A couple of noteworthy learning events happened this week.
1) I learned from an NPR post I saw on FB that using Times Roman font on my resume/CV was the equivalent of showing up to an interview in sweatpants. I imagined, as I quickly remodeled my CV in sleek, no-nonsense Helvetica that I was, in a sense, remodeling myself, from dowdy mid-fifties professor, to hipster siren of stage management. I want to remind you that digital heckling or jeering is not appreciated.
2) After bemoaning (thankfully to myself only) the loss of my second water bottle, I learned that there was some value to cleaning one’s desk. Before you begin marveling at how high the crap on my desk would have to be to hide a 12″ high water bottle, I want to assure you that it was not height, but location. The bottle was sitting just out of my peripheral vision on the desk. As I turned back to check I hadn’t forgotten anything last night as I left my office, there it was, standing like a little soldier in the corner.
3) I learned that it is still possible to raise the roof at 8:00AM in the morning in THTR 130. We had our final class yesterday and after 1 hour and 20 minutes of “Tech Time”, our quiz show format , the students were laughing and shouting out the answers so loud that I thought the University might send the classroom propriety patrol around to GFS 106. We had already been rescued by the IT Squad at the start of the class when my PowerPoint stubbornly went to a black screen every time I hit the play button.
4) I learned that, as a digital immigrant, it is good to have powerfully fluent friends in this technological age. My colleague, Phil Allen and the IT person who’s trying-to-be-helpful voice was coming from the grate in the wall (I guess most people would call it a panel, but in this case, it was grating, because my computer was on the podium 10 feet away, and with the arrival of the streaming masses, the technician could no longer hear my woeful cries from the podium), they solved the problem by saving the document as a PDF and completely circumventing the PowerPoint issue. Brilliant, right? Phil provided both the calm assuredness of someone well-versed in mirror imaging (no, that isn’t a criticism), and someone who is extremely adept at problem solving.
5) I learned that while change is scary, transitions in life are meant to allow us to grow. The building that my office has been in for the past 9 years, I think, is going to be razed to make room for a beautiful new Science building. All 20 plus of us are being relocated to various venues around campus. Rather than looking at the move with fear and dread (I’ve already passed through those portals), I am viewing it as an opportunity to clean my desk. (See 2 above).
So, as I always tell myself, and my students, it is never too late to learn something. You can teach an old dog new tricks and my students do so every day.