Why blog, anyway?


#2016bestnine via Instagram
This blog is neglected. I started it two years ago as a way to gather creative ideas and reflect on personal experiences in opposition to my professional teaching blog, Symphony of Ideas. That hasn’t happened. At least not in as substantive a manner as I had hoped.
And I know what the problem is: Discipline. At the beginning of 2017, one of my resolutions for the new year was to publish a post here weekly. Didn’t happen. Then, Harvard Business Review was kind enough try to motivate me with Jennifer Porter’s article, Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It). Still didn’t happen.
Now, the summer vacation offers precious time. If I don’t start making a habit of writing now, it would take a miracle to build the habit after the next school year begins.
The ace up my sleeve is Connected Learning MOOC. They’re the ones who got me hooked on digital publishing and online sharing in the summer of 2013, and without any major life events scheduled, I plan to participate this summer less peripherally than in the past. You should too! Sign up for CLMOOC here.
Why blog? Who knows? Just write, share, and see where it leads.

June 27, 2016 at 08:29AM

Based on the responses I’ve seen, #Brexit is like trying a spontaneous divorce to cope with a midlife crisis.

via Twitter

How to melt chocolate

Ren wanted to melt a small piece of chocolate, but I wouldn’t let him use the microwave. His solution? Chew it until it melts, then spit it into a bowl. Gross but impressive.

via Tumblr

March 08, 2016 at 05:28PM

Programming is about one person doing hours of needless work to save many people from doing hours of needless work.

via Twitter

The US political establishment

While I’ve enjoyed being excessively busy this week, the political fabric of the US unravels.

The two party system is crumbling.

Both parties have serious contenders whose platforms only vaguely resemble party orthodoxy. While it’s a change I whole heartedly support, it will take courage to see the process through. Let’s hope it stays civil and peaceful.

via Tumblr

Procrastinate and binge

I don’t count time management as one of my strengths. ‘Procrastinate and binge’ would best characterize my creative routines. That worked alright as a music student in university and when I was single and often had entire weekends of free time to fritter away.

Now, with a family including two young children and a career as an international elementary school teacher, free time is a precious commodity.

I have designs on writing a novel, articles for my teaching blog, documentation and reflection for my teaching portfolio, music, learning, etc. All of that adds up to a sizable cognitive load that won’t easily fill the tiny gaps between family and work. If I wish to accomplish any of my creative goals, I need to plan a routine to retrain myself to work more efficiently within a limited timetable.

I have the same number of hours in a day as Thomas Edison and JS Bach, so I know there is time if I can devise a system for using it.

The first step in this process was to input all of my ‘to dos’ into an app called Any.do. Some are daily tasks like writing a journal post, updating social media accounts, or organizing in Evernote. Some are weekly like checking in to a MOOC or publishing a blog post. Each day starts with about twenty five.

Next, I created a personal Google Form to log the number of ‘to dos’ remaining at the end of each day. Although up until now, I’ve mostly added new tasks to my list. It’s taking some time to get used to, but I can sense that I will start finding new ways to tick off boxes every day.

Between those two tools, I expect to find ways to build the kinds of creative habits that will lead to the creative flow I hope for.