And They’re Off!

karenAre we having fun yet? It’s easy to forget how many chores need to be completed before we can even get down to business…and it’s alarmingly easy to forget how to accomplish those chores. How do you open OnBase? Where is my team site? How do I edit this BlackBoard list? Oh, and don’t forget to change the phone greeting and email autoreply.

My lab is getting new cabinets (yea!) so I have to remove and sort everything in the old ones (boo!). I have a new textbook, so I need to retool my assignments. Update those syllabi. Post those office hours. Update that class schedule. On and on it goes, as the sand and waves of Florida fade to memory.

Good cooks know use a technique called “mise en place,” as described by the kitchn:

“Mise en place literally means ‘set in place,’ and it refers to having all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. Onions are diced, spices are measured, broth has been portioned. And it’s not a bad idea to have your pans and ladles laid out, too!mise en place

Taking the time to do all of this upfront actually ends up saving you time in the long run. With everything laid out in front of you, you’re more organized and efficient. Your whole cooking process becomes streamlined. You’re far less likely to do something like accidentally adding the salt twice and you’re not scrambling to find an ingredient in the back of the cupboard right when it’s needed.”

We’re doing the same sorts of tasks in a different venue.

fireworksIf you’re starting to feel sorry for yourself, consider the prep work done by Phil Grucci and his team. Grucci is a world record holder in the field of pyrotechnics. During the June 29th podcast of mental-floss’s “An Even Better You” series (available as a free download on iTunes), Grucci detailed the complex digital work that creates those dazzling ooh-ahh displays. Every single minute of a world-class fireworks show requires four hours (!) of digital and artistic teamwork.

So, anything less than four hours prep per minute of class time is bush league. No whining. Back to work.

(Editor’s note: We are actively soliciting contributions for this year’s blog. Please share your thoughts with us. If you want to view our posts, please sign up to receive them. No obligation…that’s what that “delete” key is for!)



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