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Not back to school insights

As everyone around is starting (or getting ready to start) another school year, we do too, in a sense. Reestablishing household routines after traveling, painting shelves to make a new bookcase and trying to wrap free-range learning into a plan, readable for an outsider (we are going through a quality assessment process with Stichting Keurmerk Thuisonderwijs). All that then we finally got a real summer weather, calling for reading books in a hangmat or watching kids play with sand and water… Anyway, working on the plan brings a few insights to share.

* Converging feels good, especially when all the bits are kind of ripe, but lack of an external audience leaves them fragmented and ephemeral between blogposts, notes and conversations with others. Nice to have a reason to push myself to put things together.

* It also feels good to see the effects of doing PhD, even combined with halting the work shortly after it. It’s not that much about the letters to be added to my name, although those might be handy when dealing with authority-sensitive representatives of the system. It’s not about the expertise that comes from it, although I’m glad I have it and it feels nice to go back to look up the references to theories internalised so much that I tend to forget about them. What I really appreciate now is the experience of knowing that it’s fine to use some crazy combination of methods and to invent something that works in your own case as far as you have arguments that support your choices. And the knowledge that “you are ready when you know that you are ready” and knowing that you are really there when you are able to explain what you are doing and why without getting into attacking or defending.

* And, gosh, it’s scary to see how much the fear of “not complying” sits ingrained inside. How easy it is, just by looking at external requirements, to start bending here and there, starting on a slippery slope of loosing sight of the values that are the most essential. I’m so happy to have three little reminders running around, so I stay on the track 🙂

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