Wednesday, July 18, 2007

where is my mind?

i apologize in advance for this post's lack of technological pondering, i need to vent.

i am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but i am highly critical of myself. in thinking about this afternoon's in-class assignment and my frustration with it, i found myself nearly in tears about not being able to easily come up with 19 questions that stratified the cognitive and knowledge dimensions. i realize that it's difficult to come up with questions that are diverse in their knowledge type and grasping different cognitive utilities... and i guess i've always thought of myself as someone who thinks of great questions. we are all stressed and tired, i don't want to blame my visible outbursts on that because i am not the only one feeling that stress. but as hard as we worked, we were struggling to come up with ways to relate the text to meaningful questions.

what i was really impressed by was how people started to come over to help us, but i think it was an ego hit, because i'm not used to being that person who needs help. i don't deal with it well; i'm used to being the one who helps others. it was also about the fact that i do love the synthesis between theory and practice, but was struggling to ground the theories into the text. and struggling further in thinking about how to do this in the fall and spring. i am imagining the look and feel of the classroom already and i think that teaching lessons for 695 will be the beginning of where i feel the application. i think we need to hold class outside. i think we need to change the shape of what we're doing sometimes and i realize how my mind sometimes turns off in front of text books, still. i have unlearned how to see them as useful...

but, as liz de groot pointed out yesterday... we will have to use them despite what we think about text books, politically. how can we use them as a resource that is not frustrating to us and to our students? in the process of moving from student to teacher (and always remaining student, too), i need to ground this in the body. my brain is really feeling rocked and it's a beautiful inquiry into its capacities, but really difficult to grow so much so quickly. and to never be able to stop thinking about it.

part of this is also that i don't have an outlet for this language at home. i have to break it down, de-code the language to my family (which is exactly how i'll have to break it down for my students), so i feel like when i go home, i'm teaching, too. in all of this, i'm trying to find the space for me. holding onto the creativity and trying not to get bogged down in the details.

nam myoho renge kyo, and a nap - both are necessary. goodnight!



ACHG said...

I'd like to just say that I felt exceptionally frustrated by today's process too. The only reason it didn't get to me as much is because I was to the gigglefest point of brain overload. But it IS so frustrating to be the one needing help, to applying concepts that are SO ALIKE it's difficult to distinguish between categories.

It was also just frustrating in its lack of organization as a whole--folders not being ready in CTools, communication breaking down between what Charlie originally said and what Deanna thought he meant.

Know you're not the only one feeling the way you do.

Anonymous said...


I definately understand your frustration at the tedious classroom activity that took 2 hours to complete on Wednesday. I think I was even more stressed out than you afterwards (if that's possible) since there are never ever ever any examples of foreign languages to use as a guide. So whenever you think that an activity is getting on your nerves, think of the foreign language girls (4 of us to be exact) and know that we're having twice as much trouble as you :)


TommyO said...

The first words that came to mind when I read your post was...."welcome to the club." As Abigal confirmed, you are certainly not the only one feeling this way. I have actually felt this way since the moment I stepped into the MAC classroom. Thankfully everyone, from students to instructors, has been remarkably generous with their time and knowledge. Relying on and supporting each other is the only way we'll get through the program and life in general.

Emily E. said...

I think the fact that neither one of us could form a coherent sentence was very telling of our frame of minds. I felt that it would have been better if we had fewer questions to form -- we could have gotten more out of activity. Anyways, I was cross-eyed when I walked out of class, and I don't think I started seeing straight until around five. That class was out of control.

Mrs. Goodman said...

Lauren, I totally agree with you. I was completely brain dead by the end of the day. How could it have been so hard? I think it was the most mentally exhausting day yet.