Once a week, for the past four years, I've taught a study-skills and test-taking seminar as part of my "real" job. The presentation method, as many who read this blog (or the articles which often come from this blog) might guess, is a blend of storytelling and instruction.
For the most part, I've enjoyed the time in the classroom; every group of 25-to-65 students - the vast majority young enough to be my child - presented its own unique "terrain" on which I take a brief 60-to-90 jaunt (back) into the academic world. Not every one of them needed to hear what I felt like saying. Strangely enough, some of them wanted to know a little more about road running or triathlon than how to beat a multiple-choice test.
This morning I received a note from the indoc staff. Curriculum additions mandated by the persons in charge of Navy training, only three miles down the street, left no room to add this (perhaps the last) hold-over from the Navy's Revolution in Training.
The change was eventual. I've been through three revisions, three cubicles, two commanding officers, two supervisors, a reduction-in-force, a defunct survey database, and a cycle in training delivery methods from instructor-led to self-paced...and back...since I started teaching this seminar. I have to admit a sense of gratitude that it is finally over.
Steven Covey, in "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," says the first habit effective persons cultivate is to begin activities with the end in mind. I think he was talking "end state," not necessarily "end date."
Sometimes we complete a target event (marathon, half-marathon, triathlon, just to name a few) and between the time when the euphoria departs and the muscle soreness arrives we get the athletic version of the "existential dilemma": 'I completed a (blank)...now what?' Could this dilemma exist because we don't like empty schedules and blank calendar spaces? Mary-Chapin Carpenter, in "The Long Way Home," sings that many people are driven with the need to '...gotta go, gotta be, gotta get somewhere..." We don't take the time to appreciate what is now in our mental and emotional rear-view mirror; negative or positive.
So now it looks like I have an extra hour in my calendar. I'm not necessarily ready to fill in the blank with anything, at least for a couple of weeks. It's a little extra daylight time...something else for which I can be grateful.