Experts say that writing could be a new form of animal behavior research.
The Variable Relationship Between On-task Behavior And Learning Which Online Journal
Today I spoke to Brandie Hayward of the blog blog DMphiles about what people can learn from the thought experiment that is The Variable Relationship Between On-Task Behavior And Learning.
On The Medium: Everyone knows time management is a struggle.
Sometimes people fall off of the lark, forgetting to take lunch. Other times they go to meetings and when they get home they have 50 emails and half an hour of unproductive boondoggle. Either way, there are times when I have to force myself to take a minute and actually learn something.
I found out a powerful concept that helped me learn a material and came back to it to sort of test it out so to speak. One of the smartest things anyone said to me was (and this is a bit personal):
“Do what feels like the right thing at the time. Do not force yourself to do what feels wrong at the time,” said Claire Lewandowski.
This concept of learning what feels right was so powerful that I’ve gone back and taken a lot of notes from that conversation in the hope of learning how I actually work.
The Medium: Never underestimate the benefits of discovery.
I met Edwina Stockenson at a Writers’ Retreat in India (a program that is quickly becoming my go-to destination every year). Edwina is a writer and illustrator with four books to her name. Each book is primarily about women and their roles in society, but about every twenty pages she gives you a new story.
Edwina asks people to write a short story (as well as one paragraph summarizing how it’s related to that story) then meets the first person in that story and goes through it together. She then encourages the writer to create a little prototype page and how she would describe that particular story for herself. The person they are describing will then fill in the rest of the framework.
I worked on one of Edwina’s shorts with her, and it was a blast. We traveled to Australia to the remote Aboriginal community outside Darwin. I was terrified that she would set up the first scene completely wrong, or we would not get along. As we were on a remote Aboriginal community with a tiny library and no computers, we had to find the magic together. We spent some valuable time getting to know each other, talking about love, and talking about stories. As we sat in silence for almost half of the day, we were finally able to engage.
We got the short story down, and the story shared. It was absolutely fascinating. If you click on the link for a proof (make sure to paste the link in your browser’s address bar) you will see that the story is actually much deeper than the photo suggest. Edwina felt it necessary to ask the writer to imagine their version of that scene and she included that in the story. It’s amazing.
Edwina became our partner, and even though we kept our stories as a collective notebook, we did a very collaborative work together. The friendship grew and grew.
You don’t need a publisher or a big fee to collaborate, but the bonds that are formed really matter.
And The Medium: Learning is always a wonderful thing.
I’ve lived in NYC for nearly half my life and I love it there. I’ve seen a lot and made a lot. It’s a great place to grow and learn. The NYC Parks Department is in the middle of some exciting, deep, and profound changes.
In the past two years they have launched over 7,600 new (!!!) playgrounds, are putting new life into over 200 parks, have a whole community garden in one park with over 3000 gardeners of all ages, I’ve eaten in 23, 864 parks (and just wanted to check, it only took me three bites before it all went in my mouth) and in the process I’ve also learned a lot. I’ve gotten to experience parks that other people have never even seen.
There are a lot of very talented people that are making incredible changes in NYC. I personally learned from curators, historians, and planners. I got to see a new life in some of the parks that used to sit empty. I felt new energy. I was learning new things. This was some of the best learning I’ve ever done.
Some of these changes are ongoing, but there are some spots in the city that have been completely shut down. There are parts of our city that feel forgotten, like the Hamilton Park that passed away five years ago. I had the privilege of being an intern at a nonprofit called NYC Parks, and it became my first real job.