Talk Faster

Posted on September 21, 2016Filed Under meetings | Leave a Comment

Faculty Meeting day. My new name is Faculty Bleating. That’s mine. I have proof in a text to the wife. So don’t even go trying to make it viral and claim credit.

Every faculty meeting reminds me of Dr. K.

I was “diagnosed” with ADHD back when it was called being hyper, and the Ritalin dosages were, let’s just say, experimentally high. One of the things I remember that would manifest symptoms quicker than anything was “The Chat” with the doc who claimed I needed the meds.

It was almost as if these meetings were designed to prove the claim. There was a lot of what-do-you-think” (without really caring), ample opportunities for me to share my feelings (but the negative ones about the process were somehow not as legit), and a lot of repetition. Gawd, the repetition. Of course I am squirming and getting sullen and resentful (S&R). What am I an idiot, who has to hear everything repeated six different ways?

“So again…”

“As I said before…”

“Like we were talking about…”

“In short…” (It never is… ever!)

I think every admin must go to some secret school like Hogwart’s or something to learn this art of extending the meeting. Stuff that should take 10 minutes inevitably takes 40. We see the info on the Powerpoint (Gawd!), we get it in a handout, and then we hear it six ways from Sunday, as they used to say. And then the Q/A starts, and we get questions that were answered at least twice already, because nobody was paying attention, because they figured they’d hear it another six times anyway.

My current principal, while ranking #2 of 9 or 10 whom I have had, merrily continues this tradition. He seems to relish it actually. If given a choice of communicating an idea in 100 words or communicating that same idea just as effectively in 25 words, I do believe he would ask for both… and go over anyway.

So I squirm. And fidget. And doodle. I squat on my chair. I stretch my legs. I mutter. And sigh. (Ouch. I know that can be annoying.) I become a junior high teacher’s nightmare. Say hello to the world’s oldest seventh grader.

So I was reading the other day about this remarkable guy who is one of Google’s lead lawyers. He does triathlons, has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, has like three degrees, takes the subway to work every day… and is blind. But one of the other things about him, which probably impressed me the most, was this:

“…Chen reads by listening: he uses a screen reader at his desk, where he’s usually standing (when he’s not working on a nearby treadmill desk), and the VoiceOver function on his iPhone. Typically, Chen has the speed set at around 620 words a minute, a speed that is, to the untrained ear, incomprehensible.”

Six. Hundred. And. Twenty. Words. Per. Minute.

Through your ears.

My boy likes to listen to audiobooks at 2x, but 620 wpm? Really?

I wonder if we can somehow put faculty meetings on fast forward like that.

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