Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Passion brought us here

by • August 10th, 2011

Bill Hooke flips the frame from defeat to opportunity

Weather and the challenges of forecasting are perfect metaphors for the development of the WAS*IS movement, especially if you take into account all of its participants and nested timescales.

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Stormchasing (Hanging with Kindred Spirits)

by • August 7th, 2011

Dan and Todd at the Weather Forecast Office, David Skaggs Research Center (NOAA), Boulder CO

How is the public to be engaged in the co-communicative process of understanding the significance of weather measurements? Comprehension is mutually created – whether this is between individuals, among people with different demographic characteristics, or within hierarchical structures of policy construction, implementation, and enforcement.

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Developing Leaders: Dynamics and Dilemmas

by • August 6th, 2011

Springfield youth were asked to come up with ONE WORD to describe everyone in their randomly assigned group.

A Taste of College:
Youth Leadership Development Retreat
Amherst MA
Whenever I work in teams, I always mention the significance of following. It is rare, however, to be able to carry that conversation forward. I hope this time is different. Following is something all good leaders do: they understand when to follow someone else’s idea […]

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Why Millennials Need DayGlow

by • May 19th, 2011

Facebook commentary after viewing the video

In “DayGlow Makes Us Normal,” students blend a sharp knowledge of context with an unapologetic stance in support of ‘the blue pill’ – meaning an uncritical embrace of technology, particularly in terms of how it can be used to serve the needs of the self. These young people show us that they are doing their best to deal with everything; however surviving means sometimes choosing not to know in order to have the ‘escape’ that recharges them to be able to carry on….The other video is less ambiguous, showing more of the Red Pill approach through some critical juxtapositions that seem to ask “Do We Have to Be This Way?”

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Catalyzing Movement

by • May 3rd, 2011

The fourth piece, Lateralization by Cassandra Jackman…signaled a dramatic shift in the storyline of the show. Prior to this piece I had not yet noticed individual details of any of the dancers; it was as if I’d seen with soft eyes, taking in only the gestalt. Suddenly, a focal point emerged, casting the previous pieces into the realm of context. I began to marvel at how these young people had orchestrated their discrete works of art into a collective statement about empowerment, including even race relations and suggesting optimism for social change.

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reading the demon: simultaneous interpretation and the in-between

by • April 28th, 2010


Voices from the In-Between: Aporias, Reverberations, and Audiences
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
University of Massachusetts Amherst

“When I saw you with the laptop,” Cecilia said to me, “I thought you must be really far behind on your presentation.”  More or less! I was in my “live” discourse and dynamics mode, self-interestedly collecting connections with other presenters (or at least with their topics). I wanted to show as well as tell about my findings and speculations based on the research I’ve done concerning language, meaning, and simultaneous interpretation.  The conference would have gone by in a blur for me, otherwise. As it was, I had a handful of heartfelt conversations with fascinating human beings, beginning at the banquet, smuggled into the quiet of rehearsal/prep space in presentation rooms, and during breaks over the abundance of food.

Warning! Relationship implied!

Huda did not believe that I really wanted to quote her presentation. “You really are dangerous!” exclaimed Nimmi, before vanishing back to Texas. Jiwei questioned the possibility of as fluid an identity as I propose – that I am ‘called into being’ by the interactions I have with others, especially those that are overtly communicative. (I’m not

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Make NERDAs the linguistic minority (proposal)

by • August 14th, 2009

the future

Building on the potential for a paradigm shift is matter of recognition, marketing, and design. These processes can proactively influence each other, interacting and changing through the development of a project. All are contained within the conception and application of strategic planning.
Strategy has to involve conceptualizing the outcome in two different yet complementary ways. First, you must imagine what you want in terms of place. In the case of the next national conference of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID, US-based), the physical location will be some hotel in Atlanta, GA, but the more important issue is how the space of the place will be designed and implemented in order to generate the desired kinds of intercultural interaction. The second dimension that must be considered is time. By time, I do not mean the logistics of scheduling or considerations about the length of the event or even its parts. These are obviously important logistical factors that require detailed attention. However, the most important temporal factor to consider is how the conference contributes to long-term patterning of habits and attitudes for engaging in intercultural social interaction.

Not Even Related to a Deaf Adult: Buffered by Monolingualism
That would be me,

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ghosh on closure

by • July 1st, 2009

Sea of Poppies
Amitav Ghosh (2009: 391)

“It was not because of Ah Fatt’s fluency that Neel’s vision of Canton became so vivid as to make it real: in fact, the opposite was true, for the genius of Ah Fatt’s descriptions lay in their elisions, so that to listen to him was a venture of collaboration, in which the things spoken of came gradually to be transformed into artefacts of a shared imagining.”

Index: references to Ghosh in Reflexivity

talking turkey, making tools (US Thanksgiving with Fulbrighters and other Americans in Brussels, 2008, includes a quote from an essay by Ghosh on the perils of comparing the November terrorist attack in Mumbai to 9/11 in the US)
Comps (Question #4: “dissertation area”) (already two summers ago!)
The Hungry Tide (a beautiful and inspiring novel)
Ghosh on Interpreting (quotations from The Hungry Tide)
What Saar would teach (a quote from Ghosh that illustrates, by metaphor, the kind of discourse diagnostics that motivates my being)

Originally posted June 13, 2005

“I would produce my secret treasure, a present sent to me by a former student – a map of the sea-floor, made by geologists. In the reversed relief of this map [the students] would see with their own eyes that

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What are we trying to close?

by • June 3rd, 2009

Aptitude for Interpreting

“That’s a cheap shot!” The ethical and fine Prince of Significant Findings, was not completely flattered that I followed his choice of beer. He continued, “Follow my paradigm!” Oy, I thought to myself, wincing just a bit even though I knew full well that he was teasing, we’re in it now. Not long before I had told Brooke that I’m anti-cognition. She almost blinked. Almost. 😉 I was not scoring points for subtlety! Then there was Claudia (?), who laughed at me so hard she had tears in her eyes. At least I am able to be a source of amusement (although perhaps only to the sleep-deprived?)
I do respect history, but sometimes “my” history (the history I know combined with my own biography) overwhelms the awareness that other people’s history (what they know and have lived) may be premised upon other foundations. This skews the processing in my prefrontal cortex. (That’s the part that makes us really different from animals – its where we can forecast the ways things may play out in the future, i.e., “an experience simulator.”) Yet, it is always so, yes? You see parts of me that I

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Yes, but can you interpret?

by • May 29th, 2009

Conference: Aptitude for Interpreting

Imagine my surprise upon entering the lobby at Lessius University and witnessing a conversation in American Sign Language! My brain has been so otherwise-occupied that it never once crossed my mind that

a) anyone other than European spoken language trainers/researchers would attend or that

b) I might actually know people!

It was absolutely delightful to re-encounter respected colleagues, meet some of the luminaries whose work is required reading, and make new friends (although one always wonders whether they’ll claim me, and/or for how long!) 😉

We started quite seriously, with the keynoter, Mariachiara, setting the context with a superb history of the tension between innate talent and built skill. Are interpreters born or made? Perhaps it is a both/and kind of question, with challenges of re-molding/re-training those with “the aptitude to perform” and fresh cultivation of those with “the aptitude to learn.”

At the end of the day, Miriam reflected that we (interpreter researchers) have learned that we’re asking the right questions, but we don’t seem any closer to clear answers! One needs only hark back to the presentations of Her Majesty of No Results and the Princess of No Significance to find evidence supporting Miriam’s perception. Are we

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