The challenge / opportunity is to do effectively more than one thing at a time, consciously. Un or subconsciously, we are multi-tasking all the time, but to multi-task consciously raises the bar quite a bit. I feel stymied when I attempt to tease out of my daily teaching life the several strands of activities, and ways to represent them clearly, that collectively produce or enhance knowledge, research and writing skills, civic awareness and democratic values & outcomes.
I have written with my classes each day, (though neglected to upload them to the internet) turned over more of the control of the learning experience to students, (with deeply & historically satisfying results, though not as consistently as I’d like across the board) thought about or contacted my own colleagues and/or classmates regarding our own and collaborative research and professional projects. This morning alone I left a message for a former professor, encouraged a junior colleague, read a chapter in Obama’s Audacity of Hope, a chapter in Stringer’s Action Research in Education, jotted notes about where our lives otherwise intersect and the several strands of dreams I had, loaned my car, read three chapters from several books in the Bible, today’s devotional in Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, cleaned the shower and toilet, brainstormed a list of contributors for a collection of essays on moving from theory to practice with self acceptance that empowers and helps organize others to do likewise, unloaded the dishwasher, prepared and consumed a bowl of oatmeal with craisins, coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon and almonds, thought about what next to add to my wiki, blog and class blog, decided against singing at the old folk’s home with a choir member and going to volunteer in the NICU (accepting my own limits the better to fulfill the obligations of my own public service & writing ministries) and I’ve only been out of bed for three hours!
When will I purchase and organize my binder for this semesters’ classes, upload all students names to my online grade book, read the assigned chapters for each class, finalize the documents needed for the various service learning projects and refresh the twists in my hair? I realize that even listing these concerns contradicts this morning’s commitment to take no thought for [my] life… but at least I remembered I made it!