The comps

October 9, 2008 § Leave a comment

I give myself permission to write my way into some semblance of coherence as I tackle this next phase of my program. It helps to think that I am communicating with someone, even if it is only my other selves, all waiting, wondering who is going to be called on next to step up and perform. I can’t believe how well the session went yesterday. Those three categories that emerged through the process: subjectivities, methodologies, questions. So perfectly capture my moment, where I am, what I am looking at, what I am researching, what I am teaching. I feel bad for the student who feels so lost. I must respond to his email, even as I resent his lostness, and suspect it as a ruse to cover over his own disengagement from his program, or from my class. But it is perfect. Because what he is feeling so perfectly encapsulates where many of us are right now. Just give me something concrete, something sure, something familiar that I can hang onto. But that certainty eludes us. Everywhere we look we are confronted with complexity, ambiguity and contradictions. Was it always this way? Can we only see it now because we are able to see it?


Sorting out relationships

October 9, 2008 § 1 Comment

This has to be one of the most confusing aspects of my experience this term. I dread the bell of my email application, signalling another relationship that needs attention. Is it one of my students (who seem lost, confused, and unable to read a syllabus)? Is it one of our research participants (who seem overwhelmed, out of touch, and irritated by me)? Is it one of my classmates (who have yet another article to read to prepare for next class)? Is it my advisor (wondering why I re-wrote the article that had been accepted for publication with minor revisions)? I’m at the point now where any communication signals a spurt of adrenaline into my already burned out system (or was that the double espresso I had this morning)? How would I get through this without my coffee? I AM EXHAUSTED!!! There I said it. I don’t know how to manage the competing demands for my attention: edit the article, visit three research sites, meet 4 new people, re-connect with research participants, what to wear, how to spend the next hour before I have to leave, remember it takes 1/2 an hour to get out the door, so really it’s only 1/2 an hour. What about that student who wrote asking for a meeting? What to do about that? How can I have a student who is afraid of failing the class? It is a pass/fail! How hard is that? I must be a bad teacher. Oh, but I shouldn’t say that about myself. My language use does affect my attitude and my perception of myself (Thank you Walton and Banaji 2001). Teaching and learning with digital technology. What a joke! What is multi-media? What is a module? Can I have step by step instructions? I don’t know what I have to do to pass this course. My teacher doesn’t want me to use any digital technology that is going to stay after I leave my practicum. Honestly. It really is a mash up of issues, anxieties, identities, and cultures. How did I end up in the middle of it?

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