TeachMeet Student Editon). This led me to think about the origins of TeachMeet and in particular, the excellent summary of the history of the first few meetings that Margaret Vass put together in TeachMeet Beginings. I remembered again that first meeting in Edinburgh - "before we had invented the name" as Margaret says I put it. I had a look through some of my old photos of the Meeting in the Jolly Judge and the meal at Daniel's Bistro afterwards. What I remember most about it is not the Teach but the Meet. The chance for a blether. To meet old friends and make new ones. (For example, I think this was the first time I'd met Andrew Brown.)
I'd also been thinking about a talk Ollie Bray gave to our students recently. Despite the anonymous and ignorant comment some numpty left on his blog, this was a very interesting presentation and, as always when I listen to Ollie, I learned new stuff. In particular this time I was struck by his observation on the meaning of "friend" in the virtual world. Currently I have 460 people I follow on Twitter and apparently 511 people follow me. Some I have met and some that I will probably never meet, some I consider friends and some that are just interesting people to follow.
All this leads me back to my conversation with Andrew on the phone. I had been trying to contact him to arrange to meet him - not a work meeting but to see if he wanted to go to a concert. Unfortunately, that didn't work out but he suggested we should meet up soon anyway. This suggestion quickly grew to become, we should meet on a regular basis and invite anyone else who wants to come to join us. It's not intended as a TeachMeet (although, like that first meeting in Edinburgh, we may talk teaching) but the primary function is social - a chance to meet people face-to-face. To make "friends" just a bit less virtual.
If other people think his is a good idea, at least three things remain to be sorted out:
- A time/date? We suggested the last Friday in the month while on the phone but that's problematic for me because it is not always after pay day and it is also the day that my wife's department tend to have their socials! I'd therefore like to suggest the First Friday in the month making March the 5th the date of the inaugural gathering.
- The location? Somewhere in Glasgow is a given. Near the town centre for transport would seem sensible but beyond that, I'm open to suggestions. A pub? A coffee shop? A McDonalds?
- What are we calling it? My suggestions are The Glasgow Gathering (sounds a bit sinister), the MeatMeet (sounds a bit icky), the GeekMeet (sounds insulting) or I believe that BeerMeet has already been used for some social events. However, I am not the best judge of what makes a good name. I was really keen on ScotEduSlam as name before wiser heads, in the shape of Ewan McIntosh, prevailed and choose TeachMeet instead.