Author Archives: jakegrohs

Perspective.

<vtclis12-ers, sorry if this post isn’t your cup of tea.  I’m taking advantage of the freedom (protean nature) granted by Alan Kay being our recent author to say something on my mind.>

One of the things I think I love the most about my typical day-to-day is that I am constantly being poked, prodded, and challenged in my way of thinking.  In LDRS recently, we have been talking a lot about “perspective-taking” as a critical skill for us each to cultivate as part of that whole being-a-better-human “life learning objective.”  In talking with one of the leaders from SERVE on Thursday, I had an “aha moment” that broadened the concept of perspective for me.  It wasn’t a totally new insight perhaps, but rather one of those moments where you feel like you finally discover two seemingly independent small chunks of puzzle pieces actually connect together (Nelsonian deja vu?).  Let me try to describe — the two chunks were (1) how I usually think of perspective.  A little video/image montage goes off in my head of looking at things from multiple angles.  A thought bubble: How does this look from your eyes?  How does this feel from your heart? and (2) Story.  The many experiences and our interpretations that weave together to make us who we are.

The “aha” came from a conversation about a water bottle.  We were talking about how whenever she goes to throw away a water bottle, she thinks of where it could end up – the many places she has seen it before, floating in the water, rolling into a gutter in a city, piled up somewhere in a mound of trash that kids might play on.  <!!!! head explodes !!!!>  Our brains do funny things.  Something about this story (likely because it was a bottle, and my engineering research involved thinking about the full life-cycle of products and all the energy that made them) started this movie in my head “the life of the water bottle” — how it came to be, what/where it was filled, me drinking it, and then the infinite possibilities that exist afterwards.  Perspective is not only about the angle, the mood, the knowledge, the belief, the values, the setting in this current moment.  It is all the angles, moods, knowledge, beliefs, and settings in every moment brought to bear right now in this moment.  The shoe metaphor for perspective-taking is more insightful than at first glance.  It is not a simple instantaneous teleportation.  It is not the switch from first-person camera to different first-person camera.  It is not just “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.”  It would be walking everywhere the shoes had ever been.  <!!!! head explodes again !!!!> And then shoes fail us.  Because even having walked and seen all of a story, I can still only process that story from my own lens.  Shoes don’t have feelings and don’t make meaning.  And meaning-making, perception, is uniquely different for each person.

Perspective-taking as a skill will always be beautifully flawed.  I still deeply value striving to listen to stories, to authentically know as much as is given, and to use that to be more considerate and more compassionate.  But, at the end of the day, no matter how skilled, no matter how empathetic, we must always remember that shoes are not enough.  The beauty is, that this means we must always engage.  We must always ask.  We must always affirm the agency each has to write their own stories and to make their own meaning.  So go – catch stories, use them to cultivate skills in perspective-taking, use those skills to navigate the world in better, more compassionate ways, and embrace the beautiful tension that exists as we try to use as skill that focuses on judgement and prediction in a way that also needs to be affirming of an individuals voice.  Said another way… I must carefully balance that my attempts to understand you better, to act more compassionately, to broaden my own horizons, that I don’t somehow stomp on your stories and your voice.  That you maintain your ability to tell me how wrong I am and how I misjudged.  How can we remember that while we may use judgements and categories to effectively navigate the world, that they are in need of continuous refinement?  How can “perspective-taking” become “perspective-sharing”?

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Our Life’s Work?

Nelson’s concept of “collateration” has been stuck in my head ever since we talked about it in class last week.  He describes it as “the creation of such multiple and viewable links between any two data structures” and goes on to say that “it is general and powerful enough to handle a great variety of possible uses in human intellectual endeavor, and deserves considerable attention from researchers of every stripe.”  I’m not sure Nelson envisioned such broad application of the concept as this… but I might suggest that “collater…-ating(?)” could be one of those most essential activities for each of us in our life’s work!  This stems from a held-belief of mine that perhaps the concept of “vocation” is actually about this elusively simple internal scavenger hunt of life rather than some sort of tuning in to that radio station 107.99 FM where all of life’s answers (and their questions) are broadcast.

