Can’t Go Back

This One Post a Day thing has been leading me down a path of near insanity this month. I can’t tell you if it was sitting and talking with Jim Groom at ELI or the “no we can’t attitude” I heard from so many people in higher education. I can’t tell you if it has been the fact that I’m taking a course this semester or if its because I am watching my daughter go through the first grade. I can’t tell you if its the way the Nation itself is completely jacked up or if its been the countless raging discussions I’ve been having every day lately. I think if I really reflect on it all perhaps it is the confluence of all these factors that have lead me to feeling the way I do. All I know is that I can’t go back to how I was feeling in January. How do I feel? Sort of pissed off.

I hope this is not the new me. I am hopeful. Just writing that makes me feel a little better. I am hopeful that I will find a way to put a lot of how I am feeling into positive and proactive energy. That the anger and angst I am struggling with will give way to intense focus, energy, and passion to do something about all the things that have me going down this path.

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is time. Time in a sense that it only moves in one direction. There is no sense wasting a minute of the future trying to go back … just isn’t going to happen. So with that said, with two days left in this blogging challenge, I am going to ty and come to grips with where I am headed. Thanks to everyone for helping me get to this point — I’ve needed a respite from the candyland of education and I’ve certainly needed to explore it in a place where others can chime in. I know one thing for certain, I don’t think I can go back to writing about stuff that doesn’t really matter.

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down, you can’t let go and you can’t hold on, you can’t go back and you can’t stand still, if the thunder don’t get ya then the lightning will. — Jerry Garcia, The Wheel

About Open

Lots of chatter across the edu-blogger web the last week or so about the notion of open — what does it mean, why bother to discuss it, and why should we care. The idea that we (as Institutions) would take the time to debate the value or the process by which we arrive at the notion of openness is complex to say the least. If we value the ideals of the Land Grant Institution (or education in general), then why argue when we can just be open? These are questions we deal with when we talk about the notion of open and they are difficult at best to answer. Tonight I think I found an example that may make sense of some of the conversation.

Most of you already realize Google is hosting images from the Life archive. They are brilliant and it speaks to the amazing power of not only Google, but the Internet in general. I spent only a few minutes today using the special, “source:life” search addition and the results were at once moving and inspirational. The power to see and access such historically significant works of art is nothing short of stunning. I was, for some reason, compelled to look at old Life photos of JFK … I think it is because I watched an excellent, American Experience episode on PBS last night about the his assassination. The image that struck me can be found here.

Did you look at the link? Did you notice something about the way that I referneced that beautiful and powerful image? I linked to it. I didn’t embed it. I linked to it. Maybe I am missing something with the Google/Time archive, but I didn’t see anything that asked me to use that photo in my context. I like that the images are accessible but to me, this is an example of what closed now means.

Now, when I do the same thing at Flickr in relation to Barack Obama’s campaign photos something very different emerges. You’ll notice something significant — You can see the image below in my context. Powerful imagery with unreal historical significance, within my space telling my story. Where do you see it? Right here from Barack Obama’s Flickr page, shared via a Creative Commons license. That to me is openness. Any thoughts?