Just Call Me: “Mister Conductor”

Its the start of a new week. The semester is winding down for my students, my semester as a student is about to start winding up though. Remember I said a while back that my writing style sucks?? I’ve known that for some time. Its impacting my grades in my Masters-level classes for History. So, instead of trying to force my way through with sub-par writing – I decided to start back at the lowest possible level to learn to write better. Apparently, the writing style for business-related classes is vastly different from that of Applied Arts and Sciences. So, to take the first step – I am going back to school within my own college. I am starting with a compressed class of 14-days – an entire semester compressed into 14 days. I decided to choose the class on Texas Government. Its a topic I don’t care that much about, don’t know that much about, and can sharpen some of my study skills on.

Now, I can hear some folks – you live in Texas, how can you not know that much about the state’s government? Its rather simple. I live here – I don’t pay attention to the governmental gyrations down in Austin. I’m here in Texas because this is where the job is. LOL Moving is prohibitively expensive, unless I can luck out on an employer willing to foot the moving expenses and help me sell the house – so I just hold the fort here, and take vacations to places I would rather live. Seriously. 🙂

Its an interesting place I find myself in, though. At 48, I am looking for how to fit into the collegiate teaching ranks. My area of comfort has been in Information Systems, a sub-section of the Business environment – but decidedly grafted from the Computer Sciences world. I enjoy teaching students about how Information plays a large part of their lives, but really enjoy the moments where I can bring the historical aspect of Computer Sciences, Sociology, Psychology, and Business together. In essence showing them how we got here…and tantalizing them with the possibilities of where it can all go. In a way, I led them to a particular point in the labyrinth, show them the multitude of doorways available to them – and turn them loose. The full-fledged desire is to get into the History side of things, and find a way to graft Information Systems and Computer Sciences into that world.

I wrote all that a few days back – well, all except the first sentence, but that’s not that big of a deal. Looking through what I wrote, I realized a point I hadn’t considered. I am undergoing a transformation of who I am. An evolutionary period of self-transformation, if you will forgive the messy and cheesy statement. I have spent approximately twenty-five years of my life in Technical Services of one type or another. I helped people take care of their equipment. Now, I teach. I help people realize conceptual perspectives so that they can transform themselves along their own personal journey. While the two perspectives seem to be vastly different, they really aren’t.

As a technician, I was merely the mechanic. When the vehicle that helped other people convey their information broke down, I was called in to fix that mode of transport. In essence, whatever was needed to get the message/information moved along, this was my stock in trade. Now, as a teacher – a college professor – my position is to convey a perspective, and understanding of a sub-section of material. That material helps the student understand the various modes of transport that are available in today’s modern environment, and assists them in choosing the correct mode for their use/needs. In both positions, I am a conductor of information. My current transformation is towards becoming a more effective conductor in the professorial mode.

What about you? You’re reading this…is there any way that you are considering transforming in your own life?? Have you made significant changes towards a particular goal?? Its definitely an interesting thought – in my opinion – to sit and think about for a while. The results surprised me…

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2 thoughts on “Just Call Me: “Mister Conductor”

  1. Indeed I am! After taking a few years sabbatical from my spiritual community The Goddess has directed me to take a more proactive rather than reactive role in life. To that end I have learned that I need to transform myself into a better communicator in all forms, verbally as well as through writing. I am seeking to find better ways to explain ideas, concepts and philosophies that rattle around in my head and hopefully entice others to share their own views more as well as entertain new thoughts they might not have previously considered. In short, I need to learn to be a teacher. 🙂

    1. “In short, I need to learn to be a teacher.”

      I have a theory on that (here we go…Tommy’s got a theory – that’s hardly surprising). We don’t really learn how to be teachers. We’re all teachers to one degree or another. The difference maker is in learning to communicate – in BTOH directions. You would be surprised how many of my peers at the collegiate level spend their lecture just taking AT the students. And how the students come away from those classes with such a low desire to continue in their education. I know that quite well. I was the same way for the first four weeks I was teaching in my classroom. When I noticed that my students were completely bored and not paying much attention – I decided to try something very different. I wrote the topic on the white board, pulled up a chair in the front of the classroom – and told them I wanted to hear their opinion. In fact, I wasn’t going to speak another word for the rest of the three-hour block. And I just sat there.

      At first, they did nothing. Until they realized I was waiting for them to talk. They took tentative steps at first. When they realized that I was actually listening to them – they opened up. The next class, I encouraged them to talk like they had in the last class session — and we struck up a dialogue. I learned just as much about HOW to teach/listen/communicate as they did from the material.

      I have ground rules for every single class:

      1. We are here to learn the class material.
      2. We are here to get to know one another.
      3. This isn’t a one-way conversation.
      4. You are free to speak your mind/opinion – just be prepared for other people to openly disagree with you.
      5. Keep your tone civil. You can utilize Anglo-Saxon descriptives in your positions. Just try to utilize regular English descriptives whenever possible.
      6. While we are here to learn – we are also here to have some fun too.

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