Be More…Aware

I am a policy debate coach, so my interest in current events is personal and professional.  I get that the world has become a place where people would like to “check out” and “escape” the annoying conversations on social media, etc.  But, the recent “Brexit” and the subsequent stories about the vast number of Google searches in the UK on what exactly the “Brexit” meant to the UK (note the “subsequent” in that last sentence…not done BEFORE the vote, but after) makes me worried about our future.  I feel as if we (as a society, a generation, a global community) take knowledge for granted and the simplest messages are what we accept and on which we base our decision-making.

I would have no question about this, had it not been for a recent Freakonomics podcast episode: Why do we really follow the news?  But, that has set me wondering what is REALLY wrong with people who do this.  There is no end to information out there and sometimes it is difficult to figure out what is important and what is not so important.  I subscribed to something called The Skimm a while ago and found it to be both informative and entertaining.  I liked it as a “read it every so often” daily email.  Then, close to the same day I heard the Freakonomics podcast, I listened to Note to Self episode, “What happens when we skimm the news?” without knowing it was about The Skimm.  The episode took a somewhat negative view of The Skimm for at least part of the episode, but overall, I thought it was even more brilliant than when I subscribed.  I am outside of their age demographic, but knowing how UNaware and UNeducated and UNinterested my students often are in current events, I think this offers them a smart, entertaining and informative way to know more.  So, when I saw they had an “Skimmbassador” program, I decided to sign up.  I’m not getting any money, but I might get a totebag out of it…if you (and nine of your friends) decide to sign up!

So, what do you think?  Do you think our current information-rich society is actually awareness-poor?  Or do you think we are TOO aware and therefore unable to make good decisions based on all that information?  Do you think millennials are less politically savvy or aware than prior generations or is it another one of those false accusations about this generation?

Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thought Sundays

My first Stray Thoughts Sunday in a while.  I have so many stray thoughts, it is often difficult to corral them!  But, I shall do my best!

First off, the Monday blogs in my Sunday feed make me unnecessarily anxious.  I am behind.  I am not as behind as I was a week ago, but I am still behind.  And every Monday is another Monday I am not caught up.  So, I like Sundays to stretch out before me, limitless in opportunity, but as darkness falls and Monday blog titles start to pop up in my Bloglovin’ feed, I start to lose some of my hope and optimism and panic and dread start to set in.  It was my hope to start out this week caught up and feeling great…I don’t think there are enough hours left in the day to fulfill that goal.  Anyone else feel like this?

So, it seemed slightly prophetic that “7 Ways to Start Your Week Like A Leader” popped up in my inbox review tonight (an old post, but one I had saved to read at a later date).  I’m not sure about #1 right now.  I don’t have the person in mind and thinking of someone makes my brain hurt.  But, I am on top of #2 – I actually have a couple of letters to write and send to people’s bosses complimenting them for their recent tournament hosting and I definitely have a long list of Thanks to be handing out.  And, wow – do I ever need #3 in my life.  Part of my problem this past three or four weeks is that all I’ve been doing is putting out fires.  And unfortunately, more are being lit than I able to put out.  It is hard to prioritize when it seems like everything is needed RIGHT. NOW.  But, realistically, when I don’t focus NOTHING gets done.  So, tomorrow, grading is my focus.  I will feel 100 times better if I can get my grading done.  So, although I don’t usually go to a coffee shop to work because I like to be able to clean my house intermittently, I’m going to do it tomorrow to avoid cleaning my house intermittently.  I’m going to take myself off of social media, email, etc. and just take whatever time I have after helping out at my daughter’s school in the morning (tomorrow is the 50th day of Kindergarten and so it is 50s day) to grade, grade and grade some more.  #4 is taxes.  Definitely an issue I need to deal with, so step one tomorrow.  #5 is student instead of employer – I am going to check in with some under-performing students this week (this will be easier if I can accomplish #3!) and see what is going on with them.  #6 is a little less clear.  Not sure who it would be or why, but something may come to mind a little later.  Finally, #7 is going to be a conscious effort on my part this week – shifting to gratitude!

 A few other stray thoughts before I go…

First, I would really like for it to rain in California for a considerable amount of time.  The drought is starting to become a full-fledged disaster.  And when I read things like this infograph, it is also frustrating beyond belief.

Second, Go Giants!

Third, if you like shows like 48 Hours or 20/20 murder mysteries, do yourself a favor and listen to the Serial Podcast.  It is amazing stuff…

And, last, but certainly not least, I have found my productivity guru thanks to Sorta Crunchy – The Complete Flake’s Guide to Getting Things Done by Sonia Simone.

Oh wait – as an afterthought – this bear was my favorite animal of the week!

Have a great week to come and remember – gratitude!