The Self Experiment: Part 1 – getting ready to depart.
Just who may you be travelling with if you decide to come on this e-learning journey experiment? Well the ‘self’ called Kevin Hewitson can be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites that ask for a profile. You can compare and contrast these if you like or, just like real journeys, find out as you go.
Of course before arriving at the beginning of this particular journey I have completed quite a few already. In some cases it was the destination that was more important, the goal was to get somewhere and be recognised for arriving. I am referring to qualifications of course and these were difficult journeys for me. The problem I faced was I wanted to go off exploring rather than stick to the pre determined path, there would be this conflict between being a good passenger and the explorer who wanted to discover new things and could easily go missing. I think this is an experience many people will have had as they grew up and as they progressed through some form of formal education. The most interesting and memorable journeys have been those in which I have been able to go off exploring, a self discovery opportunity. In such cases the destination has not always been all that clear, a sort of ‘I wonder what is over that hill?’ approach.
So what do I need to pack for this journey? Luckily technology has solved that problem for me, I need pack nothing at all. I have at my disposal a library of books and a world of experts and that is what makes this journey an experiment.
I have a rough idea of where I am going though, a glimpse of something I have noticed on may journeys but not had the time, tools or starting point to pursue. Not up until now of course. I want to explore the concept of ‘self’ but why? Well I can remember getting into trouble as a teenager for using a language and attitude I normally reserved for school at home. My father was none too please and reminded me who I was and where I was. When I went off to University and left the small town of Hartlepool I met another group of people and on returning home was once again reminded who I was and where I was but this time by my friends. Looking back I was three people, I had at least three identities or ‘selves’ which were distinct enough to be recognised by others. Switching between these became a natural process, I worked out where I was, who I was with and adopted a set of behaviours that they recognised and in part which they had helped me form. Doing so allowed me to fit in, to be accepted and not viewed with suspicion. When I started to teach I found another identity, another self which allowed me to be ‘Mr Hewitson’ and adopting the ‘Mr’ and expecting to be referred to as ‘Sir’ was all part of it. Getting married and becoming a father made me realise how many of my own fathers behaviours and views I held as my own when in this new role.
As a teacher I have always been amazed that a student can be an absolute angel in one class and a nuisance in another. What was making them behave in such different ways? Was it down to different ‘selves’ or is there just one self with multiple faces which are chosen according to some circumstance? I have reflected on my own experiences growing up and although I never really adopted true antisocial behaviours or got into a lot of trouble there was certainly a better behaved self and a self likely to get into trouble if caught!
To begin then. Whilst I am waiting for my first lift I have settled down with ‘The Self Illusion’ by Bruce Hood. It looks as though I am going to have to explore the organ we all refer to as ‘the brain’!
See you on the 18th.