>I have been away for ten days and I was startled to come back to what
>appears to be some angry (too strong?) or perhaps defensive exchanges on
>the list. I did check my mail periodically while I was gone and was
>surprised to see how rapidly a misunderstanding has developed on the list.
>I think now might be a good time for all of us who have been on the list
>for a while to think about the list itself: what we like about it, what we
>would like to change or improve or ways we could use this medium more
>effectively. I suspect we might find that the list is fine but that we
>need to process how we might use the list to better meet our needs. In
>other words, we might need to revise how we use it and think about it---in
>other words, we might need to change.
>I would also like to hear what people think about the differences between
>this type of communication and other more traditional communication
>vehicles. What kinds of aprehensions, fears, joys, excitement and delight
>do you experience with this type of communication? What kinds of solutions
>can people offer to make misunderstandings happen less often and how can we
>focus our listserv to help solve some of the problems we have in our
>First some ground rules.
>Let's be respectful of each other and try hard to avoid making value
>If we disagree with a statement that someone posts, ask first for
>clarification before making assumptions. This might be done off list for
>some things, depending upon the nature of your disagreement.
>Conduct a polite discussion, much like we would if we were in a
>professional setting or discussion.
>Acknowlege(sp?) each other and give honor to each other. We in art
>education, have a tough life and we desperately need kind words to help
>keep us, keeping on.
>Ask each other questions like, Have you thought of this or have you
>considered doing this?, for example. These indirect questions, are
>sometimes easier to hear than a direct statement such as, "I disagree with
>this or that".
>Avoid personal attacks or spamming, rather consider ways we can be
>supportive of each other. Harsh words once spoken are difficult to
>overcome. They pierce the heart and I believe when harsh words are
>received over the internet, they sting even more.
>If it is true, that Art Education is in crisis, remember we need everyone
>to help solve our problems. Let us honor and celebrate each other, rather
>than being critical.
>Finally, communication on a listserv is very different than other forms of
>communication and remember to try very hard to be sensitive and thoughtful
>when you respond to the group. May I suggest that you re-read your posts
>before you send them and if you feel you are getting defensive or angry,
>wait a day or two and re-read your post. If you still feel the same way
>and your post is supportive and constructive, send it on.
>In conclusion, I have sent angry posts to people in the past and for this I
>am sorry. These kinds of things only make things worse instead of better.
>If there is anything to forgive, let us forgive...and let us evaluate our
>wonderful listserv with an eye toward making it more effective...I suspect
>we haven't even begun to tap this fabulous resource.
>Warmest regards to all and looking forward to hearing your ideas about the
>Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D.
>Associate Professor of Art Education
>Department of Art and Design
>Southwest Texas State University
>San Marcos, Texas 78666
>dg09 (university e-mail in San Marcos)
>dianegregory (home e-mail in Austin)