Swim today. You know how not all workouts feel glorious?
This one did feel wonderful. I had my groove on. Other than counting laps, I didn’t think about anything while I was swimming. Usually I work out stuff I’m going to write, or try to chew on a problem to see if I can solve it. Today, because I’m teaching a class in Word, I had to get my swim in quite early in the morning. I don’t think my brain had turned on yet, even if the sun was up.
I shared a lane with a guy who likes to do pullups on the starting blocks at the end of every few laps. I notice that’s a popular thing for some swimmers to do. Tempted to try it to see if I can. With the support of starting half in the water, it might be possible. And fun, if I manage it. I doubt I’ll make that much of a part of my swimming routine, though, other than variety.
I had a good class yesterday. The students were interested and involved. God, I love it when that happens. I suspect part of it was that I really like that particular class (Advanced Excel). It’s moderately geeky, and there’s more room to play and explore than with the other classes.
What was really nice was that I think I’ve convinced one of my students to experiment more. Every time he’d ask, “What’ll happen if I do <foo>?” I’d reply, “Try it.”
Sometimes it was because I didn’t know, honestly. But sometimes it was because I really like to get my students into the habit of exploring.
Today I’m teaching Intermediate Word. For me, it’s not as exciting a class. I mean, I like it well enough, and it’s a nice change from endlessly teaching Excel (which is the bulk of what I do for teaching). But it’s kind of routine unless I get a group for whom the material is somehow exciting. Then it’s a lot of fun, but that’s true of any class.
‘Course, any teacher will now tell me that figuring out a way to generate excitement and enthusiasm up front is the way to go with this. And they’d be right! There are some games I sometimes come up with that even the adults like. I’ve used one where every time I misuse a term and a student spots it, they get a point. Believe it or not, this gets them paying attention. You’d think it wouldn’t but it does. I came up with it one day when I taught after being up all night in the hospital with a child. It was for me to stay focused, but it generated some interest for the class, and the mutual focus wound up making it an excellent class.