Today I was supposed to be writing comments. Every quarter, I get to write reports for my students. It’s an arduous task, but it’s one that I relish, too. It’s a chance to report on the best in each student, to help them set goals for the future, and celebrate their accomplishments. There’s some prevarication, and sweeping of faults under a rug, too — but that is as it should be. We’re modeling what we want our students to become, and we encourage them to become what we focus on. Ergo, our most pointed and poignant comments should be reserved to directing students along the higher roads toward a more glorious future.
But, my head isn’t in writing mode these days. Nor is it in the reflective mode, either — looking back at the last few months of effort to understand what my students have done, and what it’s in their best interests to do, going forward. It’s in a much more visual mindset, a more visual consciousness, than I can recall being in before.
In terms of getting work done, it’s been dismaying. I had today as a writing day, and my brain was totally in the mindset of drawing. I kept seeing images that I wanted to draw in the shapes of the letters… and I kept interrupting my official work to go draw.
The result of all this drawing has been the creation of some top-notch artwork in my sketchbook, but it’s also raised some interesting questions about the nature of consciousness in me. We all know about this alleged left-brain/right-brain split, where the right brain does all sorts of visual processing, while the left brain does all sorts of language and linear process work (these are often reversed in left-handers, which means they’re probably reversed in me).
I’ve thought of myself as being a pretty left-brained sort of guy. I write poetry, but lately it’s been difficult to do that. I write short stories, or rather, I used to. These days I’m mostly interested in line and color, not words. I ask my brain to be creative with words, and it’s creative with shapes and lines and artwork instead.
The answer seems to be that I’ve shifted my consciousness somehow in the last few months. As some of you, my readers, know, I get up daily to do 30-40 minutes of meditation and some tai chi and suchlike. Frankly, without that work, I’d be lost. I consider it essential to my well-being as a teacher and a teacher of teachers (when I have that privilege). But in that meditation time, I’ve noticed that words have a tendency to slip away, and I get more caught up in the image of the candle-flame, and the shapes of shadows on the wall.
I’ve successfully altered my consciousness, somehow, and shifted from being mostly a linear, language processor to being a lot more whole-brained. Actually, for the moment, I’ve shifted to being a lot more right-brained. I’m hoping, that I can figure out how to shift from the current balance of consciousness to a more whole-brained position. It’s hard for a blogger to be an exclusively visual thinker.