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  • Pamela McLean
    I had an interesting conversation with Andrius on Friday. I had not realised that he would like me to use this group to share more of what I am doing outside
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2006
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      I had an interesting conversation with Andrius on Friday.

      I had not realised that he would like me to use this group to share more
      of what I am doing outside of it, and that it would be helpful for him
      if I do so. I would like to do as he asks, and I can see it would
      benefit me as well, although I find it a little difficult.

      Regarding this group, although Andrius has invited me to lead this group
      I feel that I am, to a certain extent a stranger here. I don't know who
      everyone is, I don't know our shared interests. Until now I had thought
      of it as a discussion group where I should just bring things that I was
      fairly confident would be of interest to everyone who had joined.
      (Something that would get easier as I got to know people and their
      interests better.) It has seemed wrong that I should just hold forth
      about me and my interests - but Andrius has asked me to. He pointed out
      that this group has a part to play in the wider network of his lab, and
      from his point of view the more information that passes through here the
      better.

      In future I will think of this group in a slightly different way - in a
      very unstructured way. In my mind it will be a "a place to tell Andrius
      what I am doing and thinking"; a place where he brings people who he
      recognises have interests related to some of the things we discuss here,
      and a place where I can bring people as well. Obviously, anyone here is
      free to "eavesdrop" on anyone else's conversations, to join in, or to
      start a conversation of their own. I will not be trying to respond to
      everyone's contribution, or to summarise what we are discussing, or to
      define key areas for discussion, I will simply throw in information
      about what I am doing (as well as what I am learning and thinking about)
      - and see what happens.

      Another reason it is difficult to share what I am doing, is that
      everything has a history, and before sharing something I think it is
      helpful and considerate to put it in context - it helps newcomers to
      join in, it minimises wrong assumptions and subsequent confusion, it
      helps people to cross cultural barriers and to be comfortable
      participants in a new situation. But all that kind of introduction
      involves extra work - and I do not have time for that extra work.

      So... I will share stuff here the way that I shared it with Lorraine
      when we started to work together. I simply enabled her to "shadow me"
      for a while, picking up what she could of what was going on by observing
      what I was doing. After a while she know enough to ask questions in
      context, and so we gradually developed a very productive way of
      collaborating.
      (you see - I have not even bothered to explain who Lorraine is. If you
      want to know you must ask - and then maybe I won't have to do the
      explaining anyway- because she could tell you herself - or Janet could))

      I will be sharing here what I am doing, but I will not be sharing
      information that others have shared with me, unless I know that they
      want it shared more widely.

      You are welcome to ask questions - I don't promise that I will always
      reply as quickly or fully as a question deserves, but I will be storing
      questions up in my mind, and what I write will be guided by them.

      Pam
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