I’ve been procrastinating on this final post, because I’m so sad the class is ending–as if I could put it off by not posting. And every time I tried to write one it did not feel like the right thing to end with.
Yesterday, this video was going around on Facebook. Well, it seemed fun and it inspired me to make my own silly Frozen parody (with much lower production values) to say goodbye.
This has been such a wonderful class and I will miss interacting with all of you on the course site! I hope to see you around the Web, on Facebook, Twitter, or other places. Have a great summer!
It’s May!! The month of “Yes, you may.” My musical song for May fits in perfectly with the Cheetham and Hoenke article.
The song aside, of course I’m not at all against self-discipline and living up to values. Living up to values is one thing, but sometimes we take “dreary vows” that we THINK are about our values, but really are about something else–about boxing ourselves in without really reflecting on what we’re disavowing. “I’ll never use a Kindle, I’m old-fashioned. I like real books.” (OK, I still love real books. Still old-fashioned too. But boy, do I love my Kindle.)
In Casey & Stephens (2007), the authors talk about how “the culture of perfect” can hold back the transparent library. The idea of perfect holds us back from making mistakes, since if mistakes are unacceptable, it’s a lot easier to do nothing. Or alternatively, to act like we’re going to do something, but in fact do nothing except hold meetings, and steering committees, and analyze a project to a lingering death. As Frierson (2011) writes, “You’ve experienced enough strategic planning to know that the majority of the time it’s not going to get you anywhere, and it’s going to take a long time to do so.” A fear of mistakes contributes to this problem: you can’t make huge mistakes if you say the buzzwords everybody else is saying, do only the things everybody else is doing.
Cheetham & Hoenke (2013) write, “By not making mistakes, by not taking responsible risks, by waiting until someone else makes it perfect before can adopt it, we miss an opportunity to benefit from any success of the project now.” We need to bear in mind that although decisions can be hard to make, we can’t get out of them. Not making a decision IS making a decision–and it’s a decision for stagnation and obsolescence. Cheetham & Hoenke further write, “We grow from those mistakes” (Cheetham & Hoenke, 2013). Or, as Big Bird might say “It’s about the little mistakes you make as you begin to grow” (a secret adults ought to know, too!) Stop making mistakes, and you stop growing.
Mistakes can be mopped up and fixed.They can also be learned from. And they can even not be mistakes at all, just a turning path that takes us where we didn’t know we always wanted to go–a path on which the evil spirits cannot make the turns (Stephens, 2014).
“Closer to Fine” is a great musical metaphor for the Internet environment, since the web is not about linear progression or perfect organization, but about unexpected connections, serendipitous paths, all the “crooked lines” we take between one interesting idea and another. While perusing our virtual symposiums, I’ve been struck by all the ways people have connected ideas from the course–mind maps, flow charts, rugged mountain paths, songs and stories. There is no one way to weave the ideas together.
Tallulah Bankhead famously said, “If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” Sometimes the greatest regret we have from a risk is that we didn’t take it sooner, and delayed our opportunity to learn, to grow, and to live fully in accord with our most heartfelt values. So as we move on from this class, I hope we all get out there willing to make those divine mistakes.