02 Unlecture

Well, it may be a week later, but here’s my wrap-up of our second Unlecture, and our first taste of the unconventional direction of the course.

I’ll get this out of the way first – I enjoyed the Unlecture. It was different, with an emphasis on discussion, that seemed to put the onus squarely onto the student – onto us. I was one of the sorry few who couldn’t come up with a question, and as the session went on, and the discussion started, I realised that I actually had heaps of questions; about the course, about the content of the blogs, about the readings and the assessments. I was afraid to ask them, because I didn’t want to seem stupid. Which is pretty Model I.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the “no laptop” rule. On one hand, I use my laptop to take notes, and not having it makes these reflective blog posts a lesson in recollection. On the other, I can see where Adrian is coming from. I’m the first to put up my hand and admit that I can’t multitask, and an open laptop does tend to draw my interest away from the conversation. A glance at Facebook can often turn into a “like” or comment. A quick trip to Reddit tends to last a while. So, rather than whinge and moan, I guess I’ll just bring a notebook.

I enjoyed the questions and answers, mainly because half of them could have been asked by me – it was great to hear the concrete answers to things that I’d be worried or confused about. I paid particular attention to the question regarding what was appropriate to post, and found myself somewhat inspired by the answer – “anything and everything”.

I also found the discussion of free speech to be fairly illuminating. I’d never heard much on the topic, and to learn that we don’t actually have free speech in Australia is incredibly interesting. I actually witnessed an argument yesterday on Facebook over the idea of ‘taking offence’ , which reminded me of the topic. Person A was arguing that they can say anything they want, and if someone is offended, then that’s their problem. Person B (reasonably, I thought) reminded Person A that you can’t racially vilify, to which Person A vehemently disagreed. When Person A is in court for using racial epithets, I guess we’ll see who was in the right.

That’s pretty much it, and I look forward to more Unlectures, and the development of the symposium.