Joanne, Fred and the Albatross.

Joanne knocked heartily on the heavy oak doors that signaled the entrance to Fred’s house. It was quite a signal to be sure, although hopelessly out of sync with the rest of the abode. The massive green slabs almost audibly sighed when they were pushed open as if to say, “Yes I am rather grand but you will find the rest of the house doesn’t do me justice I’m afraid.” She waited a moment or two and then knocked again. She heard some rustling and then an enthusiastic “It’s open Jo!” penetrated the woodwork. She shoulder charged the doors open revealing Fred sitting at his dining table surrounded by paperwork and grinning over his laptop. “I’ve already started the graphic, lets bounce!” Ever since watching the entire series of Breaking Bad, Fred insisted on using this term that she found no less annoying than when he first started saying it.

Fred had indeed started the graphic, in fact he was nearly complete. “I’ve made a wheel with creativity and innovation at the centre and you can see the spokes coming off the centre with each spoke representing the features of an innovative slash creative classroom!” He spoke with just a hint of authority and perhaps a mild dash of arrogance. Joanne liked that about him, sure of himself but not condescending in any way. “Good stuff”, she offered, “Lets have a look then.” She scanned it for a minute or two and then glanced up at him. Fred’s face was positively glowing with pride. He was often very optimistic, overly so some might say, but she liked that about him as well. “Can I offer a suggestion?”, she said slightly nervously. “Sure, we are going to work on the accompanying blog post together, you have to have ownership as well.” Frank’s reply was less than reassuring to her. She briefly wondered why and then carried on.

You haven’t got knowledge anywhere in the wheel.” Frank stared at her blankly with the sort of look that you might see from an Apple aficionado when told by someone that they ‘Liked Windows.’ After an indeterminable heavy pause, Frank shot back a rather edgy, “What?”. “I said you don’t have knowledge on the wheel”. The air now fairly crackled with uneasiness. “Well no”, retorted Frank, “Why would it be there?” “What do you mean?” puzzled Joanne, genuinely miffed by his question. “Why”, he was muttering now. Not a muttering that suggested he didn’t know what was about to come, but rather a sort of impatience for having to explain such an obvious answer, “would I put knowledge there, we all know that facts are useless on their own”. “Is that what knowledge is?” mused Joanne. His vague air of arrogance was now oddly becoming more irritating by the second.

There was a shattering cacophony of dead silence as the two friends mulled over each others statements. Joanne had always found it interesting that some called absolute quiet, ‘dead silence’. To her it seemed that silence in a terse situation was positively alive with possibility and nervousness. This was one such occasion. “Look”, said Fred almost apologetically, “I’ve got some brilliant stuff here, “There’s”, he paused for effect, “Allowing personalities to shine, joining two ideas together to make one, expressing yourself freely, encouraging collaboration, trusting your instincts and divergent thinking.” Joanne sighed. It was the sort of sigh you hear from people when they hear the “Your call is important to us” recording while on endless hold with a business that haven’t the foggiest idea about true customer care. “It’s just that….”. “It’s just that what?” moaned Frank. “Why do you have to be so negative all the time?”

Joanne stared wearily at the pictures on the wall while working up to her reply. She loved his black and white photos of the pyramids at dusk. Very creative she thought. Frank knew so much about photography; her images were positively amateur compared to his work. She breathed in heavily and said less than forcefully, “I just thought seeing it’s the foundation, knowledge that is, and that it should get a mention is all”. “You just don’t get it Jo do you?” retorted Frank his eyes widening. “No, no I don’t”, Joanne replied, her voice trailing away as though all the authority had been ripped away from her words and squashed like a tiny bug on the concrete.

Fancy some lunch then?”. Franks upbeat question lightened the mood considerably. “We’ll work on the blog after that, my PLN will love this stuff, must stay connected you know!”. Joanne watched him saunter towards the kitchen. She did feel very connected at that moment, like an albatross with an anvil connected to its leg.

If you have read this far thank you and well done. No seriously, thank you.





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