she takes walks (as in, with her legs?) and notices all kinds of signs along the way (only Susan!) and ends her post with expressing disappointment over f2f meetings. She asks a question I’ve been asking for a while now (and so has she, only i’d replace #ccourses with #rhizo14):

#Ccourses has ruined me. There’s no going back.

I love this course, but am I better at getting other people to want to do this connection thing? Apparently, no. I have modeled, and encouraged, and cheered and all that.

So, I go back to my question from a couple of months ago – how do I create a connected experience for people who are satisfied with boxed macaroni and cheese?

Groan. I still have no answer to that one! But it reminded me of my weekend. I spent the weekend working. But not the weekday work. I was doing fun work.

I met f2f someone I had been (volunteer) working with online since like 2007. We had co-facilitated a training for facilitators of web-based video cross-cultural dialogue. We were both doing our PhDs in England so we had a lot in common as well. I stopped volunteering for that organization a while ago but continued to be interested in researching intercultural learning (for my PhD). So a while ago she asked if I could go to the UK for a couple days to a workshop of reframing the program. I wanted to but couldn’t. They moved it to Cairo (wow! But we’re a small group, so …). So I finally met her after all these years. I always used to say the main thing we miss with online friends is the hugs. We hugged 🙂 yayyy 🙂 we loved each other f2f yayyy. I also loved the new ppl i met thru the experience (umm that was quick?). It all made me realize how sharing meals with people breaks lots of ice (bread and salt as Egyptians say, only it was yummier stuff). [incidentally this group is all about connecting online but in small closed sync groups vs open and asynchronous]

Anyway, I was offline for day 1 of that, but day 2 I decided to setup wifi on my iPad (3G had been out) and i found out one of the ppl w me at the workshop knows Teresa MacKinnon and #clavier – when i told her and Simon, Teresa’s response made me laugh on two fronts:
First, she told me about my new friend’s work with the organization we were already meeting to talk about (which i had been working with earlier than she); and
Second, she said she felt she “knew me better now”. Teresa felt she knew me better because I had met f2f someone she knows f2f (I am guessing). It was funny coz I felt… But i just met her. I feel like i know Simon Ensor better – i have known him longer.

Then i thought about how quickly u can get to know someone online vs f2f and it’s not a generalizable thing. Some f2f ppl hit it off immediately and some not (i dunno if it’s just me, but some ppl find me adorable and others who later become friends find my obnoxious at first). It’s also similar online. I got to know some ppl really really fast online, and some over time. But yeah, you can feel you know someone in two days. You don’t of course. But you do.

Then i thought about the little things that bring online closer to life, like Clarissa’s sending us #rhizo14 magnets n tshirts, and today Terry Elliott offering to send seeds (how metaphorical is that!)

Gotta go, real life…

8 Comments

  1. What a great story about your week! We are at turns obnoxious and adorable, I think. 🙂 I always love hearing your take on all this connectedness. You make me feel not so alone!

  2. @Bali_Maha @WarwickLanguage @sensor63 @telliowkuwp @dogtrax I commented on this but it doesn’t seem to be showing up….

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