Winnie the Pooh said it succinctly: ‘Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.’

This blog is my attempt to describe and articulate Pooh’s Poetry and Hums – those little intangible, fragile, look-at-them-and-they’re-gone slices of serendipitous experience that come from behind, or nowhere and give a sense of completeness which is at once instantly identified, but simultaneously impossible to pin down. What I’m interested in is their essence –the thing(s) that make them what they are, and, more than that, make them such positive, growth experiences in which personal boundaries and possibilities are extended…

This blog is also an attempt to unpick those experiences and consider how they might inform or shape what I do in my role as Dean of Students at the University of Salford. At UoS, we’re in the early stages of developing a distinctive approach to our work in the intersection between pedagogy, research, industry engagement and enterprise. Our ability to invite in the unexpected and encourage the unforeseen in this creative, collaborative teaching/ learning playing space is key to our success. The components, characteristics and working principles of that arena are there for the shaping. Like so much else they’ll shapeshift over time, being continually refined and remade by experience. I hope this blog helps me to contribute to the working practices of those spaces, such that we might collectively foster an environment that deliberately and consciously encourages and facilitates the serendipitous.


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