A Taste of Your Own Medicine

doctor   “Your Dad is going to be okay.” That’s what the doctor said right after his pacemaker operation early last week. Dad would be in the hospital 3-4 days, and then be sent home with medicine for recuperation. It’s been a scary month of doctor visits, new medicine, tests and more tests; and then more medicine. Then, oops! Well, guess he’s not okay. Back into the hospital we go. Not sure what happened, but it the medicine is fixed and we go home again; then back to the hospital. You see, this takes place in just a week. I’m behind in my grading, my copies and posting for class this week. There is no time to sleep, and, DANG, I haven’t finished by 9x9x25 yet (sorry, Todd).

Okay, now I see what my students see and feel – chaos. Especially those first-year students who are already on overwhelm, and we’re not quite at mid-semester. You know the defenses: “I’m having difficulty managing school, my job, my kids, and my family.” “There just aren’t enough hours in the day.” “I can’t come to class – couldn’t finish my assignment – my child is sick.” We’ve heard them all.

Breathe, I tell them. Just breathe. It’s just setting priorities -like medicine – creating a schedule for each category – reading – writing – studying – working – family. Allow some flexibility for those events you can’t schedule, like family illness. But, don’t forget to breathe.

Interestingly, this week’s focus is on brain care and balance – Exercise – Food – Sleep. Get enough of each. Shorting one creates disorder in another. “Just 30 minutes of exercise gives you increased blood flow and helps with concentration, memory, mood, learning, and stress, I tell them, and it will help you balance all those things you need to get done.” Eat good food – fruits and vegetables – good fats – feed your brain. Get good sleep. It’s proven that sleep actually has neurological benefits far beyond rest and rejuvenation. “Oh, and don’t’ forget to breathe”, I tell them all the time.

Ahem. Not quite so easy when the advice, or “medicine”, is for me. I have priorities. I have schedules. I’m really good at knowing what’s due and when. I have reminders to post information or make copies for class, or to remind students. There’s a different set of expectations from different places, and yet there’s no one to remind me of those priorities. No one to give me that medicine?

Today, I’m finishing up with required Instructor-Student meetings. It was my last student meeting today. She reminded me to just breathe?   breathe


3 thoughts on “A Taste of Your Own Medicine

  1. It is always worthwhile to walk in our students’ shoes now and then. I prefer that the experience come from taking a class rather than having our external lives slip into chaos, but regardless of how those miles are walked, we arrive at our destination with greater empathy and, hopefully, with a bit more insight into what might help our students navigate the course we lay for them.

    I hope your dad is on his way to a stable course as well.

    • You bet. It’s really not so long ago that we were there – well, for me, it may seem it was the Dark Ages! Thanks for your good thoughts on Dad. He’s doing much better.

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