Teaching and Workplace Stress LO28827

From: ACampnona@aol.com
Date: 07/11/02

Replying to LO28810 --

Dear LO,

Alan writes of people still learning and under some duress ...

>some of them were older than twenty years of age.

In order to enter in my mid twenties what in the United Kingdom is called
'Higher Education' I had to return to school myself. This meant while
working in full time employment I studied alone at night by a proto
learning-org at Oxford called Wolsey Hall. It involved me reading from a
curriculum and, I decided for myself, more widely as well. At intervals I
would submit essays to tutors I never physically met, but whose words of
encouragement to an isolated uneducated person in a tiny loft room was
sustaining for a year. The learning became a joy, but it was soon over and
the exams had to be sat, so I had at twenty three to sit among young boys
in a school and do properly and for a second time what I had failed to do
in the first time. It was very strange for me to sit in that large old
hall among all those blazers and school ties. They too must have thought
me a strange appearance in their midst. The exams were passed and I was
allowed to go on to art school and train as an artist, something that was
denied me when I was their age because I had to leave school early without
even the most basic secondary level academic qualifications.

The last time I had a proper job with 'pension rights', 'paid holidays',
'sickness benefits' and so on was 1975. As I graduated into the
Thatcherite economic reshuffle of the early eighties, with chronic
unemployment I spent three years in unemployment myself. The highlight of
that period was being refused work as a toilet cleaner at the Atomic
Energy establishment at Harwell for having the 'wrong' qualifications. (I
never learned what the requisite qualifications were). It was during those
years that I used to 'sit' with people like Edward Shackleton, the
missionary and grandson of the explorer, and dear Ivy, an impoverished and
crippled farm hands wife who used to give me warm cups of coffee and tell
me all about her beloved son, and who gave me his philosophy books from
Balliol College. I think I am saying that my community, the place where I
accidentally came to live these past twenty two years has become a kind of
tacit Learning place.

There is something to be gleaned from sinking oneself into a very small
physical location. A small community like this village, even so, remains
to me anyway, deeply full of unknown uncharted personalities.

I suppose it might be interesting to go back the seven hundred or so years
this 'place' has existed and see how it has learned to survive things and
events, plagues, diseases, civil war, economic changes to the local

Sometimes Americans will openly speak to me regretfully of not having a
sense of deeper territorial placement, and I sense their longing for that
deeper connection. It is a strange kind of field effect to be felt around
here;-)...just a few days ago I picked up a flint tool from a neolithic
artisan, looks like a half finished butchering implement...to take it in
one's hand and look at it, maybe the first hand to grasp it for five, six
thousand years...is a strange opening indeed;-)

Maturana has written deeply on these ancient lost cultures, he speculates
led by women, in which children grow up happy and strong and
individuated...because they were loved for much longer. (Maybe Rick knows
that paper?...I can't find it right now)

If anyone thinks it worth writing up a few notes on North Moreton as A

Love and best wishes,


Andrew Campbell



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