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A dialog about our new bridge and these web pages

Overview. As a pointy-headed university professor, my weekend project of bridge photography and building these web pages generated many questions and introduced me to just-in-time learning. I enjoy chasing my curiosity and want to identify ways to encourage younger learners to also enjoy curiosity chasing and learning.

Learning usually requires repetition while forgetting occurs when I infrequently use information. Many young learners do not understand the importance of repetition. Weekly visits to the bridge provided the repetition necessary to detect changes in the bridge and consequently generated many questions and opportunities for learning. Over the course of the bridge project, I had access to few experts for answering questions. Rather than a liability, this became an asset and pushed me to improve my search skills with Google. Soon, I found that answers to questions encountered during my weekly photo shoots were often only a Google-search away - (see Restoring the Joy in Learning). Consequently Google + Internet became dependable extensions of my memory.

The bridge story is a work in progress and is evolving from a simple collections of photographs to an experiment with Internet-centric just-in-time learning. Insights I gain from you will find their way into the learning centers of MUSC. Palmetto Bridge Constructors, a joint venture between Tidewater Skanska and Flatiron Constructors, as well as High Steel Structures, Freyssinet, the SCDOT and the Federal Highway Commission Office of Bridge Technology guided much of my learning. I also learn from many of you and from Google-linked resources. More important is the e-mail encouragement I receive from many of you.

Sun, 17 Jul 2005

July 16, 2005: The meaning of a signature bridge

From Walter Baker in California:
I saw a news article on the opening of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. I put its name in a search engine and fortunately found my way to your website. I became wonderfully distracted by your photographic documentation of the bridge construction. I want to thank you so much for the time and effort you put into this project. You live in a beautiful area of our great country and now it has been crowned by a wonderful work of art. I offer you the following.

Easy it is to be cynical,
In the days in which we live,
But every now and then,
A ray illuminates the darkness
And spans the gap to heal.

A sense of unity once thought lost
Found on the other shore,
And brought home to rest
In the warmest place once more.

There will be times when this is forgotten
And all the worlds in a rage,
But from a distance its image shines,
The crossing place forever in the mind.

W Baker

posted at: 05:31 | path: | permanent link to this entry

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