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No Parroting Allowed!

Learning Emergence by Asking Questions

Emergence Group Babies

"Consciously Connecting in Emails"

Questions for the Week of October 9, 2006

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When asked, "how do you best learn?" most people usually respond with either a technique, like, "in a classroom," or by naming their favorite sense, like, "I learn best visually." Unfortunately, this implies most people define "learning" as the ability to parrot the correct answer.

What is wrong with this? We believe that "parroting the correct answer" creates parrots, not students; dullards, not Einsteins. So how can we create more Einsteins? By asking questions which are intended to provoke the student's own questions. More important, we see this as the best way with which to reawaken in students the love of learning.

This week's topic is, "Consciously Connecting in Emails." Would you like to actually learn more about this topic? You can, simply by reading the teacher's questions and then, by asking yourself, "what questions did these words just provoke in me?"

"Consciously Connecting in Emails"

Teacher's Questions (asked by John)

As I sit and ponder how to explain what I want to say, I struggle with thoughts of who's feelings I will hurt and will my point be taken in the way I intended. I am conflicted as to the purpose of my choice of topics, as I am not sure if I am rescuing, or merely expressing thoughts about an issue that I have thought about from time to time. To rescue is to avoid enduring to pain that you are witnessing which is self serving and not productive.

  • Can email be another vehicle to avoid pain or inflict pain? The thoughts and feelings that I am currently experiencing are a mystery, you cannot see me or my eyes, you cannot see the room I am in or what I am wearing, thank god ! So tell me how can we connect through e-mails?

There are times when I can connect with people on the telephone but not nearly as often as I would like. We Emergence Practitioners strive to be experts on connecting, and we have dedicated years to emergence yet we have a hard time staying connected in person. When we email, we are not able to see, hear or touch and we are not able to respond in real time.

  • What effect does this have on our ability to experience the point and intention of each other in our emails?
  • There isn't an opportunity to notice shock in each other to prevent misunderstandings. Email seems to be a way to express our feelings at a moment in time with the ability to say everything we want to say without interruption. What if your feelings change after you hit the send button? How do you revise what you said or worse what if the sender or the receiver is in shock.
  • How can e-mails be written and received with the purpose the writer intended when either the sender or receiver or both could be in shock? Could a sender in shock put a receiver in shock?
  • Using the phone with an e-mail is one way to bridge the gap yet does not replace face to face communication. I have injuries about reading and writing. How do they translate through my e-mails and alter my intentions?

Possible Student Response Questions (asked by Steve)

[1] How many layers can an email exist in? Is there a layer in which most emails exist? Is there a layer in which they cannot exist?

[2] To what degree does one's choice of words inhibit or encourage conscious communications between the writer and the reader? Does it matter if the writer uses normal capitalizations? How much does the use of punctuation matter? Grammar?

[3] Would adding a delay to the email send button create more consciously written emails? More consciously read emails?

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