Let me elaborate with a personal story.  Though I might hide it well, the engineer in me creeps out sometimes (usually when I use words like data set or decision matrix as if they are normal in everyday conversation…).  For both undergrad and graduate school, I studied engineering.  Since finishing my thesis, I have (very happily) worked for VT’s Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships — learning from and with students as they seek to make the world we all live in a better place. Despite the crazy looks I get from people sometimes, this is not some dramatic 180 of career path.  Its not a phase nor am I “biding my time until I can get a ‘real’ job.”  I enjoyed my studies as an engineer, and I like to think that some of the fundamental skills I learned are being put to good use daily.  Even if the discipline is different, some of Nelson’s good ole’ “collateration” reveals some interesting connections…

As a student, I sometimes felt as if I led two lives – one, caught up in the excitement of student development… facilitating international service immersion experiences with my peers and engaging them (and myself) on questions of how we are each put together and how we can make the world a better, more sustainable, more equitable, happier, healthier place.  The other was in the lab, or in Deforms class, or crunching numbers on the computer.  What remained hidden for a while to me was unpacking the “in the lab” part.  The truth is that “in the lab,” my favorite past-time was often working with undergraduate researchers and helping them troubleshoot or talk about grad school or…  Sure, I did my own research… but I was most productive when I could help set the stage for our team to succeed.  “Collateration.”  The two lives were really deeply intertwined and held keys to who I am at this moment.  Links and themes emerge from seemingly distinct data structures (replace with the word “items” or “passions” or “experiences” or “desires” or “needs” or “concepts” or…)

Clues are hidden everywhere.  There is a hidden gift within our instinctive and intuitive acts that begs us to unwrap it.  All the clues are there.  Vocation is from within.  We just need to be calm enough or simple enough or patient enough or confused enough or frustrated enough to go on the scavenger hunt.  Grieve and listen and wrestle and sing and enjoy and grapple and love and lose and ponder and reflect and “collaterate.”  Maybe those verbs are our life’s work.  Maybe all the clues are already there.  Hidden in plain sight.

 

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Peeling back a meta-layer

I want to take a moment to try and step back a bit from the Cognition, Learning, and the Internet experience and openly reflect on what I’ve noticed, how I feel, etc..  I do so in the hopes that it might generate a bit of reflection and conversation among us about what is actually going on – peeling back a meta-layer per say.  (Sorry LDRSers… no direct connection to our class this time… but you are still welcome to read)

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I find myself equally distracted and intrigued by the Twitter back-channel.  I like the conversation, the links, the ability to have a side-conversation in a way that doesn’t distract the whole class.  However, when I engage, or search for a link, or re-read a blog to link a name and a face and an opinion… I suddenly am jolted back to the in-person conversation in a way I sometimes find disconcerting.  Kind of like awakening your consciousness to an exit off the interstate that you’ve been waiting for but not remembering what happened for the last XX miles.  I’m not sure if, for me, it is the best tool for “augmenting” my ability to engage and learn in class.  However, I am also not the best at rapid-task-switching…

Despite an intense reliance on technology, I’ve come to the realization that I currently am not an active and efficient consumer of information on the internet.  I don’t crawl blogs (checking VTCLIS12 or LDRS1016Spring2012 is something I have to think to do much less read or subscribe to others), and I don’t actively remember to bookmark on Delicious.  Actually, I don’t really bookmark anything at all other then my credit card/banking homepages to login and my gmail… Yet, Facebook and/or Twitter are part of a reflex on my smartphone while passing time, so somehow I consume that much more than I do the things I actually find more intriguing such as blogs, the news, etc.

Have you noticed how Dr. C always makes an effort to reference someone’s blog each class session?  It makes me feel our time spent blogging is valuable beyond just checking a box.  Like he wants to weave our “online” thoughts into the active classroom conversation too.  Pretty cool.

I find myself wishing that there was a better mechanism for a comment conversation.  I read your post, I like it, I comment, you get the comment pushed to you, you respond, and I… well… forget to check back manually.  Or, I write, you post, I approve from my phone while walking somewhere and… well… sorry about that.  Why is this is case?  If you made some insightful intriguing comment in person, surely I would respond!  How can we push this a step further?  OR, is this where Twitter could come in naturally?  Anyone else have this issue or have any ideas?

