#rhizo15 subjective – to get make some deep connections

I’ve been reading a few different blog posts and Facebook posts about #rhizo15 – with people declaring their various subjectives (if you don’t know what I’m talking about see – Learning Subjectives – designing for when you don’t know where you’re going.

It occurs to me that one of the things that people struggle with in cMOOCs the need to define their own objectives for the course. As learning professionals, we are so programmed to think that a course needs to have some form of learning objective. It is of no value if we don’t learn something out of the course – in some way or another, our understanding needs to be deeper after the course than it was before the course.

For me, the biggest subjective/objective of #rhizo15 will be to make one or two or maybe three true new friends. I want to connect with new people in a way that goes beyond being colleagues. #rhizo14 brought me closer to several people – close enough that they sent me care packages to help me through my breast cancer treatment (thank-you Maha, Scott, Bonnie, Sarah, and Kate). These connections went beyond being collaborators on conference presentations and research papers. These connections are much more valuable than any book learnin (as my dad would call it).

They are not just friendship connections, they are are also professional connections. It isn’t just about fun and games. The people that I interact with as a result of #rhizo14 have pushed my book learnin too. I’m reading articles and books that I otherwise would not have. I’m learning about the process and barriers to creating collaborative autoethnographies. Dave’s creation of rhizo14 helped me find the courage to create my own free online course (http://shouldiblog.org). There are so many different ways that rhizo14 has influenced my life, that go beyond simply participating in a ‘course’.

So, my biggest subjective for #rhizo15 would be to make some new connections. To meet and get to know some new people. To participate in new collaborations. To authentically and truly grow my network (not just the number of people who follow my blog or twitter handle). How will I achieve this subjective/objective? I’m going to take a lesson from Scott Johnson here – and reach out to people on their blogs and on Facebook. To provide meaningful commentary on other peoples content. Somewhere in that process, I expect that there will be a spark – a new friendship or two will be kindled out of the experience. That is my main subjective/objective for my participation in #rhizo15 – for me, this is the entire point behind participation in a cMOOC.

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post, Rebecca! Making friends and thriving on the good energy is what I am hoping for from #rhizo15. I did Connected Courses in Fall, and it was so good for friend-making and LOTS of good energy. I really missed that experience in the spring semester, so I am glad to be part of Rhizo this time around. When it happened in 2014 I told myself that I didn’t have time… but what I learned from Connected Courses in Fall (when I also didn’t have time, ha ha), was that the return in friends and energy makes it absolutely worth it.
    And I hope you are doing well! Mustering energies and coping with work and life is complicated enough even when our bodies cooperate… And your shouldIblog project looks fabulous! I have been doing some blogging after my mother’s death and getting more involved in the Death With Dignity movement. Blogging helped me so much; I would not have made it through the semester all in one piece without it. It’s the first time I ever did a blog project that was really personal, and I am so glad that I did. It helped a lot.
    http://moriturisomnibus.blogspot.com/

  2. Hi Rebecca, and thank you. I am already reading articles, as well as blog posts brimming with ideas and energy, that I otherwise would not have. What strikes me is that nobody here is making much of a deal of standing on our expertise, so there isn’t a particular trajectory or learning curve to get to a certain point before we’re “worthy”.

    • Hi Lisa, You are observing something that I have noticed with rhizo related collaborations from last year – that is, as part of our successful collaborations people “check there egos at the door” … so the community isn’t about posturing, or ego building, rather it is about making authentic connections and authentic contributions. Each person that choses to engage in any way is “worthy” because they have chosen to engage.
      Cheers,
      Rebecca

  3. Great to see how you are thinking through what you hope to gather from #rhizo15. Let me ask a follow-up . . . why? You already seem to have quite a useful and powerful network; why expand (change? alter? develop? tamper with?) it if it already seems to be working?

    No, I do not mean this in a cheeky way . . . I am struggling with it for myself, so hope to learn through your experiences.

    • Hi Jeffery,
      Good question. Although I do have several really great connections – having more great connections is a good thing. In part, I’m still struggling with where my career will go. I’m still looking for opportunities that will allow me to both follow my passion and perhaps make a living.
      In my previous career, I’ve used social media to effectively find work – through loose connections. In higher ed, that isn’t so easy. The market is more flooded, so deeper connections are needed to help find opportunities. I think you really need to make deeper connections in order for those to eventually turn into paying work.
      There is also my desire to do more research into online collaborations – how they work and what makes them successful. Having more collaborations, and collaborations the look different helps to better understand the phenomena.
      Cheers,
      Rebecca

    • Jeffrey, good question in why someone would expand their already functional network. For me there’s enough left over from Rhizo14 to read and think about for years yet one day into Rizo15 and I have new insights and possibilities that enhance my thoughts on everything that went before. So maybe I’m a fool for stimulating certain parts of my brain with unending novelty but I also know people who have dug into being satisfied in how “complete” they are and I “just can’t get no satisfaction” from feeling complete.

      I don’t think it’s about having enough. There’s always something past a destination reached that is irresistible–you got here so why stop? In fact, stopping is what you’ve been fighting when things got difficult on the way here and it’s now in your nature to keep going. Anyway, things don’t just end, ask anyone who’s faced fatal diseases about the urge to settle on some diminished but less difficult alternative and, if they are honest, they will admit to it being an unacceptable compromise they fight every day.

      Also, as Rebecca mentioned, the potential here for networking is fabulous. If nothing else “meeting” people who are DOING what I dream I might do is confirmation that the limits I sometimes feel are not real or necessary.
      Scott

      • Scott –
        I’m enjoying #rhizo15 very much due to the creativity, openness and as Rebecca mentioned everyone checks their ego at the door and we are just human. I have to admit that in #rhizo14 I participated on the fringe and lurked more than participated. That may have been due to a working transition that I was making, lack of time, or inability to connect in a real and human way.

        However, this year, I feel more alive and have the drive to learn more than my schedule may permit at times. I have shared that I’ve just entered into candidacy in my doctoral program and may need to duck out here and there, but I’m making a concerted effort to participate in a way that I did not and could not last time.

        So, I’m pushing past every destination on the road map and setting sites for the edge of the earth. See you there #rhizo15ers.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Communities That Keep Each Other Accountable | Open Book Librarian
  2. #rhizo15 and the Myth of Content or Not | Rebecca J. Hogue

Leave a Reply