Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

math

by • June 18th, 2006

is starting to make sense. I mean, as a language of space and spatial relationships. Who knows if I’ll ever actually remember all the rules and how to do various kinds of problems (!), but the logic is finally getting through my thick, thick skull. It may be because I’ve developed enough depth in the visual/kinesthetic/spatial mode of ASL now for that to provide a cognitive bridge? Or it could be simple repetition. (I won’t confess how many times I’ve taken and/or interpreted algebra, geometry, and other advanced math classes. No, no, I won’t!
In Wanda’s, mine, the deaf student and non-deaf teacher’s on-going discussions about meaningfulness and sign choices, we landed upon the same sign (use of the “B” classifier, moved conceptually in space) for symmetry and reflection. The English definitions use the terms to define each other! I distinguished symmetry as a characteristic of shape (the teacher agreed it’s static, not moving) and reflection as an action (the teacher embellished this a more but in general agreed).
In terms of interaction, the deaf student has – on a few occasions – asked us not to sign something as she wants to have a

Read More

Leave a Comment

powers of ten

by • March 26th, 2006

Here’s another item I’m sure I’ve posted before but obviously didn’t catalog or code correctly for later retrieval. At any rate, I saw this short video on the powers of ten when I interpreted a science class some years back for upper elementary school students (possibly fifth-graders). I find it a useful metaphor for this notion of social metonymy that I keep trying to articulate as a means of linking the microsocial with the macrosocial and vice-versa.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail

by • December 16th, 2005

This ethnography, subtitled Geographies of Race in Black Liverpool, is amazing. In addition to superb analysis that grounds complicated theory with real day-to-day living, there are bits that might relate to my study on interpreters in the European Parliament. An obvious connection is with RP, Received Pronounciation, also known as posh (p. 14).
The author, Jacqueline Nassy Brown (who will give a talk at UMass in Feb), is interviewed (briefly) on the BBC radio program Thinking Allowed (interview starts about 8 1/2 minutes in). In the book, she provides a two-page summary of phenomenology that’s quite useful (p. 9-10). Interestingly, she distances herself from it as representative of her own epistemology, stating “my point is not to endorse … but to lay the groundwork for one of the arguments that follows…” (p. 11).
Her argument is fascinating, involving the ways “people make sense of place-as-matter, a practice that includes reading landscapes and acting on the view that place acts, that it shapes human consciousness” (p. 11).
Broadly, Brown’s argument is situated to engage the question of “how we might theorize the local in view of increased scholarly attention to transnational processes of racial formation” (p. 5).

Read More

Leave a Comment

“to be sure” (!)

by • November 22nd, 2005

we’re having a good time in Briankle’s class, discussing Walter Benjamin, The Task of the Translator and On Language As Such. Thinking together, as it were. 🙂
To be sure, we’re not the only ones. Others have been thinking too. I disagree with Sarah Dudek‘s assertion that “Benjamin’s thoughts cannot be understood without having a closer look at his concept of language”. I thought we did a good job of imagining such a separation – or was that just me in my own head? I realize as I’m invoking the royal we (!) that of course you were thinking differently than me, but I’m using the “we” in the sense of the shared discourse – what was said out loud among us during class. 🙂
The rest of Dudek’s thought: ” -‘pure language’ seems a rather vague term. [Benjamin’s] whole project is so remarkable because it has an all-embracing notion of language as its basis: the world is made of language and the final aim is to understand this “textus” of the world, to achieve harmony between the inadequate human languages and the language of God.”
David was right on top of the mysticism, eh?

Read More

Leave a Comment

“non-monologic unity”

by • October 28th, 2005

This would be Mikhail Bakhtin, and somehow I’m going to make it clear that interpreters make this happen. Google could only find one reference to this idea, in a paper on the possibilities/problems of cybercommunity/ies, Digital Waco.
Here’s what Morson & Emerson say in their intellectual biography, Creation of a Prosaics:

Read More

Leave a Comment

abduction (more on method)

by • September 18th, 2005

Because part of my funding for the EuroParl interpreter research came from anthropology, there’s been a big push to do ethnography. I’ve really only collected discourse at this stage, which I will look at through a critical discourse lens because I’m interested in language hierarchies and linguistic inequality. There is plenty of evidence of these things in EuroParl interpreters’ talk about their work and working conditions. Rather than deduction (coming up with an hypothesis based on theory) or induction (making what I find fit some theory), abduction is about invention. It requires applying imagination to generate theory, to come up with categories based on the combination of characteristics discovered (the expected and the unexpected). My next task is to distinguish between what Agar calls rich points (the surprises) and those things that meshed with my expectations.

Read More

Leave a Comment

degrees of realism and consistency

by • July 21st, 2005

I’m more than halfway through Goffman’s Frame Analysis, subtitled “An Essay on the Organization of Experience” (described by Brian as “not an essay, that’s a f*cking tome!”). Robin’s recommendation was right on target. (As was the other text by Deborah Tannen, Framing in Discourse.)
Goffman uses the obvious changes in stage props over time as evidence to “alert us to the expectation that framing does not so much introduce restrictions on what can be meaningful as it … open[s] up variability” (emphasis added, 238). Here I am chafing against the limits when the natural capacity to adjust to all manner of framings and transformations indicates possibility! “Differently put, persons seem to have a very fundamental capacity to accept changes in organizational premises which, once made, render a whole strip of activity different from what it is modeled on and yet somehow meaningful . . .” (238). To wit, teaching “experientially” instead of traditionally, and the capacity of Jeff at UNH to apply communication theory in practice vs the inability of others to recognize the possibility of recasting teaching in an as yet meaningful way. Others (going unnamed to protect the innocent and the guilty) mistrust:

Read More

Leave a Comment

coincidence?!!!

by • June 9th, 2005

OHMYGOSH Jan Blommaert is only a short train ride away at Ghent University!

Read More

Leave a Comment

“How do you move your thinking?”

by • June 4th, 2005

I told my host family last night that I’d been able to move my thinking forward in terms of the kinds of questions to ask interpreters going into the week in Strasbourg. Helena asked how. It’s actually still a bit vague in my own mind, so perhaps I can write out loud and gain clarity. I’ll use Van Manen as my reference point, because the notion of phenomenology – interpreter’s consciousness and their awareness of self/other consciousness – is a move that the discourse enables. (This reflective writing doubles as a note-taking exercise clarifying my phenomenological research methodology.)

Read More

Leave a Comment

More on methodology and theory

by • May 31st, 2005

I

Read More

6 Comments