I genuinely missed class on Thursday – missed spending the time together on Englebart or Twitter or…  I’m not just saying this in an attempt to even out my Tuesday bad karma (#scoredpoorlyonApgar #readingvideofail).  To be honest, I usually find the timing in my day for class incredibly inconvenient since it falls right in my mid-morning time at work – a time in the day where I usually get good solid work done at my desk before lunch and then afternoons full of meetings.  Tuesdays and Thursdays leading up to 930 and as I race to commitments at 11, I find that my brain has trouble shifting gears – I am scattered, flustered, and behind.  However, when we didn’t gather together on Thursday, I realized how much I value the many threads from class that run through my head for the rest of the week.  I’m seeing and reading things in a bit of a different way thanks to you all.  There was a news thing on “weblining” that I paid more attention to then I usually would, and when I heard about an upcoming CBS Sunday Morning show cover story on social media, my ears perked up.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness/jumbled blog.  But, I wanted to start reflecting a bit and this is some of what is running through my head when I take a step back from the experience so far.  What are you seeing and noticing?  Are you thinking, feeling, or acting any differently?

 

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The joy of setting the stage

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trying to use my blog to draw connections between two things I am currently doing – chatting/blogging with those in LDRS 1016 Exploring Citizen Leadership about things I care about and chatting/blogging with those in GRAD 5974 Cognition, Learning, and the Internet about things I care about.  I’ve been concerned that sometimes it might seem forced… tonight though, I seem to have something relevant to both worlds that I can’t seem to shake out of my mind.

I saw some of the buzz about Facebook’s filing for IPO – most of which focused on the massive amounts of money to be made by the many people with stake in the company – the most of which being Mark Zuckerberg’s possible $28 billion based on his 28% share in Facebook (aside from a $500,000 annual salary and use of a private jet http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/facebook-ipo-filing-revea_n_1248434.html)  Though I don’t want to draw any conclusions about how good, evil, neither, or both Zuckerberg and Facebook might be… I want to focus on some words the Huffington post article attributes to Zuckerberg – “We don’t build services to make money.  We make money to build better services.”

Do you think anyone integrally involved with Facebook (or Google, or Twitter, or…) ever sits back and just takes it all in?  Basks in the happy thoughts of all the friends and family reconnected across geographic and chronological divides? Relishes in knowing the time saved for a busy parent needing a quick recipe to get a meal on the table before sports practice?  Savors in knowing the social movement voiced or facilitated by the rapid and worldwide connection offered by the Internet?

I hope so.  The topic in LDRS 1016 tomorrow is “Leader as Convener” – this idea that maybe being the one who subtly or not so subtly creates the environment for a community to gather, debate, break bread, cry, or collaborate might be just as meaningful as the one in front of the podium, or the first through the gate.  Maybe there is purpose, fulfillment, and joy in Facebook that transcends the obscene amounts of money involved.

A favorite quote by Lao Tzu is “Imagine that you are a midwife: you are assisting at someone else’s birth. Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening rather that what you think ought to be happening. When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say: ‘We did it ourselves’”

Perhaps we should reclaim the value in this type of work.  What if a teacher’s measure of success was somehow related to the learning environment created rather than student overall ratings or grade distributions?  What if student’s were measured on how they impacted the learning of other students and the classroom environment itself in addition to individual assessment?  What if a leader weren’t measured by singular acts, but found deep fulfillment in the success of others and the team?  I am not suggesting this as some sort of “be-all and end-all” approach.  Rather, what we valued this as much as we value other traits more commonly associated with leadership (assertiveness or charisma for example)?  What say you?

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“Narrate, Curate, Share”

On the mother blog for the Honors Residential College, they use the phrase “Narrate, Curate, Share” to discuss the “why” of blogging.  I hope you’ll read the description (written by our very own Dr. C) http://blogs.is.vt.edu/hrcblogs/about/

It brings up an interesting point to me that is related to my previous blog – how do we make meaning in our lives, and how can technology be a tool in us learning to be more deliberate and deep in our meaning-making?  Often, we may not specifically think about “how” we tell a story, or “how/if” the telling itself will have any effect on how we remember it or any meaning to it we may attach.  Thinking about “narrate, curate, share” adds a degree of intentionality that we may not normally get in our day to day interactions at West End or over the dinner table. It is one of the reasons I also like the concept of ePortfolios as a tool in the classroom for one’s work.  Though there can be some hiccups along the way, it largely engages us with reflecting on what we know/feel/have done and encourages us to figure out how to share that in a way that our intended audience will glean what we want them to glean.

