first 8 weeks

This is it. Sort of. This is the last week, the last few days, of my first concurrent eight-week classes in the doctoral program. Yes, it is only the close of one set of classes in a very long series...of a three-year program. But, I feel like I have learned a lot about the mindset of a scholar-researcher. These two classes have pushed me harder than I had anticipated. 

The closing assignments of these two classes, Scholarly Writing: Identity & The Ethical Educator, require reflective essays (with reference to the required readings!). As I looked back on the organization work I did, all of the analyzing, the synthesizing, and the crystallizing of thoughts, I realized that my pocket notebook carried me through this process. 

Sure, having a Google Drive and other digital tools helped keep my classwork organized. I have color-coded folders in Drive, and I have a series of tags on Diigo for marking up required online readings and PDFs. Digital tools are fun, and they're handy! But, as much as I enjoy the ability to work in a digital arena at the graduate level, I still love analog. 

As I was reviewing my handwritten notes, outlines, to-do lists, and scribbles, I received an email from Field Notes about a new series, a collaboration with Graduate Hotels. A pack of notebooks with a collegiate feel? Perfect. The timing was spot-on. And, I'm hoping to fill one with my next series of classes...that start Monday. 


Started a new pocket notebook today. A few colleagues asked why I used an analog system. Maybe they thought it was odd that the "tech teacher" doesn't prefer Google or some fancy app to take notes. 

I've tried many of them, and they have their merits. But, there's just something satisfying about pen/pencil and paper. It's more intentional, and it's far less distracting. 

A computer is a Lite-Brite® for bad ideas.    

Pixels just don't give me that same kind of feeling. For years, I have kept two pocket notebooks going: one for home and one for work.  

Each notebook serves a specific purpose. The home notebook serves as a personal journal. I record a few lines a day. Some people call that a diary. Some call it a memorandum. I tend to think of it as a source for reflection. It helps me distill my thoughts, and assists me in tracking events.  

The work notebook contains a linear series of notes, lists, to-do items, and reminders. It follows me most places, and keeps my current. 

It never needs recharging. It never needs a software update. And, it's relatively inexpensive. That's my simple process.