i have an innie

ihaveaninnieSome people have a strong sense of outer direction. Finding things like work in the world is easy for an outie. Outies know where to go, and they how to get there. They don’t get lost. All they have to to is look at whatever else is going on outside, and they know what to do.

I have an innie. I know because I can feel it. It’s inside, right there in the middle of my tummy. If I slow down and listen, my innie will give me the direction I need. And I need direction often.

If I try to be like an outie, my innie gets all confused. I get confused. I try to catch up with other people outside, and I just end up more lost than when I started.

I am slowly learning to trust my inner sense of direction. My innie will let me know which turn to take, how to get unstuck, who to trust, when I’m doing good work, when to stop.  And right now my innie is telling me that it’s getting stronger all the time.

Trade School!

I was in Slow Learning heaven last night!IMG_2344

A room full of eager learners and I gathered at the Centre for Social Innovation to share what we know about “Visual Learning.”  I created the class (learn to doodle; doodle to learn) in response to Lauren Stein’s invitation to teach as a part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

Trade School Toronto is an alternative learning project that runs on a barter system. Pay for a class with a barter item (like food, supplies or help) that your teacher requests!


Request I did! In return for sharing what I know about doodling, I received a wealth in return: candy, handmade items (a notebook, body butter, a clutch purse), yummy baked goods, offers for proofreading, a song to be sung just for me, and a bunch of silly jokes I can tell again and again.

IMG_2343Trade School and Slow Learning then share much in common.  Both

  • engage learners in their passions and interests
  • indulge the pleasures of learning (we had fun!)
  • cross genres, disciplines, practices
  • are grounded in the interests of the learner
  • promote inquiry and dialogue
  • allow for authentic learning (not for the certificate or credits)
  • encourage learning for learning’s sake
  • support, and are supported by learning in community

Learn more about Trade School here.
“TSTO aims to spur barter economy” – Huffington Post
“Trade School Toronto launches this week” – Torontoist
“The Art of Barter” – CBC Radio
“The Money Rookie” – The Grid Toronto

And if you want to know more about Visual Learning you can find my Resource List here at Playthink.com.


Slow Learner’s Bill of Rights

A work in progress
version 27.1.12

You have the right
1. To learn about yourself
2. To learn as slow and as fast as you choose (choose/need/want)
3. To rearrange your room (house, garage, life) to make room for your learning
4. To claim space, time, and money for your own learning
5. To learn from people who fascinate you
6. To learn beyond school (at school, outside of school, from school, in spite of school)
7. To ask for and to receive help
8. To learn in quiet with serious intent and without interruption
9. To learn in noise and mess with playful possibility
10. To make a mess and not have to clean up right away
11. To learn what is valuable and to value your own learning
12. To choose your own team of support: teachers, coaches, mentors, advisors
13. To work with people who find you and your visions fascinating
14. To work with people who are fascinated by your brilliant visions and will hold you accountable to live and learn into your greatness
15. To be witnessed
16. To focus
17. To make a difference
18. To make media (make movies, write books, create video games, make art…)
19. To invent new media
20. To study with those you admire
21. To experiment
22. To test limits
23. To contribute to the learning of others
24. To change the world
25. To create your own curriculum and to stick with it
26. To change your mind when it doesn’t work and start again
27. To study in community both near and distant, familiar and exotic
28. To savor the erotic nature of learning
29. To learn from mistakes (to make mistakes in the first place)
30. To join the community of practice of your choice
31. To join the professional network of your choice as a contributor
32. To make learning a priority
33. To pay your dues (do what it takes)
34. To incubate and hibernate
35. To be in action and produce measurable/ concrete results
36. To learn how to discern between the time for #34 and #35
37. To work with people who have some distance and perspective and can help you with #36
38. To dabble (experiment, explore, dream, try it on, try it out)
39. To dive in deep
40. To cross disciplines, modalities, genres, to cross-pollinate
41. To learn what no one can teach
42. To learn so that you might teach others to learn
43. To learn new ways of learning that work for you
44. To practice—to put into practice
45. To pass the torch
46. To be nourished (physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially…)
47. To nourish others
48. To honor yourself as a whole person (you are greater than your goals or anything you do)
49. To honor the yourself as a part of something larger than the parts of your communities (we are greater than the sum of our parts)
50. To set priorities
51. To take care of your needs as a learner
52. To receive feedback both critical and supportive