I’ve been working on this very interesting project with Tina McInerney, and it’s been quite a journey. You can see more on Tina and her work in her blog. We’ve just listed the book project (and accompanying presentations) with Give Meaning, which is a great innovative fundraising site for individual and independent worthwhile projects. If you wish to support the idea of the project, we first need 100 votes to make the project active. Just log in to Give Meaning and vote to add your name to the list of supporters.
Here it is: The Truth About Reading.
When I first met with Tina and we discussed reading and the whole process, I immediately connected to all my McLuhan study, and his anaysis of the effects of the alphabet on culture, civilization and the mind. Here was Tina telling me the same thing, from her own personal standpoint. In a flash, I “got it” and was very keen to partner with her and her organization, the Society for the Immediate Awareness of Alternative Learning.
This project is a fantastically meaningful and complex process. To help produce a book written by someone who couldn’t read, and whose experience in the regular school system was so very destructive of self-esteem is a poetic process, engaging my full being – more than simple book coaching and editorial. It is important that Tina express this for herself, and not that I “package” her expression based on my preconceived notions. It is a welcome challenge to the grip of the alphabetic mind, yet requires me to use that very mind to express experience that occurs beyond its limitations. So that’s fun! And the project is so very worthwhile, aiming to help kids and adults who have gone through what Tina’s been through. We have some dynamite sample pages that Tina has put together, with words and images from her school days.
And my McLuhan media study mind is reeling with how powerful the hegemony of the written word is: people who know Tina very well were very moved by what she had expressed. They actually said that they hadn’t really understood what she felt, until they read it! This applies to all writers and individuals who need to express themselves, the written word still communicates deeply aspects of inner life and interior experience that may never be known by others any other way.