Friday, January 30, 2009

How Is Less More?

Since my general impulse in teaching is to try to impart everything I know, all at once, my goals for improvement for some time have been along the lines of “less is more.” Fewer concepts in greater depth. That kind of thing. It’s a struggle because while the theory seems right, at least in principle, it doesn’t come naturally. Less is more makes a lot of sense in terms of clutter, stuff, quality calories, but not necessarily in other areas. Plus, daily life has some dissonance in it, as Shea believes to her bones that “more is more,” and she lives that to the fullest in terms of clutter, stuff, quality calories, christmas tree size and decorations, you name it: she goes for more.

Whatever the intellectual conflicts about teaching and presentations and such, one area in which it seems quite clear that less is not more is memory. I have less of it these days, and there’s nothing about it that seems better. On my current swing, I managed to get here without any jewelry (it’s lying on the bathroom counter at home; I got it out, but got distracted by a telephone call and then forgot about it, never getting it to the suitcase). While I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, I do wear some and today will have none. I’m working an attitude of insouciance embodying “this is how I meant to look,” but haven’t quite internalized it yet. By showtime, for sure.

Similarly, this hotel room has an Ethernet connection, but no wireless. Last night, I looked at my bag of adapters (for projectors) and thought “rats, no Ethernet adapter” so did without internet or email connections—and just when I could have been reading about my new governor. (Whoever thought we’d be thinking how great it is to have Pat Quinn as governor? Life is strange.) Of course, I do have an Ethernet adapter with me; it’s in the computer stuff I carry around for exactly this situation, but that wasn’t in my memory last night. It waited until the middle of the night to seep back into my consciousness. Less is not more when my brain does this kind of stuff to me. Is it ok to hate this aspect, too, whether it’s tumor or aging or some combination? Finding a positive attitude about this is a challenge. So far, there’s not much good about it to be seen.

Onward to a large-ish group that should be a fun day. Hope yours is as fun as I expect mine to be.

1 comment:

  1. I hope this gets better for you, Tina! Finding patience, dealing with whatever tumour- related impact you're having. I've been told, more than once I must add, to try and not make judgements on the state of my brain just yet. It's too early and things are still working themselves out.

    Hang in there!