A TREAT for Writers (15.01.18 – 19.01.18)
An action research project needs time and space to present our insights to the world in various fora such as conferences and publications. Albert Camus said: “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” So it was that 23 members of the CLIx team decided to retreat to better understand and represent our world and were eager to share the many insights gleaned from both the processes and the impact.
Thirty abstracts or outlines received from 23 members ensured that the writing preparation was well underway. We needed to retreat from the madness of everyday work to ideate, to collaborate and to collate our thoughts. Shamin Padalkar organised the writathon and began by identifying the perfect spot for deep contemplation and deep-dive writing! Finally, we had a week-long residential Writing Retreat from 15 to 19 January 2018, on the wonderful premises of IUCAA, Pune.
Early on Monday morning, we gathered to posit questions, to tease out resources, to discuss styles. Everyone had questions and perhaps this enabled us to better understand each other, the project’s research requirements and research itself. Archana Mehendale led us on this quest,encouraging, suggesting, reflecting, pausing and enabling. Each group co-authoring papers found areas to ponder in silence, commune with oneself, discuss and write.
We gathered each day to share our progress — what we had achieved, what we had struggled with — and came away richer with suggestions and offers of collaborations and sources we could dig into all this to try to shape our ideas in a coherent form presentable to the world. This space also provided us an opportunity to discuss some really important pointers like styles, topics, datasets, perspectives, indexing internal documents and publication possibility. We condensed a lot in the one and a half hour we allotted ourselves for peer reviews.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
–— Roald Dahl
We did not always work. We ate well, slept, biked, walked, played tourists and chatted late into the night about everything and nothing. We took time out to visit friends and family, including chez Shamin. Evenings were for fun. We worked better as a result.
We have committed to writing, to presenting, to publishing. In the near future, the seeds sown in this retreat will blossom to spread our reflections far and wide.
Anusha Ramanathan, Curriculum Consultant and Surbhi Nagpal, Junior Research Associate, English team
Note: The retreat participants included Anusha R, Archana, Arindam, Bindu, GN, Kedar, Keerthi, Meera, Nutan, Praveen, Prayas, Rafikh, Raja Sekhar, Renbeni, Sadaqat, Satej, Saurabh, Shamin, Shashank, Sheetal C, Spoorthi and Surbhi.