31 August is Ken Campbell Day: diddling and doodling, seekers, radical education as seeking learning outcomes, and punk

And so the great wheel turns and it is time to celebrate St Ken’s Day again.

Time for the annual pilgrimage that is the start of this Happy New Year for people in the formal cycle of learning, from crèche and kindergarten to university; and for people outside it as learning, a life of learning, and a meaningful life are for all.

For all who are or become “people” because they are #passionately #innovatively #transformatively #sustainably #engaged in the great #creative #ValueInvestment #community that is life itself. Your own life right here right now, and others around and above and beyond and below it, and the after and the before, and whatever and whoever is to the sides and out of sight. All the water in which that great wheel turns: a wild free flow with unpredictable currents.

May our rivers never run dry.


utopian dreaming (1): equity, diversity, inclusion

While sorting through some old files, I came across something that I wrote in November 2020 that seems relevant and worth sharing. I’ve edited it very slightly. It’s a prologue of sorts to the next posts, on European identity (not in the icky sense that immediately comes to some minds) and haunting, ghosts and glowing.

They will take a little more time: first drafts from January have changed shape, most notably, as you might imagine, in the last few days. I thought that I’d throw them away; what was the point, or the point of anything. Anything that I might write or be thinking was trivial. Fellow humans suffer unimaginably, their world changing day to day, uncertain if they would still be alive tomorrow or have a home to wake up in. In everyday horror. Under daily increasing threat and encroaching invasion. I can try to imagine, and I have a moral obligation as a fellow person to imagine. But I also have an obligation to respect others’ uniqueness, difference, and unimaginability; for humility, to avoid hubris; and to recognise my limits, the limits of imagination, that which makes and keeps it human. We, too, wherever we are, live in uncertainty: here in Vancouver, as in most of the world, we’re in striking distance of an intercontinental missile, we live next to nuclear powers, and some of our neighbours are politically unstable.

But tomorrow could be death. So: write. Anything. Good, bad, indifferent; personal, embarrassing, absurd; useless, useful, disregarding and regardless of anyone else’s use-value it might have some human value in its very triviality. Write to live. In solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainians. In hope for peace on earth, goodwill to all, life, and love.


31 August is Ken Campbell Day: diddling and doodling, seekers, radical education as seeking learning outcomes, and punk

From 2020: time for the annual pilgrimage … 

(not to be confused with the homonymous Canadian politician, Canadian fundamentalist Baptist evangelist, Canadian swimmer, assorted other sportsmen, etc.)

It is time for the annual pilgrimage.

As is traditional, this post is a “sticky” one for a whole academic term, all the way to its end and the end of the calendar year. It contains various kinds of “stickiness” played out in four Acts:

I. revisiting 2017

II. 2018 and III. Campbellian education in action

IV. 2019 and learning outcomes.

Like previous pilgrimages, this year’s one adds more Stations to its rambling Way of Sorrows.


This year’s contextual frame: online teaching in pandemic times. (more…)

welcome to TWO new blogs: “The Dendromorphoses” and “Academic Zoomscaping”

Thanks to living in, and with, COVID-19 times I’ve made two new things. The first came to be out of spending more time than usual wandering in our local woods and taking photos there. The second started as a collection of amusing pictures collected online. (more…)

Animal reading: teaching and learning about animal thinking

This essay is based on a talk given in January 2020 at the Modern Language Association Convention in Seattle, whose Presidential Theme was “Being Human.” (more…)

31 August is Ken Campbell Day: diddling and doodling, seekers, and radical education as seeking learning outcomes


Experimental Medievalist Teaching: a talk for @UBC Early Romance Studies Research Cluster about #mdvl301a (part 2 of 2)