My friend and good debating colleague Leigh suggests that I should be blogging at least daily – hmm… well perhaps why I find this a challenge would make a good topic for a blog – but not today!

Over the last two days I’ve had one of my colleagues and friends Anita Bundy stay with me. Anita works at the School of Leisure and Occupation at University of Sydney and is one of the members of our Permanent External Advisory Committe at Otago Polytechnic. Anita and I first met in 1994 when we had the priviledge of hosting her here in New Zealand. That was in the days at Otago Polytechnic when my role was to plan and organise short courses for therapists. But her interests and mine have developed in quite different ways since then.

But to the subject of today’s post… We were talking about learning of students and therapists and Anita reminded me of an author called Jane Vella. Anita was talking about Jane’s approach that she uses when planning learning experiences for therapists and students. So I’m thinking as she talks.. this is new information – so off to google Jane Vella and find her website…. We talked some more and then Anita left for the airport.

It wasn’t until later that the penny dropped. It wasn’t new information, I’m almost sure Anita mentioned Jane’s work to me as we had discussed a course she had done for us before the NZAOT Conference in 2004. I probably wrote it down at the time but didn’t retain the bit of paper – hah suddenly I have a good example of ‘situated learning’. Retaining the information is hard unless you know when you will need to use it next. When relevant hopefully it comes back.. if not… like the experience I describe – it feels like new info until you see enough to perhaps make the connection. Anyway.. I’m off to find her books etc from library…and to read her online journal…. and I’ve added the site to my bookmarks. So now I’ll read, assimilate and transform…. and if I need to in two years time I could find the resource again….cos hopefully I’ll remember I saved it on

And another thought – this experience is such a good example of the quote by Karen Stephenson.

“Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. ‘I store my knowledge in my friends’ is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people (unstated).” The full quote from this can be found at this website.

So the lightbulb goes on and I discover that I need to look to my friend Anita who at the right time shares a reference that will take me to a new place in my understandings! Thanks Anita!