As if we haven’t heard this one before!
I was at an orientation class tonight for teaching a couple new (to me) classes, and one of the speakers talked about how to deal with disruptive students…you know, the ones who text, talk, walk in late, eat Taco Bell (and aside from the smell being disruptive, make sure to over-crinkle the wrappers), argue, sleep, etc.
The solutions were pretty obvious, but one aspect of the lecture focused on being present. I think I’m going to remind myself of this frequently because I know it will help everyone have a better experience overall. A couple years ago, when I taught a freshman wellness class at Keuka College, I had 4 sections of 35 students in each one. Teaching the same thing 4 times in a day, 3 times a week, is not advisable. I had to focus on what I was saying (or repeating), and it was all about being organized. I still think it went well, but looking forward at teaching classes only once sounds a lot less stressful.
I tried practicing being present tonight at the orientation. When the snooty (for what reason, I have no idea) ladies next to me were slightly rude and also whispered to each other through the first lecture…I ignored it. When people started asking “dumb” questions near the end of the evening, I just listened and didn’t get irritated about how they were wasting my time. When the lecturer ran over a little bit on time, instead of thinking about the number of posts and emails I needed to respond to this evening, or the fact that Joe is going to be home tomorrow (and Matthew has been here for a day, and I’ve been totally overwhelmed…..my point? It looks like a tornado went through the apartment!), I didn’t pack up my stuff or get itchy to leave. I sat back and observed a few other people get itchy and pack up…and then I just listened.
It felt much better to not always be thinking about time passing or being wasted, or about what I need to rush off and do next. I need to use this strategy when I’m eating too—too often I eat fast because I am thinking about the next bite (and I have no idea if or how much I’m enjoying the current one).
Will you try being present along with me? I think it’s going to make teaching more fun, and if I really get a handle on it…everything else could be more relaxed too (even though my life is the opposite of relaxed right now!).
p.s. I love the hot weather (but I think it may have ruined my flagship batch of kombucha)…AND Petra and I came up with a challenge for September (ok, she thought of it). We’re each going to make 10 new raw recipes this month. This will help me—my dinner could be more easily enjoyed bite by bite if it consisted of some of Sarma’s recipes rather than of two handfuls of cashews, an apple, and a scoop of sunbutter!