Learning in wonderland LO23749

From: Aleksandar Raich (araic@EUnet.yu)
Date: 01/11/00

Dear colleagues

Last days here circulates a joke. At the YU-Hungarian border the
custom-house officer controls baggage of a Lala (this is surname of native
citizens of Vojvodina - the northern province of Serbia) which is leaving
Yu for ever. One big suitcase is massive, and Lala answers that in it
there is all of his property. Another suitcase, either big one, is easy.
At the question of the custom-house officer, Lala answers: In that
suitcase I'm carrying only a medicine. The custom-house officer was
suspicious and opened the suitcase. In the suitcase he find only a huge
portrait of YU-President. What kind of medicine is this? asked
custom-house officer. Lala answers: This is the medicine against

This joke is a sign of actual social psychology in our wonderland. I
talked with elite students and find out that their key motive for learning
is - possibility for leaving YU and realizing professional career
somewhere abroad (NZ, USA, Canada etc.). In my faculty I make a test, too.
I offer to all of about 40 of my colleagues (from professors to young
novices-assistents) if we would realize together a scientific project
about career of top-performance athletes. I thought that this research
project will open new field of research experience, that all of us will
learn to learn collaboratively, and that this work will be fruitful
investment to future practice of learning-research organization. Only
three elder colleagues accepted my offer. Neither one young colleague
never asked me about my idea. Later I understood why it was so. Nearly a
half of my colleagues earns for everyday bread teaching classes for
citizens (private sport schools for children). That way they earns tenfold
than it is possible officially to earn maximally at our Faculty.

My newest personal experience indicates that the most fatal effect of
continuous come-down during long period of sanctions (endless seven
years), especially after bombing, is leaving interest for learning. What
are signs of that? Absence of serious reading (in faculty library last
seven years there were bought less than ten books!), absence of serious
discussions (there exists scientific conferences twice-trice a year, with
communication of short content of works without cross-considerations and
critique), absence of investigation-research of real-world complex
problems (every field project is too expensive for realizing, real
entities interesting for research - firms, clubs, schools, etc. - are
unconcerned and reserved toward every external initiative). Last year I
published a book, first in this scientific field (sport management). Since
august to till the end of 1999 it was sold only 5 copies. Students have
not money; others "hunting" for elementary life.

This is background of my personal problem. Against depressive trends
around me, during last year (especially during long days and nights of
bombing), I was learning believing that this is only way for preserving
mental health. In this endeavor my participation in the stream of ideas in
LO-community helped me very much. Thanks to Internet, I understood that
science, as common knowledge creation through permanent learning, becomes
real community. But, how I can really participate in this community? How I
can develop further and disseminate learning results in above described
environment? Is it possible to participate collaboratively in some
research or teaching project in real world (not wonderland)? Instead of
prayer, I address my hope that somebody of you, dear LO-colleagues,
perhaps will accept my offer for such a collaboration.

Best wishes!


[Host's Note: Aleksandar, it's good to hear from you! Fellow readers, do
we have any collaborative opportunities for Aleksandar? and for others?


Aleksandar Raich <araic@EUnet.yu>

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