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Preparing to Ride the Crest of Sea Change

Transformation through learning and growth

 

As I fumble my way through the unfamiliar and eerily empty airport in an attempt to find the bag carousel, I cant help but be taken in by the array of artworks scattered amongst the otherwise unassuming blandness. Along the corridor with its hospital-like plain walls and retro carpet, a wall depicting the historical printing processes utilised for screen-printing huge sports posters suddenly takes the limelight - in an understated sort of way - filling the corridor with a subtle sense of local Americana.  Mosaic works line a parallel corridor, to be seen only as glimpses through the reflections on the glass partition. Exiting the passenger only area along with a small crowd of others, a display case beckons. The gentle flow of tired people carries on around me as I stop to look at the beautiful gourd artwork. I cant help but be captivated, especially by the chrysalis with its caterpillar curled within, ready to begin an energy-sapping yet extraordinary process of transformation.

 

Change is the only constant,attributed to Heraclitus.

The thought blurs through my mind as, suitcase now in hand, I begin to ebb forward towards the door in search of the taxi stand. It could not feel any truer in this moment, as I begin my adventures into what feels like the great unknown. A renewed rush of excitement spurs me on. Im here, and Im ready! Ready to learn. Grow. Change. Ready to ... Huh, look at that, a vending machine for fresh flowers. Whod figure?

Its been two months and I still find myself regularly reflecting on the experiences of my travels and what my learning might mean through my work with and for our gifted youngsters. Of late, this has morphed into broader ponderings on the universal concept of change and how oddly paradoxical this can be. The kids at MindPlus explore universal concepts such as this on a regular basis, but I have to say that even as an adult I find this line of thought to be intriguing and worthy of some serious contemplation. A bit of a Google search and it appears I am not alone in this by any means, what with the likes of Ben Orlen, mathematician and artist, who explores this through his book Change is the Only constant: The wisdom of calculus in a madcap worldand a bunch of researchers who have, and continue to, dedicate their lives to such explorations, as can be recognised in the article Are the Constants of Physics Constant? from which the following curious excerpt has been taken.

The conclusion is both mundane and astonishing. Change is so omnipresent that we don't think twice about how much it is part of our fabric. A human cell might endure a million DNA mutations within a day. Summer's green leaves become fall's orange before crackling as winter's brown under our feet, all within a year. Gases coalesced and gravitated around each other over millions of years, packing into rocks like our water-drenched earth that orbits the sun. But underneath all that change lies one number that connects them all and a number that has remained unchanged as far as we can see in the cosmos. And we don't know why. The mu is like scientific gospel that wills the universe into existence.

The mu. Hee hee. What a modest name for something so profoundly paradoxical; the constant in change. Amusing. And yes, you may roll your eyes at that and groan.

With so many variables in play, from minor adjustments to irreversible transformations, terms like mundane, astonishing and profound are great descriptors, all equally pertinent when it comes to the notion of change.  Its no surprise then that change, particularly the most impactful, and which in some instances can be coined sea change, is the subject of both curiosity and expression.

 

 

The band Thrice sings of Sea Change, with their lyrics being perhaps readily identified in a more concrete way in line with climate change activism, something close to the hearts of many of our gifted individuals, young, old and in-between. But sea change in its more metaphorical sense, has more to do with profound transformational change, perhaps likened to that of the butterfly in the gourd at the airport, or Frank Vivas childrens book based on his own childhood experiences but drawing on his illustrative capacity as a designer (pun intended) to truly bring the words to life.

 

  

 

I would even tentatively say that in my opinion sea change is more than simply transformation, in that is reflects a turning tide (if I can use a metaphor to describe another metaphor); that it is a tipping point in the way people perceive and respond, resulting in a mass shift of ideology and practice. I see this as highly relevant to us all in Aotearoa New Zealand with the education reforms that are underway and within this the minor adjustments occurring within the realm of gifted education which many hope to build incrementally towards transformational change for our young people who are so often misunderstood and underserved.

It is up to each and every one of us to keep learning, keep growing and keep carrying the torch as we work together for the betterment of education and the future of our young people, their communities, our country and the globe at large.

Let us be change to sea change.

If you are attending the ULearn19 conference in Rotorua, come see us at the Gifted Aotearoa Stand, where we, the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education, will be in attendance alongside REACH Education and the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children. Our very own Anna Meuli will also be presenting at the conference, so look for her taster session on Developing Deeper Understandings and Bigger Ideas.” Come and say hi!

 

 

'What's the Story?' is a blog section which is written for the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education, with posts being added regularly. The purpose of this space is to share musings and anecdotes relating to giftedness and gifted education to provide a form of information and support for those living with and/or teaching gifted learners. Please do share them along.

 

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What's the Story? Making the world a better place for gifted kids, one yarn at a time.

 

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Please note that the views expressed in these blogs are those of the author and not necessarily representative of the views of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

 

 

 

Sea Change

 
 
 
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