Week #3 Video Update
Check out this week's video update, with special guests, Robbie Patla and Sailor Kabeary! You don't want to miss this one, folks! We've got sage words of advice from your fellow Ospreys, the weekly update and me in ridiculous costumes doing ridiculous things to try to hold your attention, and be "hip" with the teenagers these days. Check it out! Also, let's just appreciate my refinement from the first video (flashback to me with the bad hair day and absolutely zero attempt at editing, to this gem, which is still horrid, but at least a huge step up).
Here is what you need to know in written form:
1. Senior Thesis:
2. Action Project:
3. Calling for photos of you working on your action project! Please email me a photo of you working on your senior project so I can put together a slideshow of y'all to reassure each of us that we're all in this together!
4. Video Contributions: If you want to contribute ideas or footage for next week's update, hit me up!
Lastly, just a reminder to stay in touch! If you're encountering any challenges, reach out to whichever AHS teacher/staff member you have the best relationship with. Don't isolate yourself!
And finally, here is the written version of what I said in the linked video if you'd prefer to read rather than watch:
I know you’re probably expecting me to share strategies for staying focused, ways to create schedules and routines, ideas for structuring your time, being disciplined, getting stuff done, etc…. However, I want to say two things instead. First, to reassure you that YOU’VE GOT THIS and Second to talk about the difference between managing your time for productivity, and spending your time meaningfully.
For the first point, you’ve got this. I know it is hard it is to stay motivated when all of your routines and normal accountability measures (namely me and your other teachers hovering over your shoulder, flicking your ear when we see you playing a video game or snapchatting in class). I know you may secretly wish that we were still right there, forcing you to keep working but you’ve got this! There is a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s dystopian novel about a post-apocalyptic world where a father and son are traveling alone through the wilderness, trying to survive. At one point, the follow conversation between the father and son transpires:
“You have to carry the fire.”
“I don’t know how to”
Yes, you do
Is the fire real?
Yes it is
Where is it? I don’t know where it is
Yes you do. It’s inside you. It always was there. I can see it”.
Secondly, the difference between productive time and meaningful time.
“Action absorbs anxiety”. But not action in the form of busyness for the sake of busyness, nor action to merely stay in motion and distract ourselves from boredom or pain. In fact, if covid-19 has taught us anything, it is to slow down, look inward, reflect on what wasn’t working with the way we as individuals and as a collective were moving through the world prior to this pandemic. However, what this mantra (action absorbs anxiety) means to me is the way in which intentional action, and action in service of others, action to combat injustices, no matter how small they are—the injustice that your elderly neighbor can’t safely shop for their own food, or the injustice of insufficient medical supplies for healthcare workers. This type of action in service of others takes you out of yourself, it engages you in meaningful work, and that anxiety you may feel creep in subtly in the moments when you’re between tasks, the moment when you first wake up in the morning, before you start your day, the moment between finishing your math assignment and before you decide what to focus on next, that subtle anxiety that is perhaps a response to the uncertainty of these times, perhaps a response to a nagging sense of “how should I spend my time so as to be “productive” today?” well, action in service of others might just abate or absorb that anxiety. And rather than wonder “was I productive” today, perhaps you can answer , “I spent my time meaningfully” For after all, what does productive mean? Don’t we all just want to feel like the way we’re spending these finite days on earth is spent meaningfully?
And so, I’ll end with a short poem by Pablo Neruda, written in the early 1900s but is super relevant to what we’re all experiencing now. I offer the poem as an invitation to use this time to slow down, not for the sake of Inactivity or Inaction or sloth dome, but for the sake of reflection of what habits, practices, routines ,mindsets that you think are ingrained in your being were not really serving YOU or others, and consider how we can come together in this sudden strangeness and be more intentional about how you spend your time. Because it is like a currency. The most valuable one we have.
By Pablo Neruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about...
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Humanities teacher at Animas High School