Sometimes… · 16 April 2016

Sometimes, regardless of best intentions, you do not get the job done. Or is that just me?

I was posting my blog the other day and ended up not getting any writing done. Or at least nothing new. Except these few sentences. And a twitter post of a six-word story.

Talk about disappointing. However, the great thing about writing is that you can just pick up where you left off. (I am writing this on a different day.) Or at least most of the time I can. Then again, I find that I have almost as many unfinished ideas as I have finished ones. Not quite, but it sure seems like it. I have pages and pages of just a few words or ideas. Some of them are a bit longer, but certainly incomplete.

But not getting the job done does not just happen with writing. Sometimes I get so caught up in the day-to-day stuff, that I forget to do the things I am supposed to do. Sometimes I get caught up in catching up on my emails or helping people with their technical problems or doing digital paperwork that I forget my most important job of teaching. I sometimes run out of time to wander around and help folks out.

(Now, if you have been in my classroom anytime in the last twenty years, you have probably heard some Miyoshi-ism. Some phrase that I say over and over and over and over. For instance, I excuse my classes with the encouraging words, “Have a great day.” I also try to get them to work and get their own tasks done with other encouraging words like, “Getting any work done over there?” I use the same phrases so much that a couple students created an app that gives people my voice and some of the most popular phrases. But if you have been reading my blog very long, you already know about that. Suffice it to say, that I am somewhat predictable in what I say and do.)

One of the most important things that I do in my classes is to “wander around and help folks out.” I do not say it in the drawl that some of my students like to mock me with, but I do say it after I address the students at the beginning of each class. Or almost each class. But that wandering around helping folks out is where I do my best work. It is where the teaching and learning take place. People do not pay enough attention to lectures to get much out of them (not that they are long or many in my class), but students do get plenty out of individual and small group interactions. Sessions do not even need to be about the topic at hand for students or others to learn something. I know that I learn something about students and even about the subjects I teach from these interactions. From just wandering around.

But I must admit. Sometimes, the other stuff gets in the way of teaching and writing. Sometimes, I just do not get the job done. Sometimes, I do not wander around to help folks out. Sometimes (maybe often), I do not get out a quality piece of writing.

I guess that is just life. Sometimes, we get distracted from the most important things. Sometimes, regardless of our best intentions, we do not get the job done. Or maybe that is just me.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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