Learning to Relax…Once Again

It seems that I have forgotten how to relax.  I have somehow conditioned myself to not be comfortable just “chilling.” sitting back, doing nothing.  When I try, I become anxious and antsy.  My body rebels and tells me that I must do something, anything, time is “a-wastin,” get going.  The all too precious time is a “blowin’ away in the wind,” to mash up the movie and the Bob Dylan classic.

I  often try to enjoy espresso on the deck, sometimes while hanging out with family and friends, sometimes alone.  But even that time becomes more of a race to the finish than a relaxing time of reflection and conversation.  Slurping instead of sipping, clock watching instead of listening to friends, family, or even sounds of nature.

This new conditioning has become more than a nuisance, it has taken away one of the most important mental health tools people have, the ability to relax, clear one’s mind, then regroup and recharge.

I need to address this and soon.  I do not know where the blame falls, probably on me, but the situation needs to be remedied.  I have to re-train my brain and body that it is okay to do nothing at times, or just enjoy what I am doing in the moment, without planning the next activity or worrying about how much time I am spending on the current action or lack thereof.

Even as I write this, my mind starts chirping about me taking too long to type and review my post.  My inner voice starts to run down the list of tasks that still need to be accomplished.  It is like a movie or book that intentionally makes you uncomfortable, I am currently reading a Hard Case Crime novel by Ed McBain that sometimes has that effect on me.  The heroin-addicted main character’s manic episodes push me to a place I do not favor.  I toss out the description since I am not comfortable linking the book here.  This is an educational blog, so…

The re-training will start soon, but not until after I have another cup of coffee, clear my head, and just sit for a few more minutes.  After all, starting immediately in a rush only strengthens the bad habit I am trying to break.


Student fear of Internet

I can not figure it out for sure, but I have a number of students who are afraid to use the Internet for their 20th Century President Projects. I know they utilize the Internet for socializing, I see them on the ‘net looking up stuff during study halls. I have stressed that I am not taking points off for having trouble with the technology and offered full help in working with new issues that arise from the technology. Yet, I have a group that runs when asked to use the net for something besides surfing. Actually, adding to the class wikispace is easier than the other type of projects they could choose from. I have given them the option of anonymity or first name listing for credit. I have tried to make the experience workable for them, but there is still a good bit of resistance. I wish I could find a better way to motivate them than just force them to participate with the technology. I do understand that it is not about the technology, it is about the lesson, however I want them to become familiar with the tools they will more than likely be using in life in their future. It is an issue to keep working at defeating.

Watching Kids Learn

My daughter is almost 16 months old. She truly is a miracle and we are very lucky to have her. I sit and watch her add daily to her repertoire of tricks and knowledge, it is truly amazing. My daughter loves to play on the computer. She will walk to either the laptop or desktop and gesture to be picked up to access the keyboards. My daughter is an avid typist, playing with the keyboard pushing buttons and watching what happens. I have published some of her typing to my other blog, but I think I will post her work here in the future, it is a more appropriate setting since she is learning. Once, as she was typing on my laptop, she reached rather quickly and grabbed my cold cup of coffee that was on the dining room table to have a quick drink while recording her thoughts down on the keyboard…I was quick enough to keep the coffee cup on the table and off the floor. Her reaction was to turn around and give me a big cheesy smile from ear to ear with a “gotcha daddy!” look. Now she grabs the mouse and acts like she knows what it does…I have read where kids like her will be more knowledgeable with technology by the age of 10 than most adults today. She is able to scan the screen and point at items that pop up, she really likes the task bar at the bottom of the screen for some reason. I can not figure it out, but she is very attentive. She also loves to curl up in our laps with a book, but only if you let her turn the pages and go at her own pace. I hope to be able to keep up.

Modeling in the Classroom.

I have been trying to model notetaking on my class wikispace with both my Freshmen and senior classes. I believe I am making some headway, but I can  not be sure. I use the LCD projector and we work cooperatively with the class to brainstorm and edit notes from class sources. I am hoping that by showing them the process and that mistakes can happen and they will understand not only the information but learning process better. Sometimes it doesn’t show, especially when I turn them loose outside of class, but some seem to be getting it.