As another school year draws to a close, we want to thank our loyal readers and especially our many contributors. We’ll be recharging our batteries over the summer. As we stroll the beach or hike the trails or ride our bikes, we’re certain to be thinking about learning and how to make it more pleasurable. Our summer reading will include the usual guilty pleasures, but we’ve also already added some books about learning and teaching to the stack. We hope you’ll check back with us in the fall. In the meantime, we feel like this little fella:
Enjoy your summer…every last minute of it!
Runners compete in races of varying length, or they simply run a race as an achievement in itself, with no concern for placing or winning anything. Golfers do the same; in fact, most golfers do the same. Goals run a wide spectrum, and sometimes the goal is simply pleasure, or perhaps simply, “I did that.”
The school year is almost over, and it is an accomplishment to complete it for faculty as well as students. A year completed is a year of experience. For students, it means a year closer to a degree or credential. One of my students is finishing college algebra and English 102 and wrote in a journal entry, “I am burned out with math and writing and am glad that there are only two weeks left in the term.”
Soon that feeling of weariness will fade into the background, and the pleasure of completion will far outweigh the tedious, cumulative burden down the stretch, as the end appears in sight. Most classes have students who can go either way in the closing weeks of a term or school year. It is a special thing to behold resolution set in for those who choose to persevere to the finish, or even stretch for a better grade.
An old mentor used to talk about three things: commission, cost, and completion. Commission is a time of fresh desire and enrollment. Cost, of course, means the sweat and price paid. Completion is the crown, even if it is your own crown of your own intention.
“We’re all wired to learn and grow. The research on happiness is pretty clear that continuing to learn and grow and master something is a big piece of what makes us happy and satisfied in life. It’s why we take up hobbies in retirement. It’s why we stick with golf, right? Because that occasional good round gives you the illusion that you’re getting better. It’s very satisfying.
The problem is that there’s a second human need, which is a need to be accepted and respected and loved and to feel safe just the way you are now. And the very fact of feedback suggests that how you are now is not quite okay.”
—Sheila Heen, co-author of Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, in an interview with Ross Reynolds of KUOW 94.9FM Seattle News & Information, March 19, 2014.
So sign that darned evaluation…and then enjoy your weekend.