The way my brain works: I'm like a slot machine, that pays jackpots every time. The only catch is that *someone* has to pull the handle, or *something* has to trigger a turn. I am not, if you will, a self-lighting firecracker. Remote teaching is HARD for me. 1/8
This is why I find intellectual isolation so difficult as a work environment. It's mostly spontaneous interactions with people that pull the handle--teaching, meetings, conferences. I will spit quarters out literally all day, no problem, but only in interaction. 2/8
I'm really bad at conjuring things out of thin air. I'm more Spiderman: I can't fly but I can achieve a flying effect by swinging from one building to the next, one idea to the next. I'm going to need a lot of metaphors: get ready-- 3/8
If you ask me: what are the 10 essential readings in your field? I have LITERALLY NO FUCKING IDEA. I really struggle with that kind of question. But I can name you 40 essential things if you start by "Sherry Turkle used to think computers were cool, but now she doesn't?" 4/8
If I have the first building--Sherry Turkle--I can swing and swing and swing and swing. There needs to be a first building, or I'm standing in the treeless north, shooting webs at lichen. Not going anywhere. 5/8
Right. So putting together syllabus readings is excruciating for me because I have to conjure a term out of thin air. I can pitch a course with a research question but it's SO HARD for me to plan it, no matter how much I know about the topic (I know A LOT). 6/8
This is why I'm always bugging my colleagues, running into their offices with a syllabus question, hoping they'll pull the handle on my brain and I can move forward. Thank you forever, @Digidor , you're the greatest. 7/8
Online remote teaching is like planning syllabi. There's no one to pull the handle. I'm trying to create pullable handles in the course, so that I can function to my regular standard, but if I could INTERACT with people spontaneously again? This would be so much easier. 8/8

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More from @digiwonk

5 Dec 20
On shame: you know, it's taken me a lot of growth to be able to say "I can't do it" or "I need help." Like, it's so hard to learn to do that when you've spent your life internalizing that your failures are moral ones and you should try hard, to admit that trying is not the prob.
So it's a huge, great, proactive thing for me to say, "I can't do it, I need help." But then imagine how I feel when people respond with, "Of course you can! You're doing great! You're so smart". It just loops me right back into shame: I SHOULD be able to do it.
It's a huge risk to admit my vulnerabilities, especially when it seems like a ridiculous thing that someone as smart as me should be able to do. Do you think I didn't try? When I say I CAN'T DO IT, please don't gaslight me. It's not helpful.
Read 4 tweets
5 Dec 20
My #ADHDphd friends in remote work: how are you doing? I am really really really struggling. Everyone keeps telling me that we all have a hard time, and that I'm not doing as bad as all that, and they believe in me. But it feels different.
I am apologizing to everyone who catches me, and avoiding everyone who can't. All my organization and self-regulation and motivation tools have been taken from me by remote work. "We're all adapting!" they say, patting me, but I am not adapting. I am drowning.
I'm sorry I missed the meeting / the deadline / the email / the appointment. I feel sick with shame. Also, I'm going to keep missing them. I'm struggling immensely and working so so so hard, and using everything I've learned from therapy.
Read 11 tweets
13 Oct 20
No more scaffolded assignments, mostly, for right now, a thread on pandemic resilient pedagogy, by me, doing the best I can in a trying time. #ResilientPedagogy #AcademicChatter #RemoteTeaching 1/13
In general, I love scaffolded assignments: they produce mini-deadlines and mini-deliverables and emphasize process and mitigate the possibility of last-minute-panic-writing, while also making cheating more trouble than it's worth. Yes. But. 2/13
12 week terms and scaffolds means that if each component builds on the next, I have a super-fast grading turnaround time, and things are due every week. That's a lot. And then chasing laggards on top of that. It requires me to be 100% fully functioning and *ON*. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
9 Sep 20
What do you need in a video lecture? A thread of provocations, by me. First, here's what you don't need: new camera, new microphone, new lighting, new software. You can make EXCELLENT class videos using consumer-grade tools you already have. 1/
You know what else you don't need? A lecture, actually. Lectures project the human voice to a crowded room full of synchronous learners. A video is an intimate interpersonal communication, that happens to be "broadcast" but is experienced as from-me-to-you. 2/
In a lecture hall, we lecture because we have to: we talk loud, and slow, and show slides or write on the board so that 40-200ppl can follow along for 50-80 minutes. In a video, we don't have to do those things because the context is different. 3/
Read 14 tweets
9 Dec 19
Some things I have learned from student self-evaluation assignments in my first year writing class, a strange and wonderful thread of personal growth and useful feedback. #AcademicChatter 1/12
1. Five paragraph essays, banishment of personal pronoun, fixed topics, check-box rubrics, and literary analysis of books they don't like is what they do in high school and they learn to produce teacher-pleasing writing that they hate and find irrelevant. 2/12
2. They understand writing, then, as a chore with no point other than securing a grade so that they don't have to take another English/Writing class ever again. 3/12
Read 13 tweets
15 May 18
To my tenured colleagues: A thread on how we can be part of the solution, not just a precious relic of the way things used to be, and the manifestation of disproportionate privilege and inequity in the academy. Let's talk; please share and add. #cdnpse
A lot of us with tenure are watching PhDs leave without finishing, go into debt, suffer lousy adjunct jobs, destroy their mental health. We are watching our undergrad programs turned into scaled-up piecework. Our administrative structure turn managerial. What can we do?
Because *we*, the tenured, are the ones to do it. Who else? Marginalized scholars? Contingent workers? Trustees and boards? No. If anyone has the footing, power, and safety to push back, it's tenured people. What are you going to do?
Read 14 tweets

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