This is my second #blimage post, and a much trickier one to write. David Hopkins sent me the image you see on the left, and on seeing it, my immediate thoughts went something like this:
‘Ah yes, it symbolises the way IT Service departments in a lot of institutions can be shark-like. They can be seen as a threat that may be hidden below the surface, but likely to appear and bite you on the arse if you dare to steer what you are doing in a direction not in line with their world view.’
However, instead of banging my fist on a metaphorical table, I realised that instead, I felt like a gentle walk down Memory Lane. So after a bit of bathtub-based contemplation, I got to thinking this:
When I was 4 I was obsessed with Lego. I remember owning buckets full of the stuff but one thing I remember with proper clarity is sitting in a holiday apartment in Spain with my dad and a brand new Lego windmill set. Together we built, brick by brick, a perfect representation of the huge red and brown windmill on the front of the box. My dad would read the instructions, describe the bricks needed to complete a section, and I would dutifully find the required bricks and snap them together according to dad’s verbal instructions and the photo on the box. We’d do this for 10 minutes or so, then swap roles. Together we built the mighty windmill, forgetting that despite going to Spain for a summer’s holiday, we were stuck indoors in the pouring rain.
We learned how to build that windmill together. Proper ‘learning by doing’ and constructivist learning in its most literal sense. But in working to build it together, I was able to practise my communication and reading skills, hone my fine motor skills, work on a whole heap of mathematical skills and – vitally – have such a good time that I still remember something I did 40 years ago with such clarity that it could have been yesterday.
Three cheers for plastic sharks!