Inquiring Minds Want to Know...
I frequently get asked certain questions by students. Below are my short and longer responses:
Short answer: Tea
If it's summer it's probably iced tea. If it's cold outside, it's
probably hot tea. If it looks clear, it's probably herbal tea. If it
looks milky, it's probably decaf black tea with milk. No, it's not
moonshine or a urine sample.
I particularly like flavored black tea. But it's hard to find tasty
decaf flavored teas. Right now, the one I like most, especially iced,
is decaf chocolate mint tea from The Tea Table.
Short answer: Shoes
I've been wearing these for about 8 years. They are extremely long
lasting and I still wear my original pairs, which are, sadly, no longer
available. (And yes, you can throw them in the wash...) Also,
yes, if you get the thin soled kind, you do feel the ground -- shapes
and temperature. But I've used them walking in all kinds of urban
settings across the U.S., Canada, and Europe and I've never had any
problems with anything getting through, not even New Mexico's infamous
yes, they do look strange, they are the next-best-thing to going
barefoot and that's the most important thing for me. Also, because I've
practiced yoga for close to 10 years (and gone barefoot for most of my
life), I'm used to using my toes when I walk and these are the only
kind of shoes that let me do that. If I have to wear regular shoes
for any length of time, it's just too uncomfortable.
Short answer: Listening
I listen better and can focus more easily on what students are saying
feeling like I need to butt in if I keep my hands occupied.
While I used to just try to do that without doing anything so obvious
(like handling pens, drinks, papers, etc), I decided several years ago
was an important statement to university students in Special Education
not to hide my need for sensory stimulation as a way of self-regulating
anxiety. I firmly believe that if the students in my classes or my
understand and appreciate that I am doing this, they should not be in
the profession. Also, by engaging openly in self-regulatory, yet
distracting actions, I am modeling something very important to my
students and colleagues.
I am an aspiring textile artist. In classes and meetings I am
frequently making the fringe for pieces of cloth that I will later
dye by unraveling the hem and then tyeing knots into the fringe. These
actions are repetitive, soothing, and require little attention on
my part. At
times, I also sew running stitches into fabric or wrap and tie
beads onto cloth. I save more complicated processes for times when I am
not deliberately self-regulating my anxiety and behavior and can pay greater
to what I am doing with my hands, rather than to others around me.
ways of stitching, wrapping, binding, and folding can be used to form a resist to
the penetration of dye. I use a variety of techniques that stem
from the Japanese tradition called Shibori. I
typically use cellulose fibers (e.g. cotton, linen, hemp), although I
sometimes also use silk. The dyes I use are procion MX type cold water
dyes. A good source of information and materials is Dharma Trading Post: http://www.dharmatrading.com/
And yes, I crocheted my way through my MA. Students are welcome to bring similarly non-distracting "fidgets" to class as needed.
Scherba de Valenzuela, Ph.D.
updated: March 26, 2014