Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Intellectual Love & #rhizo14

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Today has been a virtual emotional day for me, reading lots of the blog posts about the official “end” of rhizo14, giving virtual hugs on twitter and facebook. Sarah could not have put it better when she wrote in a comment on my last blog post: “I now can’t imagine my life without all of you in it’ – i feel exactly the same way about so many people I have engaged with here.

Learning is an emotional journey for me. I am also an emotional teacher, as one of my students recently blogged, titling her post: “do you really care?”

I recently came across the notion of intellectual love and it has helped me to hear the term… It put a term to this deep love I feel when learning… So rarely do we express this properly, this passion we have for learning… I have expressed falling in intellectual love with the journal Hybrid Pedagogy, for example. Not all people are like that, and this was the subject of my second-ever blog post “we are nerds” that produced a great conversation on my personal facebook.

But I think, though I have been in intellectual love with Dave since I came across his ideas and started interacting with him on twitter (i think the first time Dave and Bonnie talked to me on twitter was the highlight of my week or something!) – the way I feel about people on rhizo14 is even more than that. More than intellectual love, though that, too, is there, but I really do care about so many people I have only “known” for 6 weeks! What miracle has Dave brought about that created this feeling? And what is more, I have been feeling that way since week 2, man! Seriously.

Am trying to reflect on why, but I think it might mainly be when I posted my “body of knowledge or embodied knowledge” post and the kind of support people gave for that (and Dave thanking me for writing it, but i only just remembered that now -it was the community support that did it, really), and then Maddie’s post and the way people cared about how she felt and what she was saying (and again, Dave caring personally to find out what happened). Since then, there has been a core group of ppl who care to respond to fb and blogs and tweets, but that group grows and new people somehow, amazingly, get in and seem like they had always been there (you know who you are). It has not been perfect, some ppl have had a tougher time than others, I know, and I don’t want to be dismissive of that. But am just on the “high” of emotion right now…

I have learned so many things about creating community from the ways different people have treated each other and me, and I don’t want these relationships with these people who are now so dear to me… To end. But as I said on fb, rhizomes have no beginning or end, right?

Thankfully many of us (rhizomatically) wanting to remain involved , including a couple of groups interested in doing research about the MOOC. Please share your story with #rhizo14 in our collaborative autoethnography by clicking here and let us know if you’d like to continue to be involved in future writeups based on this.

Two final notes:
If we ever meet f2f e,g, at a conference, how would we know each other? Clarissa and i were discussing this on Twitter and Dani suggested tattoos haha. I thought maybe a sticker on our forehead (tattoos not permitted for me ;))

Finally: if you have been like me and too shy to ask people to be your friend on facebook even outside rhizo14… I am too shy to ask people, i don’t want to impose but when one person did it today, i realized how much i would like to have u guys on my personal fb as well

But may the #rhizo14 fb and twitter hashtag live on so that we may continue to live off of it 😉 ahem

Again, though: Please share your story with #rhizo14 in our collaborative autoethnography by clicking here and let us know if you’d like to continue to be involved in future writeups based on this.

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