Tuesday, May 08, 2012

It's About That Time

Liner notes from Miles Davis' 1969 LP 'In a Silent Way'Yesterday I was caught in one of those crazy need-to-be-in-two-places-at-once situations we all sometimes find ourselves. What comes from juggling several different work assignments. Thankfully I have some super cool and supportive colleagues who helped make the whole day a lot less stressful than it might have been otherwise, and I made it through in one piece.

Got me thinking a little about the “virtual” world of online communications and how all of us kind of “exist” in multiple places these days. I guess my thoughts are also leaning in that direction because I’m planning to teach my poker class online this summer, and in fact will be away on one poker-related trip at the start of the session, and by the end I’ll be in Vegas for the WSOP. (Is the Series really less than three weeks from starting?)

I’ll be plotting my strategy for that soon. Likely I’ll be trying to manage things so that I’ll be “teaching” my class an hour or so each day (plus the added time I’ll spend grading essays), meaning that wherever I am, as long as I can get to the web I’ll be all right.

Kind of looking forward to managing a course this way, which after many years of “face-to-face” classes will be a first for me. I certainly like the idea of omitting the commute back and forth to teach, but I know I’m going to miss the classroom interaction, too. (By the way, anyone with experience teaching online courses with handy tips or advice, please share.)

Anyhow, getting back to the idea of being in two places at once... it’s not an original observation, I know, but damn it seems like we’re all always “multi-tasking” these days. I mean you’re reading this blog post right now, but I’m sure you have other tabs open, too, yes? And checking that Twitter feed and/or Facebook. And probably doing three or four other things as well, am I right?

I can’t be too offended. I mean if I’m going to be honest, I have to admit I’m also doing other things -- some work-related, some not so much -- while writing this.

Vera and I were sitting in front of the teevee the other night and I brought up how way back when -- before the internet came along to try to consume us, that is -- it was possible to do nothing but watch television. For hours. I mean watch without doing anything else. Or, you know, read a book start to finish. Or just listen to an LP, first one side, then the other. I mean really listen....

Ah, I’ve got too much to do today. But I think I can spare 20 minutes before splitting myself up again into all those selves. We all need to take the time to unplug now and then.

If you’re trying to reach me... don’t fret. I’ll get back to you shortly. Just taking a little break. To slow down. To listen...

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Blogger PokerLawyer said...

Love this.

5/08/2012 9:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Not so much the teaching side, but from a strickly online student... try to maintain a 24 hour response policy on emails.

People are taking online courses for a reason, mostly because they have the same issue as you of not being able to commute to a campus 2X-5X a week.

I know my worse experiences so far have been professors who either do not reply within a day, do not reply over a weekend, or leave short, ambiguous answers that make issues even worse.

I understand professors have lives too, so giving the students a heads-up on delays goes a long way.

5/09/2012 8:37 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

PokerLawyer... same here. Like a whole world, that record.

Drizztdj... good advice. I actually follow that same policy of responding the same day to emails (sent before a certain time at night). I also get papers back relatively quickly (w/in a couple of days). I'll definitely set up some parameters for the timeliness of my responses/feedback as part of the syllabus.

5/09/2012 8:50 AM  

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