Drama is Resistance

Erin and I about to enjoy solar eclipse totality in Highland. We are shooting this picture blind, as many of you know.

The Email

One of the forms of The Resistance, as defined by Steven Pressfield in his amazing book, The War of Art, is drama. Our species is so addicted to it that we can become a prisoner of our own self inflicted version of it.

Let me give you an example. 
A student emails me about what I’m going to do about class for the solar eclipse, which is on the first day of class, a Monday. 
The class to which he is referring is a Tuesday, Thursday class.  I slap my forehead.  Literally. 
Now, prior Jason would have been so beyond disturbed about the stupidity of this. Prior Jason would have written an email that would be littered with hidden sarcasm. He would have spent perhaps 30 minutes to an hour trying to wrap his mind around how someone could bring themselves to make such an error. 
Eventually, any email that was created would be edited down to this: 
Dear Student,
Our class meets on Tuesday and Thursday, so you don’t have to worry. 
-Dr. Shaw
That’s it.  That’s the email.
Yet I would spend more than a half hour of my time stewing about it. I would be angry about the fact that I couldn’t, as a professional, send the more snarky email.  Even getting back to work, I may have to take a break and visit a colleague’s office just to tell them the story about it (now wasting TWO people’s time). 
However, I am not prior Jason. This time around, I literally did slap my forehead. However, I followed that up by closing my eyes, taking a few deep breaths while thinking to myself how much time I could waste with this individual if I let The Resistance take its course.  I pulled the solar glasses over my eyes, so to speak, and shut all of that other stuff out.

After a few deep breaths, the above email is produced and I move on, because I’ve got stuff to do (don’t we all).  

5 thoughts on “Drama is Resistance

  1. My friend, you have reached a point that so many higher ed. professionals never reach: tolerating (and even expecting) occasional student foolishness.

    We work with hundreds of 18-22-year-olds. People do silly things when they are 18-22. We should therefore not be surprised nor disturbed when one of our students does something foolish. We should simply help them see their error.



  2. I sent literally the exact same email, and had the same moment of wanting to unleash the Snarken. But more moments of feeling happy that I didn't put more energy into the exchange than it needed.


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