It is officially a week from my first class session. I've been "late" to submit my weekly posts because I've been really busy figuring out the logistics and finalizing syllabus. On top of that, I had to attend training courses from compliance requirement to learning how to use the course site! And... I also had to create MURAL for some of the pre-class activities. In short, I had a very busy and fulfilling two weeks. And now, I'm proud to say that I have officially finished the syllabus ... for now. Things might still change for all the reasons I might not be able to think at this moment. The most important thing is to remember to be adaptable, agile, and open-minded!
In preparation for next week's kickoff, I rewatched one of the pre-class assignments to my students which is an interview with Priya Parker, the author of The Art of Gathering. In the interview, she talked about what it means to gather or ungathering. I always knew I do not intend to replicate IRL experience but rather creating a whole new experience for students and myself in this unprecedented times we live in. If one thing I'm sure about the pandemic is that we're not going back. We have to go forward (thanks to Governor Cuomo's constant reminder)!
We need to rethink of the reason why we're gathering. There are many ways we gather (or used to gather). We might get together to celebrate someone's birthday. We might get together when someone passes away. We might also get together simply just because we enjoy each other's companionship. And of course, for the obvious, we get together at work, at school and at home (unless you live alone). During this pandemic, I see so many people simply wanting to replicate the IRL experience online. I know it doesn't work and the truth is ... I hate it. As an event organizer for SDN NYC, I had repeatedly brought up the loss of motivation and sometimes even burnout. I don't want to create the same experience for my students or myself. So I have to rethink about how to best engage them in the new normal. What is the purpose of gathering, as Priya Parker might ask? Once we identify the WHY then we can think about the WHAT. If the purpose is to teach my students Service Design mindset. Do they need to sit in a lecture? Do they need to read books? What do they need to do so that they can learn the mindset and gain a skill or two?
As I continue to document my teaching journey, I hope I will have an answer or at least a more refined "prototype" in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned :)