Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Mindful (in)Attention post #1

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So I am doing Andrea Rehn’s assignment (ahem) to respond to Alan Levine’s post – and I ended up spending closer to an hour than 15 mins. Here is my journal:

 

1. Date (today, 8-9pm, just after I came back from an outing with family, my kid fell asleep on the way home, tucked her in, got some housework done, then opened up my husband’s laptop – mine is getting repaired)


2. Physical Space and means of access to Web: sitting on couch in living room on husband’s laptop connected to wifi (but also checking text messages and twitter on my phone and iPad while sitting here; the wifi on his laptop stopped working partway so I switched to USB modem – a new one I got today coz my old one isn’t working well and this was a free offer by my mobile provider; essential today coz of twitter chat, even though I also have 3G on my iPad but also not always reliable).


3. Duration of session: around one hour


4. What occurred: OK, I came in planning to do two things:

a. IRB approval for research I want to do regarding my students’ use of Twitter games

b. Reference things for a friend (requires reading some research papers and giving feedback by filling some forms)

What ended up happening, is that to reach some of what I needed, I needed to check my email first. I checked what seemed most urgent, mainly an email from a work colleague who will help me out with #1 above. She asked for more details, and I thought it would help me think about the IRB, so while it DID distract me from doing the ACTUAL IRB (and their website was down for a while which didn’t help), it DID get me writing about it and I even decided to post most of it on my blog since so many people out there are helping me with this one way or another and might be interested, too. So not a waste of time. And made me think more closely about what I was doing and why, and to look at the syllabus gain and question some of the decisions I had made earlier in the semester.

I did NOTHING on b.

In between, I got several text messages which I replied to, I got several DMs on Twitter which I replied to. I replied to a few other emails, and sent a couple like one for the #tvsz gang to let them know I was gonna go ahead with the IRB…

I got up a couple of times to check on my kid (once coz she was making a sound, but she was just dreaming, so no action needed)

In terms of how I was sitting and how I was feeling… I often start sitting cross-legged (my fave position, don’t care what it’s meant to do to my knees, it does not feel harmful YET) but then I had to change positions to take medication and so now I notice I am slouching.

Emotionally, my first reaction to my colleague & friend’s email was slightly resistant “what do you mean you don’t know what course I am teaching? Weren’t you there for final presentations last semester?” then I realized she might not know and even then, she does not know my syllabus or learning outcomes or understand why I am using twitter for this particular class (She helped me out with another class last semester where I was using twitter but it was a teacher ed not undergrad class). Then I got really excited writing that email because it made me reflect aloud and helped me solidify some of my ideas in words. Will def help w IRB.

Emotionally, again, there was another email I read that I did not like a lot. Responded to some people (but not the person who wrote it) expressing how I felt about it. Can’t talk too much here or someone might know what I’m talking about. Anyway, felt good to get that off my chest. Also smsed someone about it.

There were several sms’s and DMs with close friends/colleagues in f2f and friends online.

In between I wanted to tweet Dave Cormier but it was not urgent so I put it off.

While writing the prev blog post I made a 5 min effort to find an image on Flickr of a twitter scavenger hunt, failed, my internet connection went down, and I decided to skip. Was glad I had saved my blogpost so did not lose it when that happened. Made me realize that writing posts on iPad better in that sense coz if I lose connectivity the post gets saved locally.

Now I am basically “wasting” my time writing this blogpost instead of finishing up the IRB (which I now started) or doing the referee stuff (REALLY important, needs focus, but I have a twitter chat on #techquity in less than 90 minutes coming up! Tweetdeck not opening well… hmmm Remembering now how Tweetdeck was behaving y/day – it would NOT tweet, soooo weird; had to open Twitter next to it and I hate the Twitter interface on regular browsers; iPad app is the best; Android app is ok)


5. How you noted it (not sure what you mean, by this? Noted it ex post facto as I wrote this blogpost)


6. What happened to it, (umm? not sure but I guess I answered that earlier?)


7. What worked,

[errr at this point I am thinking, maybe I am just answering Alan’s questions rather than responding to Andrea’s assignment? So I head off to her blog and re-read again; seems focused more on physical and emotional reactions not so much on WHAT they are doing… so I am not really doing Andrea’s assignment… I hacked it… so I head off to Tania’s blogpost to see the example of a student’s blogpost that Andrea had posted – in case it helped provide a model, and I get a notification from my phone that… I have a DM. No need to respond. Was a quick one. Back to Tania, wondering why Andrea’s students are using Medium – why do people choose particular blog platforms, why simpler ones like Medium and Tumblr when WordPress is simple enough… we have our students use it and they’re doing ok….loved the student’s blogpost, had nothing to do with the specific steps here so I guess I am good to ignore them?? MMM reminded of how that can sound rude, but… The student’s blogpost was cool, lots of interesting stuff in it and how cool that he uses the expression “lines of flight” which reminds me of D&G – is it a commonly used expression in English? Was not THAT familiar with it, though it makes sense in English of course…]

But this fails to answer Alan’s question, too, so I’ll have to write another post about that! Wow, he’s got 19 comments already, maybe I don’t need to blog about that after all 😉 But too exhausted and too many things to do (slumping further after having sat up for a while) I don’t think I even have time to read those comments. I better do some of the refereeing or IRBing before the #techquity twitter chat. 1 hour 10 mins to go… Also, phone ringing…

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