#SOLSC20: Day 22

With a touch I chose English and the screen changes.  I select “MetroCard” and then “Refill your Card.” Following directions, I insert my MetroCard.  I read the existing balance for the card.

Decision Time:  Do I add “value” or do I add “time”?

What’s the best value?  What are my plans?  Where will I spend my “out of session/meet up with friends” time?

What have I used in the past?  What examples do I remember from Allison and Julieanne those first trips?

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 6.50.05 AMThese are once or twice a year decisions that seem to leave me unprepared. I question the accuracy of my memory. I question the expenditures.  Which type of addition to the card is really the best investment?  The decision is not automatic because it only occurs once or twice a year. Not enough practice. No automaticity.

It is also not automatic because mass transportation is not my thing. No metro on the farm. No metro in my nearby hometown of 6,000. No metro in any of my college towns. No metro in the timber at my end of the county. Yes, I often ride a train on football Saturdays, but that train still issues one-use paper tickets purchased from a live vendor over a counter. No Metro Vending Machine!

“When will I use this?”

Students love this question. Many teachers despise this question while others rise to the challenge.  If I had been taught any lessons about mass transit growing up, I am sure I would have wondered about the practicality of their application.

Maybe the question reframed becomes:  Is there durability to my learning?

When will I need this? becomes When will I use this?

These questions surface in the moment when work/life seem fairly trivial.

But WHY?

Is it the need for purpose? Is it the need for connections? Or is it the need to know that the learning is valuable and I can trust that all will be revealed at some time?

As we continue on life’s journey, keep these questions in mind:

Why does this matter?

How can what I do also help others? 

And reflect:  Is it the value or the time?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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8 responses

  1. I’m a believer that everything we learn is for a reason…someday we will need it. We may not realize it for years or decades, but that knowledge sooner or later comes in handy in an unforeseen situation. I love the question reframed, “Is there durability to my learning?” So sad we weren’t able to use those Metrocards in NYC yesterday. . .

    1. Lanny,
      I have been amazed at the geometry and algebra I have actually used in my current quilt-making learning! Trusting that the learning has durability is critical. But wondering WHO chooses the content and WHY, especially when considering equity, has really given me time and space to pause.

      I know. So sad to miss out on NYC and the learning!

  2. I love your lead to your question. While I believe that we are all learning every day, I am sure that a core learning of math and literacy as well as how to think critically is essential for life-long learning. But, how can you tell young learners this? I think showing them how algebra and geometry are essential to quilt making and construction and game making or whatever else turns them on may be the key.

    1. Anita, agreed. Our own conscious applications across disciplines is critical. Then we can share!

  3. This week I will be zooming with my four young grandsons (K-5) helping with writing instruction. I’m their Mom Mom and I wonder if they will have the temerity to ask me, “Why do I need to do this?” I surely did hear a lot of that when I was teaching. But a good attitude about learning is a necessity for success in life. Love that you always give us questions to ponder.

    1. Diane,
      Moving beyond yes, no questions is a high priority to me. Thinking human beings. Problem solving. Keys to rich lives!!!

  4. I like the changing of “Why do I need this?” to “When will I use this?” The truth is, we don’t know but when that time comes we will be glad we have the information. I would be totally lost with metro cards. When I went to NYC as a kid all we used were tokens bought from the man in the booth at the subway station.

  5. I still have a NYC metro card in my wallet to reload when I’m there. Yes. We will do this again! Thank you for the reminder of how to!

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