If it doesn’t work…

If it doesn’t work pull the plug

I experimented with writing for 30 days in a row and see what happens’ based on articles like this one by Glen Allsopp. However, it doesn’t work. Maybe it works for keeping the notes to yourself until they are ready to be shared. But it doesn’t work for me to do this without being able to reflect, read, think…and the writing slowly but surely meandered from going down the rabbit hole and only being able to think about frustrations of being an academic, into creative writing away from the writing semi-academically. So I should probably pull the plug and stop this experiment. It reminded me of a teaching experience I wanted to share though:

Pulling the plug while Teaching

Have you ever stood in front of a full lecture theater and noticed that you lost almost everyone in the room? This happened to me at various points.

When I was faced with this situation the first time, I felt like I was wading through treacle. No matter what I tried I could neither shift the energy in the room, nor connect with my students. So I pulled the plug. I remember that first time vividly. I just stopped. Shook my head and then said: ‘This isn’t working, is it?’

After looking a bit confused and very much surprised, relief spread through the room and the students shook their heads, and some even said out loud: ‘No.’

‘Okay.’ I said. ‘What do you need? What is it I can help you with?’ And thus we started a conversation.

Sometimes, pulling the plug on something is the most reasonable thing to do.

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