Monday, June 23, 2014

writing as procrastination instead of writing as work

I have mostly finished my semester's work at the university.  Classes are done but I am awaiting grades from a test my students take outside of class.  I was fairly busy until Friday.

This summer, I will work at an English camp where I will teach, uh, biology, I guess, in an ESL environment.  The uncertainty I displayed above is due to the plans for the class.  In the past, I have taught evolution and ecology and dove into these subjects with enthusiasm.  This time the camp director is giving me students with weaker English ability and wants more of a hands-on taxonomy class, focusing on descriptions of animals and behavior.  All this is good and the subject has great potential, but now you know about as much as I do about the class.

I need to write a booklet for the students by the end of the month and let me show you what I have so far:

Since I photographed this mind-map, I have added snakes, lizards and snails to it.  I may add shrimp as well.  Why shrimp for an inland camp?  Because Korea has fresh water shrimp - these are tiny or shrimpy-shrimp.

On the left is a snail and on the right is a longtailed tadpole shrimp.  Gangwon province is far from Kimhae where I took the picture so such shrimp are unlikely there.

Back to my narrative. I have had a little trouble sleeping because I have been worried about camp preparations.  Making the mindmap relieved me enough that I slept better after making it.  The thing is, the mindmap, though containing important information and offering suggestions on how to organize my book, does little to actually advance the project.

Earlier, I wrote about the differences between novelty and innovation.  I guess I have progressed through the first ring but have a lot of actual creating to do before the product is ready.

I think this illustrates the difference between the lessons of creativity lectures -like Music to my Ears - and discussions of genius.  The class focused on the creation of ideas while geniuses use their deep understanding of the material to choose the best ideas and build on them.  My mindmap contains no new (that is, not new to me) information and I, having studied biology in North America, am greatly ignorant about Korean flora and fauna.  To some extent, birds are birds everywhere and bugs are bugs, but this is to be a descriptive course and I need to be able to name and identify the critters seen or collected.

Anyway, here I am, typing this in a coffee shop.  Typing more original content on this blog than I have in months.  All too distract myself to the problem of not knowing what to type for the book.  Back to work.

...

Before I go, my son and his cousin made a mud man while I was planting rice this weekend.  Have a look - and also enjoy the snail eggs:


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