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 🙂


Everything Old is New Again

The winter issue of the Community Media Review is about ready to hit the stands.  I know its almost summer.  Perhaps it is the winter issue for the southern hemisphere.  This issue, entitled “Beyond Access,” looks at new forms of community media that are beyond simple access or the technologies of cable.  I wrote a piece about the foundations of community media and links to new technology.  You can check it out here:

And while you’re at it check out the other articles in the publication.

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.