Spring Break Monday: managing the context shift

The quietly gray not-quite-brightness of a gently raining spring day is almost enough. Unless I want to do something detailed, I don't need to turn on lamps or overhead lights. I can hear the creek and the rain falling on the driveway's gravel and dripping from the budding lilac hedge. NPR's Morning Edition is streaming into my computer and out the speaker, and my coffee is really good today. This. Is. Nice.

I worked really hard last week to get my course work done, and I feel the satisfaction of it. Today is Monday in the week of vacation time before spring quarter. Youngest giant (with a nearly full beard now ... I think I liked it better shorter, but he ain't askin his mother for beard advice) is en route to older giant's campus to pick him up and bring him down here for the week. Or, he will be later. It's only 8:30 in the morning, and I have doubts as to his consciousness at this time. ("But just so you know, mom, he might be spending more time crashing on our couch in town than at home. He said there are a couple of concerts he wants to go to." -- Gotta like a kid who thinks to warn his mother of such things.) He worked really hard this quarter too. And he'll have his first composition credited to him and recorded by the combo for the annual album put out by the college this year. My boy's name in the liner notes. Yes, I'm feeling quite plump with satisfaction on the kid and school fronts.

I've also got a short story's plot story line bubbling up in my head. A guy I work with sometimes at the library, aka, Mr. JustSendOneThing, told me to stop thinking about the word plot - he thinks the word is messing with my brain and keeping me from writing the story. I think he's right. See ... this little flight of fancy has a whole story around it, and I short out when I think the word "plot" - but the story is lovely. It's waiting for me today, like a little bit of incredible chocolate secreted in the back of the potholder drawer. (I'm the only who uses potholders - everything in that drawer is pretty safe from marauders ... haha! I just now realized. All the marauders moved out of the house! I can keep my chocolate out in the open now. What an idea.)

And this is good stuff for the following reasons:
1. Dyslexics are often scary smart - please note: the ability to decode printed language is utterly irrespective of both intelligence and language prowess (I mean, seriously - listen to the PhD in Cognitive Science guy)
2. No. One. CAN. Multitask.
3. "Short term memory can hold between five and nine things, and that's all."
4. "Managing the context shift is much more effective than pretending to multitask."

(And I have a special affection for the world's dyslexics - not only do they usually end up with a kind of ingrained humility born of actual humiliation, but they are the world's most startlingly inventive thinkers. Don't believe me? Just listen to his practical solutions.)

1 comment:

Jackie F. said...

Stephanie, I'm so happy to learn of Merrill's book--thank you!!!

I'm awash in virtual EVERYTHINGS; daily, I feel "whelmed" by the next-new-thing in content or process when I'm still trying to figure out yesterday's next-new-thing.

Thanks for the guidepost, Steph! Jackie F.