Jade Did Drumbeat: A Field Journal

It's Interactive and Ethnographic

Tension

Regardless to how well groups get along close proximity can often lead to tensions.  Future Class was no exception.  Things came to a head after our first group presentation at Drumbeat.  There wasn’t an argument.  However,  there was a circular conversation of high intensity.  I understood where both of the involved parties were coming from, but my attempt at mediation failed.

When I realized there was not going to be a resolution, I requested that Cathy hold a class meeting at the end of the first day of the festival to ensure we were still operating as a team with the same goals and interests.  This meeting was one of the rare instances where we actually needed private space.  After about 30 minutes, and acknowledgement of where the tension were coming from and many apologies, we were able to finish our night closer than we were before the friction.

We create masks and personalities to get by in different contexts — we need to, it’s a great skill to learn — but when you have to be “on” all the time, it’s difficult to negotiate when to turn the role “off” — or even what “off” means.

Whitney, in reply to Cathy’s blog post on Learn Intellectual Property by Doing

After leaving the festival we ended up spending the entire night talking over drinks and food.  I think we all started heading back to our respective hotels around 3:30AM.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, the tensions did resurface post Drumbeat.  This led to an extended class sessions where we took off our masks and truly discussed what was going on, how everyone was perceiving the class and what our goals as a group vs individual.  That is why it was fortunate.  The time away from the issue allowed people to process.  The initial meeting ensured we could keep working as a team at Drumbeat.  Plus, Mary Caton wasn’t at Drumbeat and she has a way of taking all the chaos and bringing it back down to earth through talking.  I wish I could have gotten some of these conversations on tape we had when we returned but they were very private.

I have been through hundreds, maybe thousands of meetings in my life, and I cannot think of many where individuals dealt with one another with greater honesty, candor, frankness, criticisim, appreciation, sensitivity, respect, and, I’ll say the word:  love.

Cathy Davidson, Learn Intellectual Property by Doing

The ability of face to face discussion, trust and true dialogues to get people on the same page cannot be underestimated.

First want to send out a love bomb to teammates and leader for beginning this dialogue.  And then I want to send out a second but unqualified love bomb to leader and team mates.

We’ve gotten where we’ve gotten through using a determined, head down, full sprint, and now we have a pretty finite decision and a space with a determined outcome

Nick, First Email post session on tensions to the listserv.

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