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spheres of influence

December 21, 2013


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  • My birthday last week;
  • Daughter One celebrating 22 years this Monday;
  • Here I am at the start of the 2013 long summer holiday break for West Australian teachers;
  • First anniversary of a new context after 10 years in a school I had no plans of leaving.

So much goes on; so much has changed. Heady ether, flux.


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Given the de-privatised nature of what we undertake as networked learners, perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised this morning by a tweet from Eric Saibel which lead me to his Sunshine Award blog post. Delight at the sense of participating in change dynamics via online creation processes soon followed. Wonderful, inspired company to be sharing, especially as these individuals amplify their impact beyond any fixed location/ narrow field of proximal colleagues.

What Eric undertook – and what kickstarted me on this reverie – has an ongoing ripple effect.

So, with gratitude, here’s my casting of nets.

11 Random Facts

photo (7)

Responding to questions:

1. What is the first (or next) book YOU write going to be about?

Fiction, or that amazing hybrid faction, like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, but without the crime or violence. I am a fan of Paul Auster’s Winter Journal. Second person point of view.

About this life.

2. What is one place in particular you hope to visit in your lifetime?  Why?

Paris. You have your passport. And a Pinterest board. Long service leave is confirmed. You will be there in April/ May 2014. Reason? Long-standing plan to walk the Seine/ adventure with your husband. Maybe gather material for that next book.

3. What is one place you REALLY love that you know you’ll return to?

Hobart, Tasmania.

4. What is something NEW you’ll do (in life) in 2014?

Promise to do the dishes without dramatic monologues. Honest. If you want to shed frivolity, see number 2 above.

5. What is one book that has changed you?  Why/how?

One? Really? No! Impossible…[Searches shelves].

OK. Alain de Botton’s The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. Refined my thinking processes. Provoked. Helped me see.

6. What practice/hobby/thing have you set aside that you’ll take up anew in 2014?

Swimming. Laps, that is. 50 metres with plastic floating lane markers. Equipped with goggles and ear plugs. Follow the black line below.

7. What is the best performance you’ve ever seen (any medium/venue/context…)?  Indulge us with a few details.

Laughing Clowns, 1984 on Beaufort Street, Northbridge. Auditory overload. Demon sax. Scathing vocals. Sweaty, visceral, transcendental experience. Left you replete.

8. What type of body of water calls to you the most as a special getaway?  Any one spot in particular?

Southern Ocean. Middleton Beach, Albany, Western Australia. Both daughters born in Albany. Possible backdrop for end-of-the-day ash scattering.

9. You have a free pass to any restaurant in the world: where do you go, what do you order?

Cafe Paradiso, Cork, Ireland.

Starter: parsnip ravioli with ginger brown butter, kale crisps and apple-balsamic syrup. Main: leek & squash gratin with hazelnut & hegaty’s cheddar crust, rosemary citrus cream, braised fennel. Dessert: quince bread & butter pudding, cinnamon cream.

Back to the pool for more laps the next day.

10. What kind of a “maker space” do you have in your house?  What does your dream maker space look like?

Study for reading, blogging, editing, thinking, writing. Kitchen for baking. Garden for design, cultivating/ meditation.

Your dream maker space is here at home. Just need to add a pool.


11. What is the most important attribute to possess as a 21st Century educator/thinker/creator?

Unflinching curiosity.


11 Garlanded Nominees of my own (alphabetical order)

  • Like Eric, I follow [superhero by day – see #SAVMP] George Couros who blogs as The Principal of Change
  • Tony Gurr’s All Things Learning blog and Twitter stream; daredevil Learnacy highwire diatribes
  • Stephen Harris leads the change at SCIL; outlying imagineer blogs, too
  • Headguruteacher; unashamed, passionate, generous, learning/ teacher
  • Bianca ‘Jim’ Hughes is a maestro of PBL; tweep extraordinaire
  • Another fellow Aussie, Anne Knock explores learning, leadership, innovation, change
  • Darcy Moore’s blog is worth a subscription so you don’t miss a heartbeat
  • Alex Quigley’s Hunting English blog; sensible, serious and cooler breath of change from Britain (follow him on Twitter)
  • Louise Robinson-Lay tweets, explores, curates and shares
  • Dan Rockwell writes pithily as Leadership Freak
  • What Ed Said is a blog trove illuminating inquiry learning by Edna Sackson

Flourish of trumpets.

Thanks, Eric!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 22, 2013 5:01 am

    You know Sam, my original question 11 read “What role does curiosity play in 21st Century learning?” or something of that sort. These words of yours, along with our friend David Theriault’s latest vault into orbit (, are two invisible flames burning on tomorrow’s birthday cake. You have unknowingly made it exponentially more special! Cheers, and thank YOU. Eric

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