I admit it. I am a fan of animated movies. Among my favourites is the Pixar classic "Up." I am particularly partial to the dog, Dug, who is easily distracted by anything that moves, especially squirrels.
Now that I have begun my post-graduate studies I don't expected that I will have much time to indulge my fondness for animated movies. But the characters, like Dug, are always with me.
Yesterday I sat down at my shiny new laptop/tablet to begin my assigned readings. I armed myself with a beverage and snacks and made myself comfortable on the couch. The television was off. I had created an ideal, distraction free environment for studying.
Or so I thought.
Within five minutes I was squinting at the computer screen and immediately decided I needed an extra pair of glasses so I had a pair at home and at work. Half an hour later I had successfully ordered a pretty purple pair online, scheduled for delivery in two days. (squirrel)
I refocused myself on the assigned reading. It was quite engaging but before long that beverage I mentioned having at my work station had found its way through me and I needed a bathroom break. I was back in front of my screen before long, trying my best to absorb the wisdom being transferred to me via today's most recent technology. (squirrel)
And then my dog needed to go out. He is old and his bladder isn't what it used to be so I obligingly escorted him out to the yard so that he could do his business. My legs had needed a stretch anyway so it was all for the best. (squirrel)
As I sat truly entranced by the evolution of educational technology I was reminded of the website I had created for my class some six years ago. I had put a lot of effort into it and it had been very useful. The parents had liked the links to educational websites that I had included. I decided that it was time I tried to find the URL of that website and see if the links still worked. There were likely some links that were obsolete and new links that should be added. Before I procrastinated and neglected this important task I toggled to another window and successfully found the site and tested some of the links. (squirrel)
Satisfied that once tech support got back to me with my password so I could edit the site and use it as a valuable tool in teaching program again, I toggled back to the screen with my assigned reading. It wasn't a heavy assignment but it was taking longer than I imagined to get through the first pages.
Proud that I had avoided distractions such as music and television and phone calls I continued to scroll through the pages. I continued to make connections with the content of the articles. There were references to blogs and I was reminded about the blog I had begun years ago and suddenly abandoned. I wondered if I could find it. After all, I had successfully found my old website so there was a good chance I could find my blog as well. (squirrel)
As luck would have it, I was on a roll. My blog was still active! I quickly created a short entry, reinspired to record my experiences and thoughts for posterity. Brimming with satisfaction I returned to my reading. I made a mental note to reserve more time for my readings in the future as they were proving to be more time-consuming than I had anticipated.
Finally I came to the last paragraph. Done! Week One's readings were complete. I was proud of myself for my dedication and ability to avoid distractions. It hadn't been easy. Other people might have been tempted to raid the fridge to procrastinate. Others might have picked up the phone and reconnected with a long lost friend. Some might have felt the urge to plug in some upbeat music and take a dance break. Not me. I had been focused.
I can hardly wait until next week.
Hey, did anyone else just see that squirrel?