One of the features of being an educator is having long periods of time with few scholastic responsibilities. Part of this time is used for planning the next academic year. When researching software for video editing on Linux, I fell down a rabbit hole of distraction. It took me a while to catch that I was at the bottom, and once I did, I could see the reasons for being there. I have taken the time to refocus on my priorities, and I am ready move forward.
My academic years are full of pressure, and that pressure is off right now. This year has been a marathon run at a sprint pace. Now that I am off contract, I have no deadlines to worry about until July. That has let me sleep eight hours every night. Finally, I have the energy to reflect about this past year and plan for next year. The downside to freedom is that I am easily distracted.
While researching software for video editing on Linux, I came across a channel with Linux tips and reviews. After watching the videos, I had a dangerous thought: I can do that too! If I was going to work on creating mathematics videos, why not start a Linux tutorial channel and make some money? Through my comments on a different channel, I got positive feedback on my past videos. That was enough to seed me spiraling down a distraction drain. After a couple days of working late and setting up computer hardware and software, I realized I was forgetting quite a few important things. My family being the first item of that list.
To be honest, I have always had the desire to be known as an intelligent person. It has never been good enough to just show up and be 90% as good as the best person. In addition, if someone is talented in the same area as me, I cannot let them have all the glory. I have always had to say, “Look at me too!” A couple of months ago, I realized that this is a manifestation of low self-esteem. Even though I know the source of my issues, I am still unable to stop myself in time.
For the future, I must work to remember what I need to accomplish. The first is to become a more effective teacher and educator. The second is to have fun learning new things. My message must be, “This is fun and you can do it too.”
There are three steps I will follow going forward. The first is to disengage with the sources promising false fame. More on this later. Second is to move up the media production difficulty ladder one rung at a time. Maybe do some writing before working up to a podcast. Don’t jump into constructing a video production studio right away. The third is to prioritize and calm the chaos around me. I made some good progress this week while building a workspace. I need to keep ordering my environment so I can get to the next academic year ready to succeed, not play catch-up.
The luxury of time is mine for the rest of this month. My intention is to use that time to develop as and educator. It was temping to start a side adventure and accumulate fame as a technology tutor. It took a few days of feverishly doing the wrong jobs to realize what the right jobs are. Sharing a joy of learning is my mission. To accomplish this mission, I must constantly remind myself that a know-it-all cannot be a true learner.