Where I Am, Where I’ve Been, And Where I’m Gonna Be

June 24, 2010

For Thursday, June 16, 2010

Most of us just want to do what we can in the best way we can and we hope others will understand. We get damn tired of explaining, though, what we can’t do. It’s not excuse-making, it’s not oppositional behavior, it’s not reveling in being difficult, it’s us knowing who and what we are and trying to survive. • Dr. Pauline Wayne

Between prepping for courses and for conference presentations and grappling with registration challenges, I’ve been spending way too much time on the computer lately. I’ve been reminded of why I quit the world of graphic design some years ago, foolishly thinking that teaching would mean less time onscreen. And it used to. But no more. Pushing back is all I can do.

Too much time focused on the technological blessingcurse of the computer can trigger visual disturbances and migraine headaches, not to mention pain in my hands and wrists if I overindulge in keyboardery. I do my best to manage these problems by stopping, commonsensical advice provided by a doctor more than two decades ago.

I’m on such a stoppage now, doing only the absolutely necessary computer stuff.

And that brings up a bit of student success information. Sometimes teachers don’t do what you would like for them to do, but sometimes they have reasons for not doing it. For example, I do not take student work electronically because I cannot read it onscreen and I am not willing to expend time and energy trying to print it out so that I can look at hard copy. Some files open. Some do not. And by the time I get work printed, I could have read and commented on it, a far better use of my time.

Not everything that others do is intended to make your life miserable, nor does it provide evidence of their unwillingness to be accommodating. Sometimes it has to do with their well-being and their ability to sustain a productive life.

What accommodations do you make with life in order to sustain your energy and enthusiasm for the things you need to accomplish?

It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I’m not crazy about using. • Marlee Matlin

P.S. I’ve been writing old-school—pen and journal—and will be slowly catching you up as I can.


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