There are some complex machines out there. You know what I am talking about. You’ve seen those people sitting in front of some control panel, flipping hundreds of switches while turning thousands of dials, with ease. They make the complex look effortless.
Since I cannot type a complete blog post without making even the most basic typing mistakes, I know I am not one of those people. I press the wrong buttons all the time. I don’t know how often I close apps on my phone only to have to reopen them a second or two later.
Today, however, I was a superstar. I liken it to flying a jumbo jet while doing a Sudoku….okay, not that well, but still I was on my multi-tasking game today.
I was teaching online–as I will be for the foreseeable future–and really having to put my skills to the test. I had students online who needed to have their discussion monitored. I had students sending me emails and then following those emails up with chats (which, unlike the email they sent, pop up and announce their neediness with great volume). I also had a student in the class asking side questions that they did not want to ask in front of everyone. What’s more, I had a student in Brazil who couldn’t connect to the system, but was able to follow the class through the chat. They couldn’t see or hear the other students–or me for that matter–but they gamely tried to follow and even managed to interact a little.
Yes, some of these things could be easily put off, but for that class, I managed to keep it all moving and satisfying everyone’s needs. I fired off chat responses while still listening. I attached files before they were asked for. I kept my eyes on the class, the chat, and the wayward students. When I finally landed that jumbo jet, I thought I was done. Of course, home tasks never end and I still had plenty to do.