f/u = follow up 

I always love writing that abbreviation in my notes. It makes me smile. It’s the little things. 

It seems like I’ve been doing quite a bit of “follow up” lately. Following up with distance learning lessons, doctoral studies, Zoom conference schedules, and DIY projects around the house. 

It’s weird, but I actually like working from home.  I never thought I would. But, now that I am getting used to the pace and the schedule of working from home, I enjoy it. 

My “office” for afternoon calls isn’t so bad, either. 

distance learning

Practicing my social distancing in the El Dorado National Forest. Giving a lot of thought to the idea of distance learning. Remote learning sounds a bit isolationist, I suppose. Educational continuity sounds too stuffy and a bit like a business model. 

How do we continue to educate students when they are no longer in a physical classroom? For the past 100+ years, students attended class for 180(ish) days and the magic happened in a set routine. With the COVID 19 pandemic, this is no longer the case. 

Maybe this is the chance teachers have wanted for so long—a chance to redefine the educational landscape. Maybe this school closure is an opportunity radically change school. I don’t know what that redesign looks like right now. No one has the answers. But, I’m having this conversation with others...and I’m optimistic about the changes ahead. 

game changer

Last Monday, I received an email from my university stating that they would soon end operations. Simply put, the university is closing at the end of Spring 2020 semester (in early May). As a student who began the doctoral program in the summer session of 2019, it was disheartening and frustrating. Maddening, really.  

How does a school with a 115 year history suddenly decide to close? Like most of the currently enrolled students, I chose this university based on its history and its reputation. How could this happen? Why were we not told before the Spring 2020 tuition check was cashed? The answer: declining enrollment and rising operational costs.

On a personal level, I am faced with finding another doctoral program that supports my given focus...and one that will accept all of my program credits. The upside: several colleges have stepped forward to accept transfers with full credit. So, I am now in the process of selecting another school. 

theory and practice

Currently reading countless scholarly articles, peer-reviewed journals, and books. Many of them discuss the nuances between theory and practice.

My thinking: the distinction between theory and practice is a wonderfully descriptive metaphor for life.

"Measure twice—cut once" works in theory, but...

...in theory, everything works. In practice, things fall apart. And, then it becomes a cycle. Practice sometimes fails. When it does, we theorize.

Measure three times. 

Cut twice. 

Return to Home Depot.

We ask questions to understand outcomes and clarify. Sometimes, those questions are framed in the simplest terms. 

Standing in the lumber aisle at Home Depot, with the question "What went wrong?" begging for an answer. Eventually, if we ask enough questions, or the right questions, we arrive an new theories...that are put back into practice.