Old lobster almost boiled

Learning on the Beach 2011

The second annual Learning on the Beach unconference #lob11 has just scattered – I am blown away, boiled, invigorated and inundated – and that was just the weather. We were a self-select group of ‘old lobsters’ like me @richardmillwood and some fresh faces like @squiggle7 – the value of this mix in challenging the norms of indoor education was enormous.

Activities included:

  • a scene setter on flat-lining and free-learning from John Davitt
  • collaborative presentations by teams of participants on themes (and genre) as diverse as Irish History (sing-song), The Salt Marsh (tragedy) and Tides (rap)
  • a tour of the beach with Seán and Matthew to understand the nurturing approach to the ‘machair’ or sand dunes found on the west coast of Ireland and particularly in Mulranny, where we were staying
  • the Explainer Olympics – a chance to hone with a sharp stick in the sand our skills in capturing a concept
  • a Ceilidh to let it rip -thanks to Jim and Ann, @angedav @JamiePortman @mlovatt1 @magsamond @johndavitt
  • Postcards from the Edge, scribed on the beach – to let us shout about our findings
  • thoughts to challenge suppliers – what do we need to support learning outdoors in the design of equipment and infrastructure? Peter at @westnet_ie made it possible for us to connect from the beaches around Mulranny so that we could benefit from our vast array of gadgetry to support our inquiry including TouchaTag an RFID technology, but there were many issues addressed regarding weatherproofing, robustness, daylight viewing and power supply that would enhance outdoor activity anywhere
  • hot tub, sauna, steam room, cold plunge and swimming pool – four facilities that were welcome 😉
  • the sharing of Guinness, Google, kindness, camera-derie, Twitter, time, humour and happiness ( to say nothing of black and white pudding, fresh air and fine rain)

There are not enough wild sea-horses to hold me back from attending #lob12  – I already miss the lobsters: @squiggle7 @magsamond @JamiePortman @mlovatt1 @andyjb @dughall @VickiMcC @johnmayo @johndavitt @angedav @katherinedavitt @timrylands @sarahneild @susanbanister

One thought on “Old lobster almost boiled

  1. Richard Millwood Post author

    Here is the script we would have written for the Salt Marsh tragedy:

    Salt Marsh

    A tragedic dramatisation to explain, evoke and value the salt marsh
    World premiere at LOB11 May 31st 2011 in Mulranny Ireland

    Cast:
    Wind and Nymph – Sarah Neild
    Salt merchant – Angela Davitt,
    Voice of Wikipedia – John Heffernan
    Lear – John Davitt
    Edgar and Jachimo – Richard Millwood
    Co-conspirator and Goblin – Tim Rylands

    Part 1.
    The wind: Whistle bits – suggestive of the sea-wind over the saltmarsh

    Part 2.
    Salt tasting – the salt merchant circles the room inviting all to taste a little Sodium Chloride

    Part 3.
    The Voice of Wikepeia, in a monotone: “A salt marsh is an environment in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and salty or brackish water, dominated by dense stands of salt-tolerant plants such as herbs, grasses or low shrubs.”

    Part 4.
    Co-conspirator, whispering: “It’s just a room, don’t tell him, just a room…”

    Part 5.
    (Extracts from Act 4, Scene 6 of King Lear – William Shakespeare)

    Fields near Dover. (in our case a room!)

    Edgar leads Lear by the arm – clearly blinded and clutching his ears:

    Edgar:
    “Come on, sir, here’s the place; stand still. How fearful
    And dizzy ’tis, to cast one’s eyes so low!
    The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
    Show scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down
    Hangs one that gathers sampire, dreadful trade!”

    Part 6.
    The Voice of Wikipedia, in a monotone: “Salt marshes play a large role in the aquatic food
    web and the exporting of nutrients to coastal waters also providing support to terrestrial animals such as migrating birds as well as providing coastal protection”

    Part 7.
    Edgar:
    “Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
    The fishermen that walk upon the beach
    Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark,
    Diminish’d to her cock; her cock, a buoy
    Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
    That on th’ unnumb’red idle pebble chafes,
    Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more,
    Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
    Topple down headlong.”

    Edgar and Lear fall to the ground.

    Part 8:
    (The poem Overheard on a Saltmarsh – Harold Munro)

    Goblin and Nymph:
    “Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?
    Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?
    Give them me.
    No.
    Give them me. Give them me.
    No.
    Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
    lie in the mud and howl for them.
    Goblin, why do you love them so?
    They are better than stars or water,
    Better than voices of winds that sing,
    Better than any man’s fair daughter,
    Your green glass beads on a silver ring.
    Hush, I stole them out of the moon.
    Give me your beads, I want them.
    No.
    I will howl in a deep lagoon
    For your green glass beads, I love them so.
    Give them me. Give them.
    No.”

    Part 9.
    The Voice of Wikipedia, repeats, in a monotone: “A salt marsh is an environment in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and salty or brackish water, dominated by dense stands of salt-tolerant plants such as herbs, grasses or low shrubs.”

    Part 10.
    (Extract from Act 1 Scene 6 of Cymbeline – William Shakespeare)

    Edgar/Jachimo(!) tears off the blindfold from Lear (was he in Cymbeline?!)

    Jachimo:
    “What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
    To see this vaulted arch and the rich crop
    Of sea and land, which can distinguish ’twixt
    The fiery orbs above, and the twinn’d stones
    Upon the number’d beach, and can we not
    Partition make with spectacles so precious
    ’Twixt fair and foul?”

    Part 11.
    The wind: Whistle bits – suggestive of the sea-wind over the saltmarsh

    THE END

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