Thursday, September 9, 2021 (Day 252)
Relaxing Music for the week: Unity: Liquid Mind (9:50) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzPpaH1V66Y
Question: Where have you felt most like a stranger or outsider? Why?
Answer: Most recently, I have felt most like a stranger or outsider when I’ve played USTA tennis. Most of the people that play have been playing on teams/with others for a while. Since I haven’t played as much tennis as I have in the past, it’s been weird playing doubles with people that I don’t know. And it’s been fine playing with different partners, but after matches instead of hanging out, I typically leave and head home so I can eat, get a shower, and go to bed to get ready for the next morning’s workout. I felt that was about pickleball the first time I played, but they were much more welcoming than those that play tennis. And now I play both, as well as golf, and it’s been great having the variety of sports to play. As some may know, if you want to get really good at a sport, you need to commit time and energy to it – right now, I’ve committed about one day a week to tennis, one day a week to pickleball, and two days a week to golf – and that’s about it. I can hold my own in each sport, but I won’t be competing at a higher level unless I devote time to getting better. I will say that my golf is better, even at two days a week, because I actually found a driver that allows me to hit it a good (not great distance) off the tee; as a result, I’ve been able to break 80 the last three rounds I’ve played – which is a plus.
This semester, I decided to do something a little different in my class. I know that many of our first-year students value their connection with family, even more than with friends. So, I decided to use class time instead of doing activities each week, I decided to let them do the activities online, then use the class time to have more “interesting” discussions. This week, I’m having the students watch this video:
- 5 Minutes for the NEXT 50 Years of Your LIFE (Matthew McConaughey) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKJImnk-gzQ
In my Wednesday morning class, I had the students watch the video, then had them do a free write on the following reflective questions:
- What does success mean to me?
- Who am I? Who am I NOT?
- What lights me up? What keeps my fire burning? What turns me on?
- What makes me come alive? What am I curious about?
- What’s working in my life? What’s not working in my life?
- What do I need to keep doing? What do I need to let go of?
- Where do I need to focus my time and energy?
- What brings me joy? What makes me happy?
- Who brings out the best in me? Who brings out the worst in me?
After the 15-minute free write, they had the opportunity to share their answers with one or two other people. It was okay, but the conversations were pretty short. In my Wednesday afternoon class, I had them watch the video, then gave them the list of questions to answer in small groups of 2-3. Conversations were more engaging and more meaningful; even though a few groups ended early and played with their phones after about 10 minutes, more than half the class were engaged in some pretty great conversations for at least 20 minutes. I got to hang out with one of the groups and enjoyed being a part of the conversations, sharing a few of my answers with them.
It’s my hope that the students can feel like part of something special, feel like they are part of a small community of people going through the same challenges together, leaning on each other to get through each week. We’ll see…