Tie And Jeans

Taking My Glasses Off

All day I’ve felt hurried and rushed, dashing down an ever extending hallway trying to the vanishing rabbit. This isn’t just a crowded day, or a particularly buys week. It’s a strange and overwhelming feeling, of being pushed from one activity to the another, from one thought to the next.

There are days when I start the day with an incredibly full TODO file and then whip from class to project to teacher to code to meeting. This wasn’t one of those days.

There are days when I have a relatively uncluttered schedule and fall deep into a task, writing code or curriculum, and burn through neurons while only half aware of the school day rushing past beside me.

This wasn’t one of those days.

There are days where I can’t finish a sentence before the next minor crisis erupts, and I find myself digging through ceiling tiles and file structures in rapid succession, fixing my way down an endless ticket list.

This wasn’t one of those days.

There are days when my glasses never seem to sit right on my face. They’re covered in dust, no matter how many times I clean them. I often don’t notice this until mid-afternoon, when I feel my face sore from a constant tension. All day long I’ve been squinting, staring and peering, but I haven’t been able to see anything clearly. The only solution is to take my glasses off and let my eyes defocus, let my face relax. Sure I can’t see anything without my glasses, but I won’t give myself a headache trying to fight for vision.

This was one of those days.

Whatever upset the rhythm of today, it’s origins were all mine. A constant swirl of ideas and concerns, each one pressing enough to need action, but large enough to stall out and put aside for a few minutes when something else intruded. In GTD lingo, I think these are Open Loops. They’re the miasma of stuff, unformed and unstructured, the dust splattered on my productive minds’ glasses.

Everyday, I talk with students who echo the same feelings and sentiments, but I don’t think their Open Loops are entirely self made.

When I walk through the halls and watch middle schoolers darting between classes, I worry that we’ve built a system that thrives on this some sort of frustrating, fruitless busy-ness. Rather than modeling introspection and metacognition necessary for each student to find their successful habits, we celebrate students who master charging blindly through the cruft of our school day. For students who struggle, we’re willing to provide all manner of special optics, but rarely ever do we offer a chance to simply take off their glasses and relax.

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2 thoughts on “Taking My Glasses Off

  1. Melissa on said:

    Great reflection, Andrew. You have such a way with words…something I hope I can learn from you and this blogging challenge. Remember you can always retreat to my room to take off your glasses and relax. :)

  2. this is excellent.

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