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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Spending the day with Nancy Frey

Spending the day with Nancy Frey is a bit of a wet dream of mine.

And it is happening.

She and Douglas Fisher are probably the most cited educators in my dissertation.

Her ability to explain what research means, why it matters, and how to apply it is inspiring, to say the least.

She breaks things down so logically.

As an oddly linear thinker, I appreciate this.

For those who know me, I promise I do think in straight lines...

there are just lots of lines and they often turn at right angles.

That is beside the point.

I can't recount all the details of everything she is talking about today.

My head is too full.

There is too much information.

More importantly, there is too much thinking,

Too much challenging of common assumptions,

Too much research,

Too much learning.

If I try to break it all down, I will lose track of it all.

I am a synthesizer. Maybe an over-synthesizer.

Instead of collecting the details or taking lots of notes, I perk.

I listen and let the ideas float around in my head, unconstrained.

Those ideas percolate, coalesce, eventually meld into understanding.

Later, the most important bits will surface and I can talk about them intelligently.

Of course I will have forgotten lots of specific details.

This is why I will buy the book.

This is why I beg for copies of presentation Slides anytime I go to conferences.

Those details are important, but finite.

I can find the numbers and words later.

The thinking is immediate and holds my attention.

Listening is utterly enthralling.

Now don't get me wrong, I never look like I am listening.

Unless I am told to try and look like I am listening.

Thankfully, this happens less and less because of technology (I think).

I am writing or working on a presentation or checking email or grading papers or drawing or searching for pictures or lesson planning.

I am doing other stuff.

My brain will let me listen so long as I am occupied.

If I stop doing other things for too long, I also stop listening.

I will go from thinking to staring off into space with no concept of what is happening around me.

So even though I am not looking at Nancy, I am drooling over every word.

She is brilliant.

Not the most dynamic speaker, but nonetheless engaging.

It is a sharp (and somewhat welcome) contrast to Dave Burgess on Tuesday.

Nancy Frey is my good think today.


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