[UPDATE WINTER 2012: For my most current thinking on language acquisition and fluency, please see the free eBook athttp://leanpub.com/gettingstartedlanghunt and explore the website athttp://languagehunters.org. My language work has changed significantly - I've moved on from my former partnership at WAYK and am opening up thrilling new frontiers in this work!]
In this episode of the College of Mythic Cartography podcast, I talk about my recent obsession with the “Where Are Your Keys?” fluency game, and mentoring language, and also with my ongoing success in revitalizing my vision.
Thanks again to everyone who refilled the podcast fund; I hope my thoughts and experiences continue to help other folks with cultural renewal and rewilding.
In this seemingly tangential podcast, I further explain the use of the sensory tune-up game, and talk about how every game we play has both diagnostic and therapeutic properties. I speak a little bit of the history of Vision Therapy, the improvement of eyesight without corrective lenses, tell my own story of recent radical vision improvement, and offer up a method for those living in a similar context as myself; i.e. improving their health, changing their lifestyle, gaining self-clarity.
Of course all this relates to Evan Gardner’s “learning how to learn game” methodology in a wonderful way. I hope you’ll listen on in; whether you have 20/20 vision, or very blurry vision, you can still learn to continuously improve the clarity of your vision so that one day they may call you “hawkeye”!
Evan Gardner and I will do another interview soon, but in the meanwhile I wanted to underscore and flesh out some of the really startling insights that Evan threw out there. I’ve put his perspective together with mine, and felt the earth quake. What did Evan say that has caused me to completely rethink teaching and learning? Listen in and you’ll find out.
I promised this podcast to some very supportive folks, so I will post it. But just give me a second here.
Evan Gardner addresses some pretty big stuff in this interview. Big stuff. “Where Are Your Keys?” covers far more than you think. You’ll need to really listen closely, and perhaps multiple times, to catch it all (and we haven’t even made Part Two yet!). When he talks about the emerging role of the Language Savior in revivifying indigenous languages, or the Twenty Language Child, or the emerging cultures of WAYK-style teachers, really think about what this means. As a mentor and self-identified “coyote teacher” myself, this has got me looking at and reexamining everything in my toolkit, and seeing a whole ‘nother side of the rewilding renaissance; a rebirth and revisioning of coyote mentoring culture itself.
I think I have a new motto. “WAYK UP AND LEARN, REWILDERS!”. Enough of schooling; let’s truly take back our own ability to learn anything in the world, as easily and quickly as playing a game!
The original podcast description, for new folks:
“Where are Your Keys?”
Evan Gardner, who rewilds in Molalla, OR, has made a breakthrough. But does anyone even feel ready for it? Over a period of years, he pieced together all the most effective language-learning techniques into one, seamless whole; a game called “Where are Your Keys”.
Everyone knows about the epidemic of endangered indigenous languages, all over the world, and yet linguists and teachers continue to use old, academic and schooling methods, that for those many of us who studied foreign languages in school and college, we know they don’t work. We never achieved fluency, and we struggled to learn them. For those that did gain some mastery of their chosen language, they did it by actually traveling to its home and immersing themselves in the culture.
But how do we do that for languages on the edge of extinction, with one 90 year-old fluent speaker left? How do we create the experience of immersion, as best we can?
Evan has the answer. So far, he has struggled with getting the message out there. Since “Where are Your Keys?”, by its very nature, creates not students, but Teachers, he knows in only a matter of time the game will spread like wildfire, as Teachers make more Teachers. But will it happen in time to save the endangered native languages where you live?
What does it mean to “hold space” for emerging social technologies, like Non-violent communication, Consensus decision making, Agile Teamwork, and Open Space Technology gatherings? What skills do we need to do so? What happens if we don’t choose to hold intention and attention around the social spaces that we create?
I interview Diana Larsen, of FutureWorks Consulting, a world-class facilitator in teamwork and social technologies (and coincidentally, my mother). Together we explore the world of “holding space”.
I’ve just blogged on this, but I felt the need to expand further on what it means to attain fluency in our birthright, The Original Language, and also talk about the consequences of such fluency. Dream, Story, Myth, Riddles, Land, Ecology, Animism and Language all come together to mean the exact same thing in the Original Language. I spend an hour suggesting how we can wrap our minds, muddled by modern myths, around this ever present reality.
