Journal ~ December

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Hook: Victim or Partner? Getting rid of "Hook" was not as easy as I had hoped. While the overt need was to eliminate a copyrighted Disney character, I also had an uneasiness about the concept. I first searched for other "hooks" in Google graphics. All the images I found were harsh, threatening, and unsettling.

That got me to thinking about the underlying message: hooking someone into something has a sneaky, negative connotation. They are victims and not partners. Even the Disney Hook character was a villain. This was not what I wanted to convey nor my vision of the process.

The Shift Process... I began searching for my real message. Talking the ideas through was a helpful exercise. Nikki Fernandez was a great listener in AIM. I also shared with my daughter, who at 32, is leaving a career in administration to go into classroom teaching and will student teach in January. Both were invaluable as sounding boards. However, I still did not have a solution.

Somewhere in these discussions the idea of "spark" flashed out. Interestingly, at about this time I got an email with a link to a visual thesaurus. Working with that, I also came upon catalyst. I also used both an American Heritage paperback dictionary and a 5" thick Webster's dictionary from 1944.

In searching for a spark image with Google, I came across this fractal. I did invert the color. I emailed the owner, Phillipe Wautelet of Belgium, and got permission to use it as long as I linked to his site. The link is on my ARP main page. See below for more on the fractal concept.

The results... conveyed more nearly my vision.
CATALYST: an agent of change; something that initiates or accelerates action or reaction; something that dissolves or loosens.
SPARK: a quality with latent potential; something that ignites...

The catalyst is my role along with our trainer and the student tech advisors ~ all of us mentoring and being mentored. We don't push or pull change but provide the environment for change. One definition of AGENT is an instrument of change. I like that. We are the instrument that the teacher uses and directs as they change. We provide the window and vehicle for their awakening vision.

The idea that the spark represents potential already inherent to the teacher resonates with my concept of man as possessing unlimited capabilities. I like the idea that the driving force and interest come from within the teacher and are not something to be instilled. We are just unlocking hidden treasure or turning the kaleidescope so that other gems sparkle.

The fractal image was an inspired find. I like the idea that as this process of learning develops - sparked by the teacher and facilitated by the catalyst, there is order but you don't really know what it will look like while it is in the process of developing. You often need to either "zoom" out or in to find the pattern and beauty of what is developing. Just as one mathematical formula can create a wide variety of fractals, each instance of the catalyst + spark can result in a unique creative learning experience.

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