Still Considering Resistance & Its Connection to Stories

Source: Rule of Thumb – http://

The CICMOOC has moved on to metrics and measuring this week, but I am still considering and thinking on resistance.  My good friends Dan and Karen were kind enough to contribute to an exercise from the MOOC that asked for resistance points to a goal I set up.  The goal I proposed to them was to turn my yet not finished dissertation into a book.  They were incredibly helpful resisters and gave me lots of good reason why I could not do this.  In fact, they pointed out more than one reason I had not considered myself.  (For more detail on the exercise – a fellow MOOCer has posted a slideshare of her experience with the exercise).

The exercise was helpful.  It forced me to dispute their resistance.  I needed to consider their points as valid and come up with solutions and or alternatives that they had not thought about.  This was a pretty  productive.  By trying to dispute my friends’ claims, I became more committed to my own goals.

This thinking coincides with the start of a new Collaborative Exploration entitled Stories to Scaffold Creative Learning offered up by the Critical and Creative Thinking Program at UMass Boston.  The first Google+ Hangout sessions was last night and as I am thinking on themes and threads brought up by the participants, I have come back to the resistance exercise.  Through the lens of the CE I am seeing how the exercise forced me to craft an alternative narrative of possibility and by doing so, helped me see a path for movement forward that was clearer than if I hadn’t considered the obstacles or barriers.

This idea of obstacles, barriers and challenges also came up today in talking about a project at Tisch College (located at Tufts University).  The project is an interactive, multiplayer game called Civic Seed (still in development) which is designed to prepare college students who will be going out into communities to do internships.  I am part of the evaluation team on the project.  The content designer was worried that the game designers had not sequenced the content and thus would create confusion for the players.  In communicating with her and the dean of the college, it seemed to me that often the path to solutions or problems are not neatly sequenced.  We get information at different times.  We encounter road blocks.  We get side tracked.  But at some point, if we are dedicated and have time to reflect and engage with others, we often make sense of all of the bits.

So where does that leave me?  Well thinking about how things like resistance and problems (like a government shutdown) can actually be opportunities for new types of stories.  Tension points for new possibilities and new visions. This has me thinking about terms like disruptions, destruction, counter culture, and so much more.