Why should we need one? Any kid will tell you everything is clear enough (my own son will, I am sure) and any definition is just a pain in a pupil’s neck? I wish adults could see the world as simply, purely, and naively… and never needed any definitions… that is never strove for anything definite and were content with dreamlike, fairytale, seeming ambiguity.
But WHO provides definitions (my son would answer: “a witch of a teacher or an over-learned, over-serious, over-gray-haired portrait of a man with an unpronounceable name, a Boogeyman to any school-aged child”)? Is there anyone knowledgeable enough, or more than anyone else, to be exquisitely eligible to come up with a sentence (perhaps, a very syntactically elaborate one, adorned with clauses and punctuation titivations) that will pinpoint a concept that is frequently too broad to grasp and describe, that, probably, defies a frozen-in-time description merely because it is ever-evolving, always-changing, perhaps, mutating under social and political influences, and, therefore, is elusive and is, most probably, never to be accurately and finally described?
Is there such a person?
Is there such a sentence?
Shakespeare would serve us well, as he did many before us, with a succinct phrase full of wisdom that would puzzle many a generation after him… Alas, it would take us another five hundred years to unravel the mystery of his words and the truth (most probably, very subjectively and tentatively called so) may come too late to benefit the ones we are called upon to serve TODAY, which is a shorter and more dynamic TODAY, almost a T-D-Y, than it was in Shakespeare’s time when people of Shakespeare’s caste (that is IF Shakespeare ever existed as a real person, but someone of the caste did exist) seem to have had ample time for a TOODAAAYY and plenty of time to reflect on a YESTERDAY. We are yet to face just a T and a Y in a dozen years.
Coming back to the issue of a definition and WHY it is that people keep buying encyclopedias/reference books and never stop dog-earing pages in search for a definition of a concept.
No human alive can aspire to be expert enough to define anything we witness and experience T-D-Y, which is only half as long as the TODAY of Shakespeare’s time; people do seem to have lived longer then for theirs was a more intellectually, though surely not manually or physically relaxed period. We seem to live faster than the human brain can process information, and the information it has to process appears to be increasingly snowballing until it eventually turns into an uncontrollable avalanche that will overwhelm many.
Then, why waste time on wrecking your brains over producing definitions when it is clear that no definition will ever be exhaustive?
The truth is always simple and pure. Any, even the humblest, attempt at a definition is always worth the effort for it paves the way and seeds hope, because it gives at least a ounce of certainty when one starts on a journey as prone with pits and falls as getting to a distance learner. This week we will discuss the potential benefits and challenges of distance learning, the impact it has on our current positions, as well as the definitions of distance learning that we have developed, created, recreated, or discovered for ourselves.
I am looking forward to reading your posts,