Wednesday, January 20, 2021

School of Life

In The “Short” Guide to Life from Engage Their Minds, the author shares about a podcast that he was listening to and something that stuck with him.

“Short reminisced about a tough period he was going through in his late twenties when he first asked himself, “What if your career was one of nine courses you took?” He explained that you could still get a “good GPA” even if you didn’t do well in one of the categories. You can read about the categories in this article by Ben Carlson. The comedian/actor reflects on his performance in each category about once a year.”

The article states these are the nine categories that Martin Short used to review his life each year:

“Category 1: Self. Your own personal health and safety.
Category 2: Immediate Family. The proverbial spouse and children.
Category 3: Original Family. The people you grew up with.
Category 4: Friends. The health of your friendships.
Category 5: Money. Right or wrong, the scorecard most people pay attention to.
Category 6: Career. How fulfilling your work is.
Category 7: Creativity. Your innate creativity outside of work.
Category 8: Discipline. Having the self-control to implement your goals.
Category 9: Lifestyle. Are you actually having any fun?”

I thought it would be fun to have my students do this review along with me.

Looking back at 2020, I think I did pretty well.

Cat. 1 – Grade: A. I self-quarantined with my husband for 9 months. We wore masks when we went out in public and we only went out when we needed groceries or had a doctor’s appointment. We did not do any large social gatherings. In December, we did go to stamp club meetings in person but there were only about 10 people in a large gym and everyone maintained social distancing.

Cat. 2 – Grade: A. I love being with my husband 24/7 and we have been this way for the past 13 years since we retired.

Cat. 3 – Grade: B. My sister lives hundreds of miles away and I have seen her in person for years. We tried to take the Amtrak train up to see her but had to cancel due to Covid. Her husband of almost 50 years died suddenly of heart failure in July and I couldn’t go in person to support her.

Cat. 4 – Grade: B. I didn’t keep in regular contact with some friends that I should have.

Cat. 5 – Grade: A. We spent a lot less because we weren’t able to travel. We were able to save a lot of money and buy my parent’s house after they died.

Cat. 6 – Grade: A. I’m agreed to teach 2 more courses for Furman even though I’m “retired.” The 2 courses are fully online. I’m still teaching 1 course every July and this past July the course was taught online which was extremely challenging.

Cat. 7 – Grade: C. I’m not very creative and I need to work harder on that. I want to do more knitwear designs this year.

Cat. 8 – Grade: A. I accomplished the goals that I set for last year and I’m extremely proud of that. This is the first time I was able to meet all of my goals.
Cat. 9 – Grade: A. I am enjoying my life. I have several hobbies that I can choose from at any time. I love to read, knit, crochet, spin yarn, and garden. I also love to travel which I have really missed this year but I‘ve been able to do other things anyway. I also love being able to get on Zoom to meet with others.

So overall, I did okay but I can do better. Now that I know what categories I will evaluate, I may do a better job this year.

I always think it is a good idea to teach students how to reflect on their behavior and actions. The more we are honest with ourselves about how we have done, the better we can be in the future.

Give this a try. How did you do in each category? Please share.

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

No comments: