I’m so fed up with “change: right now. It’s not the idea of change or an actual change that’s bugging me, but it’s the talk of change. It’s talking about change, but not really changing. Here’s an example of what’s driving me batty right now.

We have a very labor intensive application review process. Each reader, when reviewing a file, transposes grades on the transcript onto a separate chart in the file. The reader then reviews the file and adds his or her vote along with comments. the chart is a major time consumer, and essentially is just a duplication of data already present in file. Frankly, most of the decisions are made based on a formula output that we call Predicted GPA which is based on a student’s overall weighted GPA, test scores, and class rank. In my opinion the chart is a total wast of time and consumes over 50% of the application read.

You’ve probably heard me say that we’re going to a paperless system next year where all paper is scanned and applications are stored in a database accessed via a web ap. This should speed up processing time.

The big conversation in my office right now is how we recreate the chart electronically or should we just use a paper chart!

To me, that’s not change. I think of change like a hierarchical organization chart. Real change moves vertically. This, to me, is a horizontal move. It’s making a move into something that is completely new and could have a real positive change in the way we do things, but then snuffing it out by holding onto an old comfortable process.

It makes me want to pull my hair out!!!!

“The trouble with you is the trouble with me,
Got two good eyes but we still can’t see”

-”Casey Jones” by the Grateful Dead

It’s funny how we can see what’s right in front of our faces sometimes. Seth Godin has a humorous video posted on his blog that makes the same point. Sometimes we get so distracted by the noise around us that we miss what really important.

Now playing: Grateful Dead – Casey Jones
via FoxyTunes

A bad back and Daylight Saving Time have me in a bit of a mood today. Reflection isn’t on the agenda, so I figured I’d share some links with you all:

  • Why again, do we continue to use Daylight Savings Time? It was rather depressing this morning, waking up and not seeing the sun. Proponents will argue that the are concrete energy savings because of the longer day Indiana, the only state to give the one finger salute to DST is a real world laboratory for this experiment. According to this, actual savings may not be as great as once thought. It turns out that while our light bulbs may be off longer, things like A/C run longer. I wonder if that makes a difference to us in the VT where summers are shorter than most.
  • A nice blog on, well, blogging. She writes about a lot of what we’ve been talking about as far as taking the time to be reflective and changing your perspective.
  • Apparently, blogging is good for you social life.
  • http://www.lifehack.org/ part of the 43 Folders, Getting Things Done movement. Speaking of Getting Things Done, I got through four pages this weekend before falling asleep in front of the wood stove. Maybe I’m just not cut out for a world of structure and organization.

I have a couple of blogs. One for a class, one for Saint Michael’s Admission and this one, which I’ve had for a while, but have largely ignored.

Writing is something that I’ve always loved to do. I’ve also hated it. It’s a terrible chore for me, but at the same time, it’s often my best medium of communication. It happens so often, I sit down to write, and immediately, I feel like a garden hose, stuffed with dirt, or kinked, with water straining to get through the blockage to the other side.

There is no better motivation for me to check faded items off of old to do lists than the prospect of having to write – especially write something that will be read by an audience. Yes, even a 2 – 3 page reflection paper will encourage me to clean out the pellet stove, help my wife with the laundry, shovel the off the porch, brush the dogs, walk the dogs, brush the cat, change the litter box and a handful of otherwise forgettable chores.

Blogging, it will come as no surprise, is something that I had done rather infrequently in the past. Perhaps I’d be in a class that required it, or perhaps, that clog in the garden hose would give way from the pressure and the creative water would flow, exploding from the hose in a quick burst and then returning to a slow trickle. But by forcing myself to blog a few times a week, I have found that the hose clogs less frequently, inspiration comes less sporadically, and I believe I’m writing better than I did before I blogged. It has become harder now to find the time to get all of my ideas out than it has been to come up with them.

I think this is because it forces me to reflect. It is easy to slip into the habit of going through the day in a totally reactive manner or to go through the day in a routine – going through the motions. Stress and a hectic work day increase the probability. By taking time to sit, reflect, and write (perhaps not in that order) you develop a greater sense of self awareness, I find I’m able to glean lessons and insights almost every day.

I have to think that this would be a beneficial practice in a classroom. I can think of plenty of articles and books that I’ve read, and almost immediately forgotten. It is information that I may have stored in short term memory, but it didn’t stick. I have to believe that if I took the time to reflect on the material in a blog (and it wouldn’t have to been a huge entry rather just a few sentences to summarize key points) the information would stay with me longer. Students I’m sure would find this beneficial. Best of all, by far the biggest benefit is that it would create a habit of writing and reflecting, and it is so much a habit.