A penny for your thoughts: What colour is my feedback?

It was like being hit by a sharp object! I was wrestling with how to give feedback comments on a creative and inspirational form of student assessment, a mind map! Vivid, creative, astonishing, individual, quirky and informative mind maps left me feeling that my usual form of written feedback was colourless and totally inadequate. It fell short!
How and why my head went into colour-mode I can’t fathom, nonetheless it did and here’s a snapshot of my colour focussed thoughts and scribbles.

JM Barrie in Peter Pan described Neverland as ‘…more or less an island with astonishing splashes of colour here and there…’
Kitty, in Clare Morall’s book ‘Astonishing Splashes of Colour’ has synaesthesia, a condition in which emotions are seen as colours. Kitty describes how she sees mums and dads waiting outside schools to collect their children ‘…as yellow people. Yellow as the sun, a daffodil, the submarine…they are yellow because of their optimism…’

AMAKLOR is a violent colour only seen by Klingons.

Don’t waste GREY adjectives!
Aaargh…my feedback on student writing suddenly feels GREY!!

Being sensitive to colours I began to hear other fictional colours; HOOLOOVOO – a superintelligent shade in Douglas Adams ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. Adams also described a LIVER PURPLE in ‘Life the Universe and Everything’, as a loathsome lilac.

OCTARINE – a fluorescent greenish, yellow purple is described as a magic colour in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

I recall using De Bono’s 6 thinking has to engage in discussions about problem-solving, decision –making and thinking differently. Yes, I collected green, black, red, white, yellow and red hats for students to wear as the image and experience was important. The image of the hats is sparking other memories now, especially one where I used the same 6 hats when discussing roles and responsibilities as a student supervisor.

I’d never before thought of my student feedback in colour, but this coincided with my trying audio feedback on student writing, and I felt as though the voice brought a kaleidoscope of colour, character, and personality to my comments.

My thoughts turn to BROWN, as I recall a TV spoof on a London visitor attraction called ‘Brown world’. Do leave a comment if you also recall this as I’m beginning to feel I imagined the whole thing.
I remember reading a biography of Florence Nightingale and her description of the unnatural colourlessness of Egypt in its 2/3 shades of BROWN.

Meanwhile, I have a treasure of a book where advice about developing a relationship with chocolate could also be describing blog writing. ‘…If you are truly committed to making your relationship with chocolate a dynamic and satisfying one, you have to be prepared to work at it. Guidelines include: 1. Find time alone together, 2. Avoid sudden or prolonged separations and 3. Take time to listen…’

This is the blog I didn’t write. Thank you to WordPress 101 for spurring me on to revisit my jottings.

As it’s Easter I think it’s a most appropriate time to follow the advice and get to know the chocolate!
I welcome your thoughts on my subsequent blog on audio feedback http://wp.me/p4gsLq-16

Oh! The book is ‘Chocolate. The consuming passion’ by Sandra Boynton.


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