I really enjoyed the quote below from John Warner, who is writing about graduate programs in writing and pursuing writing as a career. It strikes me that it also seems to capture some aspects of online learning which takes place in community with people vis-a-vis the independent, self-paced, and autodidactic approaches. Group dynamics and being in community are powerful, but even then, does being in community necessarily mean feeling not ridiculous? Perhaps the emphasis is on the “not so.”

Spending so much time immersed in a group of people that are interested in the same things you are, and want the same things you do can be incredibly nourishing. Being alone, and believing you want to write can honestly feel like a kind of madness. For sure there’s some writers who have a kind of self-belief and inner fortitude that buoys them, but the rest of us are like any other human being walking around wondering if what you think, what you believe, what you want, is ridiculous, and you are therefore a ridiculous person.

Basically, being surrounded by others who are similarly oriented makes you feel not so ridiculous. (emphasis mine)