While I do believe that tools like blogging, ePs, and others can truly enhance the way we analyze, sort, and reflect on our many experiences that make us who we are.  However, the online nature also allows us to explore a potentially scary question that we often cannot track in person (unless we have very blunt, honest friends.)  With our stories (narrated, hopefully curated, and shared) up on the web, we can easily study them over a period of time to see what stories our stories tell about who we are, what we believe, and what is important to us.  For example, what do our worldwide trends on twitter say about our culture?  What do they appear to say we as a culture care about most?  What about my Facebook posts.  What story do they tell about me over time?  What would someone who stumbles on only my online identity (potential employer, colleague, friend) deduce about me and would it be the message I want to be sending?

Just some food for thought… I think some healthy “curation” could help us all rather than the binary, on/off, privacy lockdown that often gets discussed (like changing your Facebook name before applying for a job).  What do you think?

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Meaning Making

One of the most fascinating things to me about being human is our ability of making meaning out of lives, experiences, and phenomenon.  We read meaning and story into the stars, the weather, animals, and the F on our Chemistry exam.  From when I first woke up this morning, I have been at it… my dog who keeps being particularly clingy does so because he loves me and the guy who flew around me because my driving at the speed limit was not fast enough for him is clearly a self-centered, reckless, inconsiderate punk with no regard for any one else.  The meaning I attach to these acts, and many others, can be largely independent of “truth” or the actual circumstances.  My dog might be a master manipulator who knows that my perceptions of his affections are often paid off in food and head rubs.  The person in such a hurry may have been frantically driving a friend or family member to the hospital rather than just being a jerk.  But, in both cases, I made meaning in a particular way and filed it away – my interpretation of those experiences may be independent of actuality, but how I remember them has more of an impact on me and my future actions then what actually happened.

I’m sure we can all talk about”reflection” in many different ways.  One way I often think about it, is exploring the depth of an experience – trying to take both a personal and an objective look to dig for meaning and to integrate it into who I am, to let it affect how I think and act.  It is also an opportunity to make connections between experiences, disciplines, ideas, etc.  For me, it is a sometimes messy mental and emotional space – a place to try out new ideas and thoughts.   To let things hit me, challenge me, shake me, inspire me.

As we all think about the role of technologies like the Internet and social media, it is easy to be at either end of the spectrum – either a die-hard blogging-facebooking-tweeting-guru or a staunch the-Internet-text-messages-and-cell-phones-will-be-the-downfall-of-everything-good-in-the-world.  Regardless of where you land on that continuum, THE TRUTH IS THAT WE CONTINUE TO BE MEANING-MAKERS IN THESE REALMS AS WELL!  For example, you might be asking yourself why I was just “shouting” at you.  Or, if you received a text from a friend that said “Ok.” you know that little dot brings a whole slew of attitude in a way that “Ok” does not.

When thinking about the reflection I described earlier, I really think we must be very deliberate in how we use, and understand the use of, modern technologies to foster deep reflection.  Take for example that I’ve heard it said that Facebook is this generation’s “smoke-break.”  Facebook offers an opportunity to connect and make connections.  It does not seem to encourage personal, thoughtful reflection on ones own day.  It does offer the opportunity to share one’s personal, thoughtful reflection on the day.  A “smoke break” in days gone by does seem to offer some of that same opportunity to connect to others casually (if you take time together with friends/colleagues).  It could also offer some inner quiet to process and reflect.  But, this reflection would likely remain in one’s head.

I’m still figuring out my own feelings about all of this so I apologize for the scattered post.  However, I want to leave you with the thought that is stuck in my head right now.  I have come to believe that learning relies heavily on both cognitive (what is going on in my own head) and social (what is going on in everyone else’s head, how what is going on in my own head fits in the broader context) factors.  How can we carefully use all of the tools at our disposal to most effectively make meaning of our experiences?  To me, it is not an all or nothing with technologies – I need to think about intentional use.  In what ways can facebook or blogging or twitter or… help me to best make meaning of my life, best make connections about myself and the world around me?  It what ways can these tools and tools unknown help me be a better learner, teacher, friend?

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Motivation – Students, Leaders/Citizens

I have long been a fan of this talk of Dan Pink’s on RSA Animate about “The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”

One of the things he explores (7 minutes in) is “why do these people (those dedicating incredible time to wikipedia, linux, apache, and other collaborative/open source platforms), many of whom are highly skilled, technically sophisticated, people who have jobs… doing sophisticated technological work,and yet, during their limited discretionary time, they do equally if not more technically sophisticatedwork, not for their employer but for someone else for free!” – why?

