Circles of love, chocolate, gifts and downtime

Today I was sent a link to Connecting Dotz … Linking people with ideas with people with ideas… and their lovely cards of the Osani: Circle of Love Game. Osani Circle. This struck just the right holiday note for me. Sitting in a circle. Feet touching, playing a the Love Game.

As I enjoy some time off with my family in the drippy, cool Northwest of the US, know that you are all in my heart, in corners big and little, in acquaintance deep and light. I wish you a new years full of learning, love and good health. I wish our world peace, wisdom and joy.

I have made donations to the following organizations in your collective names:

And for your stomachs, here is my family’s tradition – Fudge!

Put in large bowl:
(really big, big, big to allow stirring room):

  • 3 packages chocolate chips – 36 oz. total (I recommend Nestles or Guittard — don’t go cheap!)
  • 1 8-oz jar marshmallow cream (if you can only find 7 oz jars, that’s OK)
  • 2 cubes butter (buy a brand name — sometimes the cheap stuff is full of water and it will ruin the fudge — very sad)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Have ready at hand:

  • 2 cups chopped nuts (optional — you can even add coconut!)

Put in large kettle:
(again, I mean big – the mixture boils up to four times it’s original volume as you cook it!)

  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 can evaporated milk (not skim or lowfat!)

Bring the sugar/milk mix to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Cook a full eight minutes (timed once the mixture comes to a boil — critical!!!).

Take off heat and pour over chocolate/butter mixture. Beat with mixer until creamy. Add nuts and spread in a pan to cool. Lick the bowl and beaters before washing! I like to use a cookie sheet with high edges, but the size of pan depends on how thick you like your fudge. Mine is about 13×24. My siblings use smaller pans. My mom uses two Pyrex pans. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Now it is time for some “downtime.” Forgive me if I ignore your emails, twits and posts for a few days. Time for  meals, conversation, books, puzzles, games and just some plain ole NUTHIN!

Happy Holidays


Safety, Inclusion, Contribution, Play and the Culture of Love

Take a minute to read this great post from Bob Sprankle (who says he is an elementarytechnology integrator – wow, that’s a new one on me!) What We All Want. Bob shares the results of his deployment of the Pew internet student survey (the online NetDay Survey by “Speak Up,” a national research project conducted by “Project Tomorrow” ) in his classrooms, and with his family. What’s coming out of the survey? That kids care about safety, inclusion and contribution. Spot on!

For me, this is the same thing I hear people wanting from their work groups and their communities of practice. What the words mean in context varies, but the pattern is consistent. Well, the adults also want some relief of the giant to-do lists and endless expectations their work puts up on them. They want safety in that they want to be able to be heard, to have time for reflection and quality in their work and learning, despite high output expectations. (This is not to be confused with the culture of fear that has taken hold of my country. The word ‘safety” has been pretty warped lately!) They want to be part of something and to be a contributor to that “something.” They want their work to matter.

Bob then goes on to talk about the importance of play in learning. Again, this shows up in the adult world, but we still seem resistant to talking about it using that old “P” word. As if it were wasting time and keeping us from the giant to-do-lists that are eating us alive.

As we roll towards the end of the year, it is useful to remember that learning, knowledge creation and sharing, innovation, yes, even productivity, relate back to these four things: safety, inclusion, contribution and play. Together, these make great descriptors of a culture of love.

I’m not sure I’ll be blogging much over the holidays. I have one post that I’m working on, but just in case, Happy Holidays – may they be filled with safety, inclusion, contribution, play and a whole lot of love.

Hat tip to Stephen Downes for spotting Bob’s post.

Food and Giving… how can you lose?

Chez pim’s second annual Menu for Hope 4 is in it’s last few days – today and tomorrow. For a $10USD donation you get a raffle ticket on one of many droolable foodie prizes. Click on over and help raise money for the World Food Program, all inspired by the lovely food blogging community.

The Panel I Loved at GK3


Flickr Photo Download: Ehomemakers for the full sized image.

Last week at GK3 there were plenty of boring panels. I’m afraid to report the panel I was on on the future of KM was probably one of the boring ones. Panels are not a good use of face to face time, especially when people have flown in from across the world. We should be sitting in circles talking with each other. But there are politics of meetings like GK3.

Some people figure out ways around them. The E-Homemakers group sure did. They organized two sessions in a row and also sold products in the main hall (I bought two baskets and some fabric!). The first was rounds of story telling by women who have developed home based businesses (mostly around craft related products) in rural Africa, India and Malaysia. Each woman told her story three times, all the while a newly minted graphic recorder created an image to capture the story. (We trained together to prepare for this last Monday.) Dimanche, Zarah and Allison were amazing. When I walked in and saw their images, I was filled with joy and a deep affirmation that we all can draw as a way to communicate and connect. It was blissful. I’m sorry I was not able to be present for the first session, but I was graphically recording for the E-Health session.

The second session was actually a panel session – sort of. The moderator first invited everyone to go see the story charts and talk about them to refresh their memory of the stories. People did not want to start talking. I overheard a deep discussion about feminism at one chart that was on fire. Eventually our erstwhile moderator, Chong Sheau Ching, Executive Director, eHomemakers, Malaysia, rounded people back to their seats and asked the project research leads questions about their projects. Then she brought in the audience. I was drawing like crazy trying to capture it all. To top it off, I kept hearing the words “beauty,” “love,” and “listen to the roots.” It was everything I wanted to share in the KM session, but utterly failed to do.

Afterwards people came up to continue talking. We had the storytellers sign the chart and invited the researchers to amend anything they saw. There was lots of conversation and a ton of photos being snapped. People didn’t’ leave. There was a lot of energy in the room, particularly because this was a cavernous room and there weren’t that many people attending the session in the first place (sadly).

The women in that room had a lot of passion and power. Large political meetings aren’t going to change the world. These women are.

Petronas Towers, Mist and KM

Petronas Towers at Night in the Rain

Originally uploaded by Choconancy

I can’t resist sharing this one shot. This mist is lovely.

I am back in my room, preparing for my participation on a panel about the “Future of KM” here at GK3. I have been thinking things like “the culture of love,” Juanita Brown’s “conversation as a radical act,” communities, connection and the challenges of multimembership and simple overwork. In other words, not focusing on the technical. I was revisiting the advice Dave Pollard (via email) and Jack Vinson offered me, and Jack reminded me to visit Dave Snowden’s blog. Lo and behold, I found this….



[we must] rethink the relation between knowledge and emotion and construct conceptual models that demonstrate the mutually constitutive rather than oppositional relation between reason and emotion. Far from precluding the possibility of reliable knowledge, emotion as well as value must be shown as necessary ….

Jaggar 1989:157 “Love and Knowledge in Feminist Epistemology” in Jagger & Bordo Gender/Body/Knowledge quoted in Smith & Jenks Qualitative Complexity


Whoa, there’s that love again. Dave Pollard, in email was right in the same flow:

“My strong recommendation to you is to shake ’em all up by doing what I did in San Jose this month – focus on the holy trinity (which you helped me discover) of love, conversation and community.”

The mist is lifting!