I Don’t Get to Choose by Carolyn Durley

On a beautiful sunny sunday morning, I read this amazing blog post by dear Carolyn Durley. Have a feeling it will be like a sweet, delicate perfume which will linger on for a good while.
Exquisite piece. Definitely worth your time.

A Fine Balance


Photo Shared on Flickr

I used to think it was like a game of pool; just focus on the ball and if I set the shot up right, the ball will fall successfully into the pocket.  As long as I focused on the desired point of impact…success!

Except I found out, it’s not like that at all. I found out in fact…that I don’t get to choose who I impact and how.
And I am not talking about Hattie’s influence “Teacher know your impact.” I am not suggesting you would avoid trying to impact your students in the learning sense. It’s just learning takes years and years to accumulate and manifest.

I am not talking about impact as in getting the person to vote for a certain political party or in buying you Christmas gifts or behaving in a desired manner. No the impact I am thinking of is a little…

View original post 529 more words

#rhizo14 collaborative autoethnography


I had started the year intent on pursuing personal and professional development. I joined #rhizo14 after some lurking adventures, and once I’d read some thought-provoking stuff in the blogosphere, I was totally compelled to ‘take whatever those people were taking’, for it really sounded like some hard-core deep learning/intellectual/creative experiences were unfolding…

I joined the course half-way through (week 4) and from there on I made an effort to participate as much as possible within my 40-hour-week job as EFL teacher/course supervisor and personal life (I have a 3-year-old). I was added to the FB group as soon as I made up my mind to join the course (on P2PU), and I was warmly welcomed right away. I became more active on Twitter – #rhizo14 towards the end of the course (on week 5-6, I’d say). I read a lot more blog posts and social media exchanges than I was able to comment on, but I did make a point of commenting on those which spoke to me more intimately. I was happy to see some rhizoers were exploring their artistic veins, and that’s something that emerged quite strongly in me during the course.

I felt pretty much a part of the rhizo14 community. It was quite clear to me from the start that I was shoulder to shoulder with people who were mostly active in the field of Education and who had all types of academic and professional backgrounds, not to mention the diverse cultural backgrounds, which made the experience all the more enticing and rich worthwhile for me. I didn’t feel excluded. I did feel that I was naturally drawn closer to specific individuals and ideas, and I took on the role of learner. I didn’t care that I was around people who were clearly accomplished, with PhDs and stuff; all I cared for was that I felt absolutely privileged to be getting to connect with such brilliant people.

My #rhizo14 experience was visceral, in that it enabled me to explore deep levels of creativity and intellectual skills which might have been unknown to me, or at least in the depth and density I experienced in #rhizo14. That is absolutely precious to me. That is my perception of success. I am changed by the #rhizo14 learning experience. I made connections that I look to nurture from here on end. I’m lucky to have you in my audience and to be in your audience, as well. It has all been worth it. Thank you, rhizoers.


“Tudo vale a pena quando a alma não é pequena.”  Fernando Pessoa

(“All is worthwhile when the soul is not small.”)

#Rhizo14 knock, knock


Fractal by Hermann Kaser via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Let me tell you a story. It’s the story of how I found you.

I found you while looking for myself. I found you via a very special network – my personal learning network.

Here’s how it went…

The Blue Bird Tweeted:

My dear friend and mentor, Carla Arena, shared this delicate gem via Twitter. A beautifully lapidated piece by a lady called Carolyn Durley. These words instantly struck a chord deep within:

Carolyn, being a teacher as myself, ventured into the universe of education and how ‘cheating’ may actually bring down walls and pedestals, from whose heights we – teachers – stand. We, teachers, the repositories of all knowledge. It might have been (and it most certainly was) through sweat and tears that we got to where we are in terms of acquired knowledge and experience, so our students should just endure the same hardships and be worthy of becoming – one day – knowledgeable. It was poetic. It was subversive. I had to pass it on to my personal learning network, among whom I was certain there would be those wo’d be moved/disturbed deep within. I RTed and I followed @c_durley down her rabbit hole. And then…

Enforced independence. Quite paradoxical, indeed, Carolyn. I was hooked and mesmerized by it all – the ideas, the sensations. We humans are naturally wired for movement forward, intrinsic motivation is in our very DNA. We, teachers, may foster independence, nudging our students forward, being role models of autonomy and independence ourselves. Not only as teachers, but as learners – as people. I felt compelled to jump in the discussion:


Carolyn and I became co-followers and co-readers of each others’ writings. I had been entangled by the rhizome that stemmed from A Fine Balance, and Twitter, and the entanglement continued.

And I ended up – literally – stumbling upon yet another gem. Had to share it.

And so it was that, another rhizo prospected that gem, and also ran into me.


I’d come full circle in the rhizome, just to find that it had spiraled into yet another branch, another rabbit hole.

I stared into its darkness, and asked rhizo-Dave: “Too crazy to leap, ya think?”

And then the next thing you know…

Rhizomatic learning is, for me:

  • non-linear learning
  • prospecting gems
  • ethnographic discovery
  • discovering how you’re wired
  • connecting with otherness and then with yourself
  • how I go about my professional and personal development in this brave new world of all things technological