I am perfectly content, eager even, to fumble through things I don’t know anything about – like PhotoShop, or Final Cut, or anything in the InterMedia Lab. I feel inept in these arenas. I have no preconceived idea that my output must be stellar, or even decent. I’m embracing and learning through play.
Here’s an exercise in “Can you turn on a camera, upload footage, and do something with it?” I was delighted to complete even step one and see the little red blinking dot.
(Thank you Andi – you’re awesome.)
On the contrary, I’m feeling a strong apprehension around academic writing -though I was longing to jump in again- that’s part of why I’m here in the first place. I only have one important long form paper this semester – all other major assignments are shorter or in other media. And it’s not even that long a paper given writing I’ve done in the past. Laura you have a degree in English. You used to do this well.
Bingo. Comparison to a previous self whose composition muscles were in-shape from constant use.
Ahhh. I’ve been grading essays for years now – not writing them! Though I have continuously worked with words. Choosing verbal cues for exercises for different demographics, writing”un-boring” practice sentences to teach parts of speech, writing hopefully clear exam questions… but I’m afraid of the blank screen, and worse I’m afraid of a screen full of mediocre content.
I imagine this is a typical returning-student symptom. Though that doesn’t really make me feel better in the moment.
Like stepping into ballet class for the first time in a while – I undercut efforts by comparing the potential product to an ideal image or an illusion of previous abilities. And yet I know the falling off balance is how to get your balance muscles back. The getting messy gets you back “on your leg.” I know this rationally. But the ego wrapped up in expectation isn’t rational.
The expectation feedback loop is such a thwart to the creative experience of play that facilitates growth.
Let’s be brave and play.
Oh but the internet- you fountain of e-books and JSTOR documents – you are also brimming with procrastination fodder – who was Kate McKinnon this week?…