Saturday, March 30, 2024

Time To Study

I am working on memorizing my lines this morning for a play I will be in soon.  Some of my scenes are now at a point of being “thought perfect” as we used to call it in my bible quizzing days. For example, I just said, “The Bacon-Cateses didn’t invite me for Madame Pompadore.”  It is actually “never invited me”.  

Not that big of a deal, but on stage that kind of flub sets off the lizard part of my brain that starts screaming at me that I made a mistake and it wants to address it… NOW!  It wants to figure out what the actual words should have been.  At which point an internal dialogue starts where I am trying to tell that part of my brain to shut the #$%^ up and that we can deal with this when I am off stage in a few minutes.  I do this while another part of my brain continues with the scene.

One would think that moving beyond thought perfect to word perfect would be enough.  But it isn’t.  You have to go further. I remember watching an interview with the music artist Mylon Lefevre.  He talked about rehearsing beyond getting it right to the point where it is difficult to get it wrong.

I love every part of a show- the rehearsing, the conversations, getting to know the cast, setting up, the production… but not the memorizing.  It gets so tedious.  I get to the point I would rather do ANYTHING than pick up that script again.

But this is a life lesson I learn again and again.  Pretty much anything worthwhile requires work.  Be it mental health, physical health, relationships, career building, education… there are parts that just aren’t going to be cookies and rainbows. 

So, if I want the payoff of all of the good times the memorizing is going to produce…

It is time for me to get back to my script.

Saturday, March 02, 2024

What Works In Education?

I remember a study I read in grad school about which teaching methods were the most successful with students. The conclusion? Whatever method the teacher was most excited about.

States and districts are all about the latest gimmick method. They see a teacher or a district have some success with method X... and now they want everyone to replicate it.

The reality is this: if I have some success with an approach, that doesn't mean it will work for anyone else. It probably won't even work very long for me. What is working presently is something that can't be defined on a spreadsheet or within a bullet point. It is a mix of chemistry, personality, and creativity... that works in THIS moment, with THIS class, and THIS teacher, in THIS setting. Look at it too closely... and it's gone

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