I love zombies. 28 Days Later was a triumph of fast zombies, great acting, great Danny Boyle direction and an awesome soundtrack. World War Z the movie was nice. Brad was nice. Effects were good. Story was nice. World War Z the book was amazing, so many different stories told by different voices written by the same author; great writing. The Walking Dead - addictively slow with deep emotional resonance. My wife "watches" The Walking Dead with me from behind her interlocked fingers and loves it too (as do my parents!). Zombieland is pant wettingly funny.
So why zombies and why so scary? Well zombies have long been an allegory for mass mindless consumerism in modern society, for the base beast within every person when you strip away their humanity and for the fear that we will eventually cause our own global demise. I don't think the fear comes from the cannibalism or the returning from the dead or even the unstoppable nature of the zombie (head shot...rule #2 double tap). Zombies are such fearful creatures because of their total lack of humanity. They function very much like us, but without the emotion, the relationships, the desire to have and make meaning in the world, basically the things that make us human.
You may ask why I am making my last blog post of #28daysofwriting about zombies, but I think zombies are such an interesting analogy. We cannot treat learners like a mindless mass of consumers without humanity (despite anything OFSTED tells you). My good friend Neil back in the UK posted on Facebook last night in response to yesterday's blog post about high stakes assessment and it struck me how wrong the system is;
So there is the first connection with zombies. We treat our kids like them.
But there is another connection. When I started this challenge, I thought I would be writing about educational technology, thinking skills, pedagogy, learning and even maybe Google Glass (which I am trialling in school). But for the most part I didn't. For the most part I wrote about people, relationships, having and creating meaning in the world, being connected; I guess I kept writing about humanity, the lack of which makes zombies (especially fast ones) so terrifying.
Zombie connection number two.
I will leave this challenge feeling ready to keep on writing and although I am sure future posts will focus more on practical pedagogy and teaching and learning type stuff, 28 days later, I have realised that we can't separate these things from the human element within our education systems and society at large, that in the end (whether that is a zombie apocalypse or not) what truly matters is trying to make the lives of others' a little bit better.
Peace out and keep running (rule #1 cardio)