“Economists have looked into it…it is overwhelmingly clear, ‘challenge’, ‘mastery’ along with ‘making a contribution’”

I think that we often spend our time as students, leaders, teachers, and other roles wondering how we can motivate others to join us in some cause, or why other members on a team on a group project seem to be social loafers, or why students in the classroom seem disengaged, don’t read their email, etc.  I think this Dan Pink talk offers us some interesting insight into how we might approach this situations differently.  Rather than carrot (it’ll look good on your resume) or stick (you’re going to get a zero), how can we structure our collaborative efforts or our classrooms in a way that focuses on “challenge” “mastery” and a place for unique individuals to “make a contribution”?

It appears to me that culturally, we sometimes sell “learning” or “getting involved” short.  Learning becomes equated to school which is then justified as workforce development as much or more than education as the “full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights).  Or the sales pitch for “getting involved” in high school college is again means-end reasoning – to win scholarships, to get into a good college or grad school, to ultimately land a job that makes good $$.  I’m not saying any of these things are wrong… but it sells “involvement” (citizen participation) short of the many beautiful nuances within it.  My undergraduate career involves some of those many pragmatic decisions… but in the process I learned through a sometimes painful process (challenge?) that those activities helped me discover who I am, what I am passionate about, what skills I have (mastery?), and ultimately how all of that plays into who I am in my community and how I can best contribute (making a contribution).

So – the question I have is in the “how.”  How can we give our collaborative efforts and our classrooms a makeover in a way that put these insights to work?  What does the classroom of students who are primarily intrinsically motivated in relation to the content look like?  What does my behavior look like as a student when I am interested in “challenge” or “mastery” instead of “just getting the grade”?  I’m not saying it will be easy – and of course, sometimes the institutions within which we live and operate do require us to do things we don’t always love to survive.  But, maybe this can still be a starting point for something…

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“Connection Precedes Content”

“Connection precedes content.”  This concept appears in author and community organizer Peter Block‘s article “From Leadership to Citizenship” and is one that I believe holds great power for us as students, leaders/citizens, and educators.   In my day to day work with wonderful, passionate, student-leader-citizen-Hokies, I have often said that maybe the implications of “connection precedes content” is that we aren’t going to be able to address the complexities of health care reform until we know each other’s favorite flavor of ice cream.  At the risk of being over-dramatic, let me carry this analogy a bit further.  Ice cream flavor (or, <insert personal comfort food here>) doesn’t usually come out in your first interactions with someone and is not a typical part of having a classroom of students introduce themselves to each other.  Rather, it is the kind of detail that a seasoned friend, co-worker, or collaborator might know – the kind of detail they draw upon for a particularly difficult evening of studying, to celebrate a key success, or to bear witness to some deep hurt or sadness.  So, it is not so much the detail itself, but rather that you know it about me that is transformative.  I feel special, cared for, nurtured, when you remember me for things specific to just me.  I feel that I am valued for my uniqueness and that I am known.  When this ethic is practiced by members of a community, we start to see how I am me, you are you, and how we, collectively, are we.

So, when I think about Block’s idea “Connection Precedes Content,” I’m not advocating that we institutionalize icebreakers before every meeting… but rather that we commit to the caring environment of “authentically know and be known” that these activities and many other intentional acts attempt to create.   It may sound fluffy to you, but I urge you to try it.  Intentionally invest in a friend, classmate, neighbor, or blogger and see how you feel and what you learn. Though this might be the tip of the iceberg to the point Block is trying to make, I personally find it a great place to start.

The internet today and how it is transforming how we interact adds another dimension to this concept that I am not quite sure how to explore.  For a compelling case for how “We’ll need to rethink everything” try this

One gut-reaction might be to claim that technology is helping us “know and be known” faster.  For example, students can Facebook search classmates to more quickly link faces to names, to message for a study group, or to memorize “public facts” (of which ice cream flavor might make the list…).  The binary opposite reaction might lead us to believe that this is a false sense of “knowing” and that the “connectedness” that we perceive is all breadth and no depth.  As with much of life, this is probably not a simple true/false.  While I don’t have the expertise to offer any sort of “answer,” let me throw out an idea for you to chew on (and hopefully comment on).  I still think it might come down to individualized, intentional, investment.  I can’t authentically know or be known through basic facts on Facebook or in the 140 characters of a Tweet.  But, intentionally or unintentionally, we are spending considerable time and energy over the long haul in crafting a web-identity for ourselves.  And, deep engagement with the web-me might and vice-versa might very well help us to collaborate in a more meaningful way.  For example, you reading through this entire post and processing it has likely provided you with insights on who I am and what I believe in a way you might never have been able to as a student in 116 Burruss Hall, Dr. C’s VTCLIS12 classroom, or even in a one-on-one meeting over coffee.  I may not be able to “know you” through your tweets or your facebook profile, but what inferences would I draw if I read everything you had linked to or commented upon?  Who would I know and how accurate would it be?

