Today, I took a break from final exam review and showed my 9th grade English class a TED video on meditation as a strategy for relieving stress and staying focussed. I’ve attached it here. Then, I asked my students to respond to the following question by brainstorming on the whiteboard. “What do these people do or teach to help you cope with stress and mindfully live in the present? 1) Your parents? 2) Your teachers? 3) Your friends, and 4) God/The Bible? The responses were insightful and sensitive, but the most shocking response (to me, at least) was that NO ONE wrote ANYTHING under “Teachers”. I heard the silence LOUD and CLEAR! To these 14-15 year olds, I am a stress-causer, not a stress-reliever. I laughed a bit with them and told them I never intend to cause stress, but I know it comes with the job. I told them that we should all try to clear our heads for 10 minutes each day from now until the very last final! If it helped to relieve stress, then they would have to put me on the board.
That leads me to my own journey as a doctoral student. This week’s assignment/learning is all about a personal knowledge management system (PKM). I have so many new apps on my phone and my computer that I feel dizzy looking at my home screen! I definitely feel bombarded and “pushed” by new information and new voices. It’s getting a little loud, to tell the truth. So, what am I doing about it? 10 minutes a day, huh? That could a life-saver! What do you think?