Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mind the intention gap

I'm off on my travels. I always intend to keep this blog up while also posting to my travel blog. But I haven't posted in weeks.  And I've posted precious little on my travel blog either.

I'm in London just now, and the Underground announcements still ask commuters to 'mind the gap'. I need to mind the gap between intention and execution. Stephanie Dowrick points out that we tend to judge ourselves on our intentions, and others on their behaviour.

I intend to do better with keeping up this blog. I'm travelling for several weeks yet so it might be a long wait if I don't. At least the travel is prompting many future subjects for opinionated-ness.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The satisfaction of learning a new skill

Today I learned how to do short row shaping in knitting. It's a technique that is easy to do, and hard to explain. I've tried several times in the past. so it's quite exciting - and satisfying - to acquire this skill.

Or any new skill.

When was the last time you learned something new that you weren't forced to learn e.g. for work or legal requirement?

What could you learn tomorrow?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Not from around here

Being a foreigner offers a glimpse of what life is like for anyone who has a brain injury, intellectual disability or lacks skills in human interaction.

Even simple exchanges of information can be fraught with uncertainty and misunderstanding. While I haven't changed, a different language, or different accent, or a different set of assumptions means I'm often not sure of exactly what is going on at any given moment. After some time for reflection, I might realise What Went Wrong, but not in the moment: too much is happening.

Perhaps the most useful insight being a foreignor offers is how depressing it is to see impatience or scorn (even if veiled) in the eyes of your interloculator. You understand that you're being given up on, and relegated to a lower order of humanity - that of too-stupid-to-be-bothered-with. You want to say: "I see that I'm missing something, or got off-track somewhere. Can we just run through it again, more slowly?"

Imagine how it would affect you if life was usually (or always) like that. If there was always some elusive something that you couldn't grasp.