Sitting in a Starbucks

I'm sitting in a Starbucks thinking about PLNs.
When i am waiting to pick up my husband at work, sometimes I am early. There is a little strip mall- Canadian Tire centre - whatever one may call it. Inside there is a Starbucks. While I much rather prefer a Tim Hortons, the place to sit and sip has it's purpose.
I often take advantage of the free wifi. I'm still a multitasker and can't help but hear the conversations around me.
Today it was a man, chatting to a woman in a table diagonal from him. He spoke of his life, his family history. Why he learned to cook at such a young age. His collapsed family.
Both his mother and grandfather died of illness just in the years following world war two.
When he finished his tale of how he learned to fend for himself, he stood up, wished her well and began on his way.
Then he paused at the counter and a short informal chat became a full fledged heart-to-heart. He began speaking about his mother, shared his believed wisdom of day-to-day happenings.
Again, when he was finished (due to a lull in the conversation or disinterested - I can`t tell because I`m just listening) - he made his way across the room and out the door.
So in this short perhaps participation in a PLN (and cyberlearning communities) can be sometimes act like being in a coffee shop.
There's a lot of action, different people, purposes and communication. Everyone can lead or participate in a conservation. We all have knowledge and ideas to share. Sometimes we are leaders - centre of the action, and sometimes one finds a connection just by listening in.)
Everyone has a voice and can contribute. And sometimes one can choose when they just want to listen and learn.
Just a thought..make sense to you? Valia


  1. I love the idea of an informal PLN- why not choose to include anyone who touches or moves us in some way. You learned from him- maybe you'll retain more about your own learning more than his details, but he gave you a connection so I figure he's part of your PLN- I want to embrace this idea as it frees me not to always worry about depth in every interaction. The depth can be with your own thoughts and connections. Who knows how much each of us is out there connecting with people (as this man did) without even knowing it. Great use of a little coffee time

  2. Thanks for your comment Allison. :)