The Simplest of All Things

Som jeg allerede skrev, udgav vi sidste år en meget sej bog: “Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research: In Praise of Detours”, redigeret af Charlotte Wegener, Ninna Meier og Elina Maslo.

I bogen har jeg også en artikel. Min artikel handler om hvordan muligheder for at stille essentielle spørgsmål kan skabe rum for læring. Artiklen er skevet i en ny genre, eller metode – “writing as inquiry”. Det er en tekst, hvor jeg undersøger et vigtigt forskningsspørgsmål. Desværre må jeg ikke dele hele artiklen. Men jeg har lyst til at offentliggøre en lille passage fra mit kapitel. Det er egentlig en tekst, som jeg skrev på et skriveretreat hos Charlotte Wegener og Hanne Ravn, hvor Charlotte stillede en opgave: “Skriv om … “en simpel ting” …”.

Charlotte Wegener har i mange år arbejdet med skriveprocesser og er aktuel med bog “Skriv med glæde”.

Og her er reference til min artikel: Maslo, Elina (2018). ”Give It a Name and It Will Be Yours”: How Opportunities to Reflect on Essential Questions Can Create Space for Learning, In: Wegener, Charlotte; Ninna Meier and Elina Maslo (Eds.). Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research: In Praise of Detours. Palgrave Macmillan, s. 207-217.

Og teksten jeg gerne vil dele …

The simplest of all things

The simple thing is something you really can manage. Something you have really understood. Something you have understood so deeply that it feels really simple. So simple that it is easy to explain to others, easy to write about, easy to find examples of. But there is one challenge. When you really can manage something, and have understood that something so deeply, then you can find yourself thinking of that something as a banality. Because it is so simple. And when something is banal, is there then a reason to speak about it at all? Is there a reason to explain this something to someone else? The trick, then, is to be able to look at oneself and one’s own world from the side, and be able to judge whether this knowledge and these skills are something special, something relevant for others to know more about. Yes, of course you can always analyse the need, ask people directly whether they would like to know something about it. You can wait for someone to ask you about this something. But how can the world know that you are in possession of unique reflections about some specific thing? That you are in possession of something that can be considered expert knowledge or expert skills? And how can you share this knowledge without first having been through identity work about what you can do and what you know, who you are … and what drives this identity work forward?

I am thinking a lot about what children should learn at school. In the light of these reflections of mine, it is definitely not knowledge and skills we should teach children at school. The task for the school should rather be to create a space where children can learn how to reflect on what they can do and what they know, yes, who they are and what they would like their lives to look like. Which again requires that you can mirror yourself in others …

So, why is it so difficult for me to write? Is it because I do not believe that I know enough to write? Or is it because I see the critical reader on the other side of my computer desktop? Every time I use the keyboard to create a new section in my text, I have this almost physical feeling, that I must show everything I can do at once. I feel the pressure I put myself under when thinking about a reader who should be able to evaluate me – me, as a person – from my writing, and hopefully in a positive direction.

Oh no, how liberating it is to be allowed to just write away. To take time simply to write without this proofing-deadline warning light that makes your blood boil. To take time to sit peacefully and quietly in the room together with other writers, and write. To write without thinking of the ghost of the bad-cop-reviewer, who questions whether what you write makes sense at all. And to take breaks. Breaks in total quiet without being forced to say anything. It is so long since I took the time for this kind of thing. For just sitting and having a break.

Where does this desire to write come from? A feeling of being reborn. A feeling that this day will influence the rest of my life. I really would like to share these feelings with others in the room, but do I dare? I write a conclusion: The simplest of all things is to immerse yourself in something, study this something, and become good at it.

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