In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. 
- Zen Concept of Shoshin

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

back to the box

, originally uploaded by Mr.Bones.

For the past month or so I have been exploring ways to stay out of the box. Well, yesterday my seasonal retirement came to an end and I got temporarily got back into the box. Now after two days of being back to work, I am trying to figure out how I can take the ideas and stuff I found this August and dance around and on top of, but stay out of the box.

So, what is the box? For me the box is doing the same old thing for no other reason than because it is what I did last time or every time. It is doing things the way others are simply because it's easy. My goal this year is to continue to stay out of the box.

One of the ways I am going to try and do this is by being greener. The past two years I car pooled to work. Actually last year I drove, but my driving saved two others from also having to drive.

At work I am going to try and considerably reduce the paper I push. I am going to try and decrease my printing and copying of assignments and deliver them digitally. For me this will be a challenge. Primarily because it will require my students to do and think differently. But I learned two years ago when I first tried eliminating paper, is it will require me to think and do differently. I was amazed at how much paper I pushed.

This year I think it will be a bit different though. All of our classrooms got interactive whiteboards, better known as smart boards. I haven't used mine yet, but from the demos and the literature I've accessed it will be pretty cool.

I've also started using the personal brain for taking notes. It is weird to not print them out though. But as I discussed previously, the dynamic format of the brain allows for a lot of cross processing.

I haven't given up on GTD either. I actually should re-focus on the principles of GTD, because getting back to work has been so crazy that I actually forgot essential paperwork at home today and had to drive back during lunch to pick them up. I've never done that in the ten years I been commuting. But then working out of my basement is not as easy as I thought it might be.

When I walked back into school last week on the day I was told we could move back into our classroom, I walked into a room where the remodeling was not yet complete. Half of the ceiling was completed. There were not any lights or electricity. And, my world was still in boxes that were scattered throughout the building and I couldn't 'move' in as told. When I left the building this afternoon, we had just got back online and the electrician is very, very close to having the room finished. It didn't help having to conduct student conferences with window installers finishing the new, energy efficient, window installation. This week is always the toughest. It is transition week and hell week all rolled into one. This year is proving to be no different. I need to get out of the box!

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