Thoughts to chew on :) – I look forward to hearing from you.

(If you want to read more about some of the topics related to Block’s ideas, check out the blog http://www.abundantcommunity.com/ for some great posts to get you thinking!)

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After posting this, I read an email from Dr. C asking that we incorporate some “nuggets” from the reading (Introductions to the New Media Reader into our blog post).  Because I am still waiting for my copy of the book to arrive from amazon.com, I could only read the excerpts featured on the website.  However, they (in my mind) are directly related to the post I had already written.  Let me take a minute to draw some connections – two specifically that I find to be quite interesting.

1) from “Inventing the Medium” by Murray – she describes the work of Douglas Englebart and says “The ‘augmented institution’ as he saw it would change not into a ‘bigger and faster snail’ but would become a new species, like a cat, with new sensory abilities and entirely new powers.”  To me, I interpret this as insight into the discussion of technology and “know or be known.”  Murray’s words seem to be saying that it is not about making an old way of things better or more efficient… but rather, changing the game entirely.  So, maybe an online forum isn’t helping you and me relate quicker, but rather is changing the nature of identity and relation entirely.  Murray’s interpretation of Englebart seems to agree with Wesch’s video – “We’ll need to rethink everything.”

2) from “New Media from Borges to HTML” by Manovich – I look forward to reading the full version of the introduction since the excerpt cuts out right in the middle of “New Media versus Cyberculture” and discusses a distinction between “cultural and computing” (New Media) versus “social and networking” (Cyberculture).  This distinction is not so clear to me at the moment.  I think my hangup is that the social messages (“online identity,” “sociology and the ethnography of email usage” and other items listed as “cyberculture”) seem to send overarching cultural messages.  For example, in traveling to other countries, there is a cultural perception based on the social messages.  Our Facebook posts are telling a (possibly false) story about who we are as individuals and as a culture in ways beyond simple networking.  If this is a point that Manovich explores after the excerpt cuts off… I apologize.  I look forward to reading it when I get the book!

 

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Welcome to my blog!

Thanks for visiting my blog!  My name is Jake Grohs and I work at VT’s Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.  As part of my work at the center, I coordinate the SERVE Living-Learning Community and teach the associated sections of LDRS 1015-1016 Exploring Citizen Leadership.  I am also a part-time graduate student in Educational Psychology and am currently taking a class called Cognition, Learning, and the Internet with Dr. Gardner Campbell.

In the three years I have taught LDRS 1015-1016, I have always used some type of social media as another way to foster out-of-classroom dialogue.  I am a firm believer that concepts of service, community, leadership, social change, citizenship, etc. need to become part of our everyday lives to be iteratively studied, practiced, reflected on, refined, etc.  The content itself is deeply individual, socially defined, and culturally located all at the same time.  For this semester in LDRS 1016, students will be blogging regularly with the intent that it become a somewhat informal space for critical connections between the content, and individual passions, interests, hobbies, and activities.  For example, does the movie J. Edgar currently playing at the Lyric have any lessons for us on leadership?  On belonging?  On ethics? Or…?  My hope is that we each can begin to experiment with these types of connections in the news we read, in the conversations with peers, with movies, books, other classes, while playing fetch with the dog or baking bread – I think that it is through these connections that “leadership” stops residing just in textbooks or resumes but alters how we think, speak, listen, and act.  It is my hope that we each find that the blogging helps us with just that.

In general, my personal posts on this blog are geared towards two purposes and audiences simultaneously – (1) participating regularly with the students in LDRS 1016 (Praxis Area: Facilitating Dialogue and Reflection) as we each blog and (2) blogging with other students in the Cognition, Learning, and the Internet course.  For now, I am very interested in reflecting on these experiences both as an educator and as someone who does community engagement work.

I look forward to the journey – thanks for checking in every once in a while!

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