Always singing and dancing.
How different are most peoples experience of education, life and work?
It feels like the purpose of education and work today is to expand to the limit a persons capacity, to be more efficient, to maximise profits, to ignore meaning or truth and to save the evenings & weekends for enjoyment and a hell of a lot of email checking.
I admit, that's a pretty simplistic view/rant but it doesn't feel that far from the truth. I'm not attacking teachers in anyway, I'm attacking successive governments inability to completely redesign the things children do that prepares them for life.
Taken from the introduction in How Children Fail by John Holt.
It seems appropriate to write this on a day I'm with some 'others'. I've spent the day working at the offices of Nixon McInnes, a company I've known for years but had very little involvement with. Over the past few months I've had lots of discussions with Max and some with Charlie about some exciting changes and developments at NM, changes that made me feel like they could become some important others. We'd been talking about ways we could work together and they suggested a good way to start would be for me to spend some time with them, working in their space. You can see the corner of their office I have turned into a These Atoms outpost, and it's been a pleasure to be in the space for the day. I have had my head down though, working on Beyond Work, dissecting a 90 minute interview to make a plan for photographing someone next week. That's my post it note explosion on the wall. I've lifted my head a few times and had a few conversations, and it's reminded me of the good things about being in a space with others. I like being quizzed about what I'm doing, it challenges me and helps me get my head around things. I like the chitter chatter of the space, it's not a distraction, it's more like the sound of a distant train or rain, it's actually quite relaxing. I'm looking forward to what this Nixon McInnes x These Atoms collision could turn into.
It's a simple, lite These Atoms experiment in "finding the others", words Justin said at the Do Lectures. His thing, Somewhere, is another attempt at helping people find others, a much needed antidote to linkedin's 'throw enough shit at the wall and some of it will stick' mentality. I will end with their description, which I love and connects with lot's of my things right now:
This thought was inspired by things a few people said. Michael said, "When you don't know, it's important to admit to yourself you don't know". Those simple words felt so good to hear.
Since the Do Lectures, I've had tons of adventures and time away from clients. I have been busy, but it's been a busy kind of time out. I've spent lots of time working on Beyond Work, my photographic study of the things people do and how they ended up doing them. I've travelled to the Lake District, hiked up mountains, wild camped, watched the Tour de France, strolled the streets of Berlin with friends and all in all had a brilliant time.
But, the time has come to really do. I laid in bed last night feeling a little out of sorts unable to sleep. Something was niggling at me, and that something needed to come out. I got up, made loads of lists and started what today has become a brilliant turning point for how I'm spending my time. Projects have names, plans, time in the calendar and most of all energy and excitement.
I still don't know exactly how to articulate what it is I'm doing, but, I know I needed to do some doing after a good period of reflection.
In connection to not knowing, I also had a massive spurt of excitement this afternoon after seeing that one of my heroes, Keith Johnstone, is running a 6 day impro workshop in September. I emailed straight away and got that same feeling I had after applying for the Do Lectures - I really hope I get a place. For me Impro is a brilliant experiment. I don't know exactly why I'm doing it, but I know I love the ideas behind it and the feeling I get taking part in the workshops. If you haven't read his books, I highly recommend them.