Monday, 24 January 2011

Thoughts on a workshop

(Nb this was posted at 'another' blog a little over a week ago, but I think it warrants a cross-post)

I spent a large part of today in a popular education workshop organised by So We Stand, a climate justice group with a node in Glasgow. It's a while since I've been involved in anything like that, or even anything activisty - I admit that going to the workshop today was a way of scoping out the local scene to see where I might be able to be involved. But it was interesting and useful in its own right too.

The main session I attended was on techniques for community education, it was very much 'learning through doing' as in we were using the techniques themselves. I was familiar with some elements such as the position game (physically taking a position to answer a question, by standing in a line according to your response - in this instance it was the distance of your birthplace from the venue. One person was born in the hospital up the road! Being born in a Midlandsy town most (lucky, normal...) people couldn't located put me somewhere in the middle) but not so much with some of the other exercises, so that was an interesting insight into how to prepare to organise for action.

The end session was a world cafe-style discussion with democratic selection of topics - everyone wrote some questions and attached them to a wall, and we voted by sticking stickers on them. A topic was assigned to each table, but people had to rotate between forums every ten minutes or so. We had two rotations, both times I was unhappy about having to move on - in addition to being interesting questions and ones which I believe are necessary to deal with when doing activism, they were also relevant to some of the academic work I'm doing at the moment.

On another note, I was very impressed with the Glasgow subway - the 'clockwork orange' as it is apparently known. Less impressed with the fact I ended up on it during chucking-out time at Ibrox, and subsequently getting a crash course on why Celtic are c*nts. It brought me to the conclusion that Rangers were pr*cks, but I kept that to myself. I also refrained from sharing my views on Ipswich Town, which can't necessarily be summed up in terms of basic reproductive anatomy.

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