Stories of Resistance: A Pathway to Change?

resistanceI am about ready to start another Collaborative Exploration (CE) cycle as this week’s Creativity, Innovation and Change MOOCs (CICMOOC) considers “resistance.”   The October CE will focus on stories and story-telling as mechanisms to scaffold creative learning. The interesting thing about the CICMOOC’s call to “listen to the resistance” is this compliments the practice of extending and developing thinking in the CE.  This is a process by which others respond to your thinking and ideas with suggestions you may not have considered.

Stories and story-telling are one possible way in which thinking may be challenged. I know I have looked to stories — in the form of books, movies, the experiences of others — to help me resolve tensions and conflict.  But I wonder if stories of resistance, tension, and conflict can in themselves be productive forces?  Just as we need our supportive community to empathize and listen, we also need challenge, pushing and resisted to grow.  I know this to be true from my own research in youth development settings.

As I ask a couple of friends to resist me in one of my goals, by rafting their negative narratives, I am interested to see if my attempt to dispute and craft an alternative narrative will allow me to create a more solid belief in my own ability to succeed.  I guess I will see 🙂


Posting on MediaMix

I’m starting a PhD program in public policy at UMass Boston in a couple of weeks. As such I’ve started to track interesting research and ideas related to community media, collaborative production. etc on the MediaMix blog section of this site. —

The main part of this site will be reserved for interesting tidbits, personal life, pop culture, etc.

5 Laptops, $5K and a Whole Lot of Learning

119 Gallery is a cool contemporary art space in Lowell, MA They engage young, old, new and established artists in a range of video, sound, and interactive art forms. The organization will be kicking off a fundraiser for its educational program with a jazz brunch on April 1st. We are trying to raise $5,000 in order to purchase 5 laptops for a variety of workshops both onsite at the 119 Gallery and with our educational partners.

Take a moment to check them out at and if you like what you see, either join us at our brunch on April 1st and / or contribute to our goals via Chipin – .

The Imp Trail

Last weekend (beginnig of October) I spend my entire Saturday, pulling my out of shape body up the moderate Imp Trail in the White Mountains. An old friend Bill was visiting an old friend of his, Scott, and they invited me to join them.

Here’s a pic (taken by Bill) of me and Scott on the trail. Have to say I almost gave up not even 1/2 way up the trail. But I stuck with it and both Bill and Scott were patience with me. They are in far better shape than myself. I was psyched to have completed the trail.

And here we are up at the top. I really need to get myself more fit. Overall it was a really great day.  The weather was fantastic and the trail not too crowded.  I guess I need to find myself a club to hike with.

Chuck E. Cheese

Last week I attended the birthday party of 5-year old fraternal twins Sofia and Samira. The event took place at the Chuck E. Cheese’s in Burlington, MA. I have never been to a Chuck E. Cheese and it was a bit of a surreal, banal and slighly sad experience. A sort of second cousin to Disney mixed in with a kiddie Vegas sort of amusement part feel. The kids seemed to enjoy it though.

Dear Landlord

Here’s the piece that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I submitted the piece for a local writing contest for Renovation Journal .There will be a fundraiser on May 20th to celebrate the 2nd year of Renovation Journal and I’ll read at that. The event will take place at the Revolving Museum.

Any how, here’s the piece I wrote:

December 3, 2003

Dear Landlord:

I hate to be such a pain, but could you kindly look into the small electrical problem in our kitchen. It seems that last night the outlet we had the toaster oven plugged into started to get quite hot and glow red. The result was a small fire that seems to have created some slight damage to the space. The firemen were quite positive in their attitude that we were all very lucky to have survived the incident. If you could look at it, we’d appreciate it since the hole in the side of the house is creating quite a draft and the snow continues to pile up on the floor.

I know this comes right on the heels of our problem with the upstairs bathroom. You’ll be pleased to know that the fire has taken care of the collapsed pantry that resulted from the bathtub dropping onto it.

We appreciate greatly your attempts to solve many of these problems yourself and understand that you are a busy man. While I know it may cause considerable expense, do you think you could hire someone to come quickly and resolve this current round of headaches? I ask since it has been about four months since the hole going from our apartment to the unit downstairs is still waiting for you to free up some time. I fear with this and the other problems, you may not be able to fit us into your workload.

I thank you for your time and attention to our concerns.


Belinda Pelton
533 Warren Street – Apt. 4
Lowell, MA 01852

p.s. We have finally rid ourselves of the mouse colony that was camped out in the rear bedroom. Your advice to have your nephew, Nate, come with his pit bull was a brilliant solution.

The petty voice inside our heads

What is it about human nature that prompts us to want to dismantle, pick apart, and destroy.  To get preverse joy in tearing down other people. What is it that when dismissed or discounted, forces us to increase our destructive drive.  This small petty voice of a child that surfaces again and again leading to dismissal, anger, hate, intolerance and war.  If only we could quiet it and work from a stance of love rather than hurt.

My Life – brought to you by American Exrpress

American ExpressOK, so American Express has this new print campaign that has famous folks answering a number of questions. I thought I’d go ahead and fill in the blanks for myself.

My name: Felicia Mary Sullivan

childhood ambition: to be the first female president of the United States

fondest memory: summer, the lake, a raft, and a half dozen friends – I was a teen

soundtrack: a neverending stream of bad television

retreat: a small lake in the Adiroindacks

wildest dream: to travel to outer space

proudest moment: the purchase of my first condo

biggest challenge: to ignore that little voice in my head with all the negative thoughts

alarm clock: the sun

perfect day: no work, blue sky, warm breeze, mountain lake, a good book, classic rock and chatter of family in the background

first job: washing dishes at the local family-style restaurant

indulgence: hot fudget sundaes or skipping work to sit in a dark movie theater watching a film with popcorn

last purchase: 6 Molkeskin notebooks

favorite movie: at the moment, Donnie Darko

inspiration: other people (alive or dead)

my life: definitely a work in progress

my card: I should insert American Express here, but I don’t have an AMEX card so it will have to be Mastercard.

Bragging a bit

Just got happy news today. I am the winner of Renovation Journal’s 2nd Annual “Vinyl Siding Award” for my submission to the “Write a Letter to Your Landlord” contest.

OK so this is no where close to the fame my name-twin, Felicia C. Sullivan , a noted writer in NYC, has. Renovation Journal is local and I’m sure there were only about a dozen folks who submitted. But hey, I get to put it on my resume and I get $100. Not bad for something that took about 15 minutes to write.

I think the letter will be published in the Spring 2006 issue of Renovation Journal and there will be a party on May 20th @ the Revolving Museum here in Lowell.