Updating To Do list and other matters

A while ago, I wrote a post called Too Many Projects.

Well, instead of embarking on some of them, I read the post and realized that I could actually update the list.

Too many projects? There’s always something waiting patiently for me to pay it some attention.

  • Like the discarded chair my cousin and I found in the garbage: I’m going to fix it up.
  • Like the puppet for Adele: I’m going to build it.
  • Like the talk for HOTS (higher order thinking skills) I’m going to finish.  Done! Prepared, delivered! Yay
  • Like Lesson 9 out of 12 of my online course.  Done! Now I’m on lesson 10
  • Like the shirts I want to design, cut and sew.
  • Like the book review of Martina’s new book that I’ve begun and need to finish  Yes! I love the book and my first impressions were accepted as the Review!
But now!
To do:
  • Chair
  • Puppet
  • Shirts
  • Lesson 10
  • Get my presentation ready for uploading to the Net for others to see and comprehend
  • NLP practitioner practice
  • Yad Vashem Conference attendance and final project
And so, the to do’s keep on coming
Life is change

Jill Badonsky inspires

too many projects? of course, too many projects

Just wondering.

Was there a time that I didn’t have too many projects?

A time when I could really feel that it didn’t matter when I woke up or if I took a few naps during the day because my time was simply that: my time.

time in a dumpster, photo by iris

Writing this, I know the answer: no matter if I have projects or not, time is always ‘my time’. There’s always a given that I have an element of choice. Whether or not I show up at my job, or spend hours and hours preparing for a specific presentation, there’s always an element of self-determination. I’m not browbeaten into doing something – but rather there’s a moment where through my own logic and assessment of desire, I’ve agreed to participate in the event.

Take, for example, teaching. I went into it by ‘mistake’. The story was that I approached the Education Ministry in Tel Aviv way back when I first moved to the city. I wanted to work on an English Children’s Theatre. They listened politely and then suggested that I join in a special new course for new immigrants with a B.A. to become an English Teacher. The Ministry then smiled and added that I’d be free to implement ‘theatre’ in my lessons! Win-win! (they said). After much pondering and discussion with members of my commune (artists, musicians, photographers),  I decided that it would be rational to have a teaching certificate as a surefire way to earn a living in my newfound homeland.

Thus, I embarked on a life that I’d agreed to: waking up early to take 3 buses to school, studying, returning  home, doing shopping for a household, sharing in meal preparation (usually only one meal, served in the evening), doing my batik, practicing my bongos, doing voice work and making puppets, participating in house events and getting a few hours sleep before repeating the schedule. After 7 months of this, I received my teacher’s certificate, and incorporated English teaching into my regular schedule of puppetry and all the rest.

This was back in 1980. I taught wonderful Puppet English for many years in many locations and only in 1986 did I actually start working in schools. I tried to serve the English Ministry well by incorporating theatre into my lessons, but it was the natural pantomime sort which came from my lack of translation skills. To define vocabulary items, I had to use drama. And, of course, I insisted that my students also use it to practice their English.

So back to the title of this blogpost: too many projects.  I’ve always had a variety of projects running simultaneously.  These days the threads involve teaching, researching, creating materials and studying, while constantly studying how to make more meaningful contact with students’ natural curiousity.

Time for reflection is perhaps the most important element that I’ve added to the mix. Constant evaluation and thoughtful re-framing so that I don’t beat myself up over a lesson that didn’t shoot straight into a student’s brain.

Some things take time. What might appear as a missed target may in fact reap rewards years from now.  Hayuta, a now retired teacher, once told me that when teaching Special Ed students, for example, to expect visible results only after 4 years.  This long term timeframe does wonders for one’s stress level. Things take time. Any project takes time.

But whether I’m building a presentation, a lesson or a puppet, each step towards the desired outcome is a good step. Even if I change directions and start again – each step is a good, creative step.

Too many projects? There’s always something waiting patiently for me to pay it some attention.

  • Like the discarded chair my cousin and I found in the garbage: I’m going to fix it up.
  • Like the puppet for Adele: I’m going to build it.
  • Like the talk for HOTS (higher order thinking skills) I’m going to finish.
  • Like Lesson 9 out of 12 of my online course.
  • Like the shirts I want to design, cut and sew.
  • Like the book review of Martina’s new book that I’ve begun and need to finish

You get the idea.

Lots of projects. Of course! Lots of opportunity for new ideas. Yeah! Makes it exciting. For sure!

After reading What We Can’t Forgive

What We Can't Forgive, Martina Newberry

After reading What We Can’t Forgive, i find myself deeply emerged in swamplands of feelings. The connections made in poetry are often connections that work faster than words have a right to do. And here i am, after reading, and quite helpless to ignore music that happens to seep into my soundscape, or even dismiss the fact that it, too, is eerily in key with the poems I’ve just read.

What I Can’t Forgive is, you see, written by Martina Newberry, and if you know her work, there’s no real reason for me to elaborate. But if you haven’t read her, then maybe i should mention that she pulls traditional associations and re-wires them to new brain cells and body pulses. New synapses at work. And new synapses have huge quantities of energy that all seem to resonate at once.

Maybe here’s a good place to post one of her pieces. Like this one for example, At Night

AT NIGHT

 

All day,

I thought of the city,

of freeways and

overpasses and

tunnels long enough

that you might be afraid

there is no end to them.

When late afternoon came,

it came with

a  pissy attitude and

solar temper.

I closed my eyes

tight like gritted teeth.

Every night we are

newly dead and

every morning, newly born.

That alone should make me happy, but it doesn’t.

What does?

The thought of my good bed,

My dreams of concrete clouds,

Air that smells like old clothes,

The eccentric lamplight on sputtering streets,

The ominous openings of alleys.

Now it’s late.

My neighbor’s vodka

 

has numbed my tongue

but not my heart

which is holding a grudge.

Perhaps I should meditate.

Or take drugs.

The choice between Shiva and Seroquel

is not always a wise one.

Tonight may be one of those nights

when sleep is a joke I tell myself.

Tonight may be one of those nights

when holding on

to the mattress

is as close as I’ll ever get

to Nirvana.

 

“When late afternoon came, it came with a pissy attitude…” – you know what that is. Don’t we all know that pissy attitude that shows up, uninvited, and if we’re good hosts, we let it stay.

So, that’s my mind, right now – lost to focus on anything else but What We Can’t Forgive, Martina Newberry. Here it is on amazon.

And now i’m off to investigate this late afternoon and how attitudes come and go.

Brilliant thoughts to open morning mind

i awake, i drink some coffee, i write a morning haiku and then i open my mind to scan what’s happened during the night.

Ready for the day, the best thing I can do is read someone brilliant, listen to a wise voice on audio, or be swept away by exceptional thoughts.

This morning, it was Martina Newberry’s ‘Guerrilla Whining’ – a poem that resonates on so many levels including the soundwaves themselves of a poet who reads from her soul to mine – intellectually, emotionally and with pointed honesty.

I have to include the entire video clip, but Guerrilla Whining is at: 6:33. Listen if you will.