Perspective: stepping away- a way to the future


The words come from a colleague’s Twitter account; juxtaposing them with the image brings to life what I have seen and experienced: the ‘OMG’ feeling when work of any kind- disappears in front of our eyes on the computer- or becomes muddled in our heads due to over taxed brains and the stress of one – to paraphrase a book title: “No Good, Very Bad, Day”. We all have them.

And that brings me to today’s topic- the beauty of “Tomorrow”. This is not an ode to procrastination, nor to the necessity of “sleeping on it”. It is a reminder that things do change, and we do change, and sometimes, the best one can do is to take a step away from what appears to be immediate overwhelm and put it into perspective.

The book mentioned above would be classified a “children’s text” and I would love to see it and others find their way into High School library corners, and even College/University shelves, for just as we are recognizing the benefits of having pets wander the campus during exam week, to offer a brief respite from stress overload by encouraging students to refresh with a pet- take a mini break and pet an animal- it would be great if the books that not only bring a belly laugh in early grades but also- inspire- would be readily available too.

We hear a lot about the positives and negatives of testing, read how testing may not actually reveal one’s real knowledge base, let alone understanding, nor even accurately prepare one for the “real world” challenges that may be encountered. Yet the challenges that are found in the nearly addictive Video games are accepted, as are the regular defeats that occur on a sports field; the collective groan that emerges when a favorite team misses the ball is very quickly replaced with the mutter of “next year” and few would simply toss the video game aside rather than getting up and attempting the “next level” on another day. For some reason though when a student may miss the mark, some institutions may be quick to encourage student and family to lower their expectations- why? Given the right environment learning can take place- note I am not stating a lower environment – but a different one. The beauty of Higher Education is that once a student has made it this far, options actually increase rather than decrease. Most campuses today are dedicated to enabling students to give themselves second chances, and to recognizing how changing direction may land one in the right place after all.

Maybe Annie knew best when she sang about “Tomorrow” and we have to distinguish the two notions and become aware that stepping away from a problem to breathe, and procrastination, are separate entities. So take heart, life long learners everywhere, and take a minute or more of time, to know that if you have made it this far- you can keep going.

In art “All perspective drawings assume the viewer is a certain distance away from the drawing”* – how do we then establish that distance when so close to a project as to experience “overwhelm”? Sometimes, it does take more than a day- either way, we can recall we and others have experienced disappointments, and sometimes it is the simplest perspective as found in the children’s tales that offer the remind- everyone can have a no good, very bad, day- or blow a test, miss an interview, not get the ….fill in the blank here. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; keep working towards that dream. 


actual book title: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

* Wikipedia definitions

Colleague:  Bobby Umar

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