Speeding up and slowing down
2 October 2011
Bragging? Perhaps, but then I haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks, so I am feeling a little chuffed. (PS Jess is lovely and funny and I strongly urge you to see her standing up.) I was worried there for a minute that I’d dried up again, and I’d be in my fifties before I produced anything else.
Of course, that’s not quite true, but I did experience some anxiety. My regained ability to write is – as you’ll know if you’ve read my previous journal entries – intimately tied up with my general project to be better at this living malarkey. It’s therefore unsurprising that it is both affected by what else is going on in my life, and vice versa.
Also, to say I haven’t written anything in the past couple of weeks isn’t strictly true. As a result of my work (policy officer in the not-for-profit sector) I’ve been asked to contribute to the Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network’s blog. Hopefully my first post will be available on there soon, although if they don’t like it I’ll publish it in the comment section of my own site.
Other things I’ve been doing include my initial training to become a specialist philosophy teacher with The Philosophy Shop (soon to be The Philosophy Foundation – please support its application to the NatWest CommunityForce Award). Once I’ve been assessed I’ll be able to start teaching philosophy in junior schools, using Peter Worley‘s unique approach to encouraging critical thinking.
In a similar vein, I’ve also volunteered to faciliate discussion at The Stuart Low Trust’s weekly philosophy forum. It’s just one of the ways SLT helps the people of Islington, especially those experiencing social isolation or mental distress, to improve their wellbeing. I’m assisting for the first time this evening, and very much looking forward to it.
All of which – along with hearing about Philosophy in Pubs from The Philosophy Shop’s training and assessment director, Rob Torrington – has inspired me to set up a philosophy discussion group in Finsbury Park (the London Philosophy Club already exists if you’re interested). Unlike PiPs, however, I’m going to try and find an inclusive venue in an effort not to exclude people who don’t like to be around alcohol or are too young to go to a pub. Once the ‘Philosophy in Finsbury Park’ page on Facebook has 50 ‘likes’, I’ll see what I can find.
So, although the writing has slowed for a bit, I haven’t been simply sitting about, although I still do more of that than I’d like to. But I’m getting there.