The word ‘Time’ doesn’t describe a dimension of reality, it describes an experience of reality. The Time of waiting in line at the movie theater, differs from the Time of watching fireworks, or sparring in martial-arts, or experiencing a perfect night sky. By acknowledging, rather than discarding, the profound impact of our subjective experience of the daily world, we can empower ourselves to experience it more fully, more attentively, more satisfyingly. A dance, a deep conversation, an intimate relationship, and a profound adventure – all these belong to the space of the Dreamtime, the Heroic Present. Play with moving in rhythm with the pulse of eternity, and see what happens – you yourself must choose what to make of it.
The Terrible Truth About Truth, Dr. Terry Halwes (a wonderful article that further explores the futility of looking for “truth” or “facts” of the natural world)
According to Benjamin Lee Whorf, the Hopi speak and think in terms of a world of events (or more precisely, “eventing”), as opposed to our world of “objects” and formless commodified substances (what form does “meat” have? “Wool”? “Sugar”?). How does my Indo-European linguistic and intellectual heritage obscure my perception of a dynamic, occurring world? How can we use new realizations in this area to free us and enable more fully lived lives? Listen to me as I struggle with barely-understood concepts of Hopi and animist relationships with “time” and “space”, and see if I can’t answer for myself why this all feels like a matter of Life and Death.
One could describe the idea of the Tao, as referring to an ancient Chinese animism, that counsels conversing and dancing in accord with the natural forces prevailing in the world. “Yes, and…” comes from the Theatrical Improv tradition (in particular, I think of Viola Spolin), and yet counsels the exact same action: how do you embrace oncoming energy, and ride it to where you need to go? Discover the amazing wisdom in a western tradition that verges on a kind of home-grown “shamanism” (for lack of a better word), as encapsulated in “yes, and…”.
Why do dreams give us rest and renewal? Why do we watch television, read fiction, go to movies, tell stories to each other? At what time did the age when Humans and Animals Spoke the Same Language occur? Can Storyjamming answer these questions?
I’ve decided to re-podcast an old episode, not included in the new run. Let’s call it Episode 16!
Listen to me interview Lisa Wells, instructor of theater, creative writing, and wilderness skills, author of Cedar Rapids: the Coming Derrick Dean, and poet-about-town.
In the interview she talks about the fascinating connection between prayer, theater, intuition, nature awareness, storytelling, and that ineffable creative energy that we sometimes call “shamanistic” or “mystical”.
I apologize in advance for a bit near the beginning where the microphone seems to go on a walkabout – I hope you can still catch what we say, as it addresses a worthwhile issue. Also, I mention the word “Duende” as meaning “wind” in Spanish. It doesn’t.
Get out of your head, and into your body, courtesy of Lisa Wells.
In this episode, with the help of celebrity rewilder Penny Scout, I provide a real life, unabridged example of the Dream Interview, as Penny and I walk step by step through her dream. I didn’t edit it at all, because I wanted to communicate the very real struggle that even a (somewhat) experienced interviewer undergoes. If you pay attention, you’ll notice the hallmarks of the Dream Interview process, as I ask essentially the same questions over and over: “What is this? Who is that? I’ve never seen/heard/experienced that/them before. Tell me what it is?” [sic]. By doing so I elicit the Dreamer’s own words, which illuminates the metaphors by which they experience the world. Also, Penny’s dream follows the familiar three Act structure. I mention the “bridge question” in this episode several times, a question you ask when you have just enough of the Dreamer’s language that you want to see if you can identify a piece of the dream’s correspondence to waking life. It often sounds like, “in your waking life, is there a situation where [insert dreamer's language]?” [sic]. Bridge questions make the dream come together. At the end, we then go over the whole dream to see if the answers to the bridge questions still make sense.
Also check out the extensive blogging I’ve done on this topic:
Learn the nitty gritty of making and solving riddles, and listen to me come up with a 10 minute riddle (while scratching my head and stalling for time!). Also, I talk about the possibilities that the poetic paradigm opens up, in terms of craftsmanship and experimentation.