Thursday, October 19, 2006
Tasmania, no Devils
I was thrilled that two of my “imaginary friends,” Jo Murray and Frankie Forsythe were meeting me at the Launceston airport. This was one of the smallest airports we’ve been to yet, but the baggage took the longest to arrive. It was driven into a huge garage like area, then a dog was led over all the bags to sniff for fruit and veggies. Australia has avoided a lot of diseases on this set of islands, so a great deal of attention is paid to sniffing out “bad stuff.”
Frankie and Jo were everything I thought they were and more. They are warm, complement each other as colleagues and business partners in wonderful ways, and made my short stay on Tassie wonderful. I want to go back. We decided we want to find a way to gather all our fellow online facilitators in one place for a giant party!
In the afternoon, we took a walk up the river to the Cataract Gorge park. It is a lovely Cliffside walk up the gorge, ending at a garden, tea house and, in warm weather, a huge river side pool. The pool was empty that day. We had a drink and a snack, lots of conversation, then back to the hotel where we were joined by our host, Elisabeth Todd, her colleague Jennifer, Michael Coghlan from Adelaide and Clint Smith from Melbourne who were also speaking at the LearnScope conference the next day. Thanks for hosting the lovely dinner, Elisabeth!
Wednesday I led off with a keynote using the Three Plus Tensions, followed by presentations by Michael (on using voice) and Clint (on elearning design). I have to bow down to Michael as he has the cool to do live web based voice production on the spot, even when the connection was “iffy.” Then we had breakout sessions to learn about Tasmanian LearnScope projects. I particularly enjoyed one presentation from a woman whose name I did not get, but talked it a particularly articulate manner, using stories both of success and things that didn’t go so well, in an online project for the textile design sector. I found myself nodding like crazy in the back as her story was a perfect example of how the tensions played out in a project. I only wish I had taken notes. Here is her picture. If you know this woman, let me know. I want to get the details.
After lunch I did a workshop on “The 8 Competencies of Online Interaction” where we mixed the ideas with paired conversations. There were some great stories and again, I wish I had recorded it. I have tried to record some sessions, but my MP3 recorder does not seem to be too happy in this trip. Or I have massive user error. I have not had time to suss that out.
After the event it was off to the airport, a bit of conversation and a glass of wine with Clint and Michael where we talked music and moving from the culture of fear to the culture of love, then they were off and I thought I was leaving shortly for Sydney. Fat chance. Our JetStar plane had a problem. First it took a half hour to find a mechanic. Then they tried to fix it to no avail. So they had to wait for a plane from Melbourne for the part – three hours later. It was late into Sydney where Larry and Warren met me and whisked me to Warren and Bronwyn Stuckey’s place about a half hour south of town for a late supper and stories of how Larry and Warren did the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. You know it is a good story when the first line was “first we had to strip to our underwear!” I’ll have to get Larry to write up the story.