[xmca] ISCAR - Sevilla 2005 -- Theoretical Concepts in CHAT and their connestion...

From: Dot Robbins (drobbins72000@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Oct 03 2005 - 16:36:02 PDT

Dear Ana,
Thank you so much for your reflections....I found myself returning to a mountain of work, with no perceived time for reflection of Seville. Thanks for changing that. It was a deep joy to speak with you, Ana, and to connect with others, and a little sadness at not being able to hear more presentations....I would like to say that I was profoundly touched at the session that Michael Roth organized, especially with Bakhurst's positive-critical thoughts on the thrid generation of activity theory.....points that really need to be addressed. And, Mike's statements, as I told him, touched me to the very core of my being. Clearly, we need to ask ourselves who profits from CHAT research and practice.....Mike received a question about the "romantic" climate in the film the "Butterflies of Zagorsk," a BBC production during the 1980s about the blind and deaf institute in the former Zagorsk, Russia, where people were trained so that they actually could receive higher degrees in psychology!
 Moscow State University. One woman, is a mother of two children, a poet, a psychologist....and my mind wandered back to this nostalgia. Mike stopped it immediately....he told us that every situation we are in can be used for our research (and of course, we know it can enhance our own transformation, and that of others). Mike spoke of his work in Africa, and how that is his laboratory....and of very large classes in California he wants to humanize. I was stunned beyond belief at his words, as I am very involved in an orphanage 120 km West of Moscow, and to be honest, I have never viewed this situation as my field of research, my field of helping to create transformation. And, I returned home to rural Missouri truly empowered inside, to start to create my research field every day, in the trenches where I live at the moment. Mike's speech completely transformed me, as a human being, and as a researcher. I learned to stop romanticizing the past, and jump into "today," no matter!
  where I
 am, and really live, and also know that I am the one who has profited so greatly from Vygotskian-inspired theory and practice. Sevilla was wonderful! May some of these notes we are writing reach the organizers, and may we show them our gratitude. As well, Seth has given more of himself to ISCRAT and ISCAR than many of us realize....He is often alone in many areas, and each of us needs to jump in more and help him and others with concrete actions. I thank all of you for so many things as well. For me, Sevilla is a new beginning....And, I really want to thank you, Ana, and Lois (perhaps others) for going beyond words to active sessions that allow us to move, interact, and become more human.

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