How much change can one person take? How much should one person take? Is there a threshold beyond which one cannot return? What’s the optimum dynamic-to-static ratio?
Despite what people might think, I am a scientist at heart… you might not guess that from the exterior self that frequently shows at surface level, but I am trained to never take anything at face value and always use the scientific method that bases any initial plan of action on hypothesis/testing/data collection/analysis/conclusion. When results are ambiguous, it’s back to square one to reframe the hypothesis… then more testing/data collection… you get the picture. Try as I might, I never completely break the cycle of trial-and-error in order to find some solution to a question/problem.
Scientists use the Greek symbol Delta to represent the degree or rate of change. For example: if the temperature here in Casper last week was -15F and today it is 44F, then the degree of change or delta temp=59F… which btw… has been very nice indeed!
So today… my delta change has been off the charts. I like to blog first thing in the morning when my brain is fresh (mostly rested) and all is quiet and the coffee is hot. Today that was not the case… my phone rang early with a plea from my husband’s school for a substitute teacher. I spent the day with second-graders 🙂 totally off my radar in terms of things I might do with my eminent future. Life is funny that way.
This was my first time ever in this type of classroom setting… where you have a very specific schedule and set of tasks/where the flow of work ebbs around music/ recess/ partner reading/ lunch/ recess/ math games/ PE/ assembly/ recess/ social studies. I was very attuned to how I saw these children learn today. I found myself comparing them to what I experienced when my own children were in second grade and even when I was there many years ago. Delta change is exponential and astronomically different these days. Not a profound insight but a timely question put to live motion right before my eyes today.
Have I evolved like I’ve needed to since my elementary school days? Do I continue to evolve as I try to catch all these knuckle balls that life seems to want to throw at me? Is my delta change moving toward the positive or negative?
These cute second-graders that I shared life with today have always lived in the 2000’s. They have never known a time without computers or DVR’s or cell phones or high-speed internet. They have always had the option of being instantly connected to the global world community. They have always had a digital thumb print somewhere in the world. Sociologists call them ‘digital natives’. That’s weird to me… and cool at the same time.
But more than that it makes me think of my own rate of change… not for the sake of keeping up but more for the sake of understanding and contributing a relevant voice to what is coming ahead. These young minds need more than just intellectual education… because life is going to throw them knuckle balls too. I can help them navigate their own delta change when the time comes.