Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Distractions #10

I am one of those intensely focused people who can tune out a loud scream while reading. Most often brief interruptions have not interfered with my ability to stay on track. However, this week I have had numerous distractions that have pulled me away from my daily Internet current events and responding to e-mail. Over the busy weekend I do not know if I even looked at a computer and I was not even on vacation. The truth is that it felt fresh again to plunge in at the beginning of the week. I thought perhaps everyone should take a break from technology ruts and routines every now and then.

Over the past few weeks I have also learned through this technology class that I truly learn more working beside people than plodding along on my own. There is something about the dynamics of experimenting with others and taking risks that motivate me! Also, when I forget how to do some task, it’s reassuring to ask questions and to make learning connections. For instance, a book podcast captured my son’s interest in a particular reading series. Sharing similar experiences also provides meaning and purpose to technology use.

A similar analogy can be made with the fine art of cooking. I have learned far more being in a kitchen with others than I have by reading a cookbook or perusing cooking techniques online. In addition, I often find that when I have moments of reprieve from the daily grind that creative interest is renewed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

#9 Action Plan

This past week I sent my laptop back in for repairs for the second time within a 3 week period of time. Fortunately I have other computers to complete assignments. Each time I return the computer, I lose my data, my trust, and I am forced to reorganize my work flow. Therefore, the importance of a computer is that I depend on it to maintain my life action plan.

While using the Google spreadsheet this week, it occurred to me how often I take a lofty, substantial goal and break the tasks into chunks. Although not titled “project plan,” most of how I organize action is based through a similar thought process out of necessity. For instance, it is easier for me to globally view monthly calendar prior to formulating a menu or a shopping list. I can then create monthly, weekly, and daily meals. Sometimes this means purchasing bulk and cooking meat products once and freezing extra. Other times it is simply supplying ingredients as options.

Although one of the benefits of an overall wiki project plan is the ability to view results, another positive is that the software allows me to plan by accommodating various changes. I appreciate the feeling that the plan is not wrong, just constantly being updated. This will be a useful experience in the future of working in a library as sections of work can be delegated, expanded, or divided. In addition, the big picture allows team members to visualize steps and recognize individual efforts. This emphasizes the importance of working together as a team.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

#8 Persistence

Within any course of daily events or plans, I expect and anticipate various obstacles. Technology is just another one of the areas in my life that require a lot of resolve. There are 2 instances that cause me to have a considerable level of patience this week. The first is in trying to figure out some details with the wiki. As a means to correct my misunderstanding, I seek help at Wikispaces through e-mail. This person gives me information, but the same general information on the help site, and does not answer the specific question that I have asked. For instance, I do not want to change a password, but I want to know why I am not signed in as an organizer? I think the key component to assembling a project is getting the right questions answered within a prompt time frame. Needless to say, with 5 e-mails, I was finally able to explain what it is I wanted to do and I was able to see myself as an acpl organizer. It truly is the simple things in life that cause so much frustration. The positive side is that this persistence causes me to be brave about exposing what I know and do not know about technology. There is also a feeling of accomplishment when a person endures the process and is satisfied with the result.

This past month I have also been having difficulty signing in as a guest at IPFW. This has also taken an enormous amount of time and energy. My first attempt, a person working in the library informs me that IUPUI students cannot have Internet access. Since I realize this is not true, I muster up more stamina and spend an hour on the phone trying to get my password entered into the computer. Knowing that everything is properly set up, I then begin to follow Windows Vista directions. However, despite my best attempts, I am still unable to connect. I then make a trip to the IT department in person to have someone personally assist me through this. After 3 more tries, we were finally able to get me online. Technology takes determination. The same can be said of cooking. There are times when the effort may seem to outweigh the enjoyment. However, there is also a sense of pride in learning and working diligently and savoring the victorious moments when there is a favorable outcome!