"Do It Now" Philosophy – The Answer to Teacher Stress

Teaching is stressful enough without increasing your stress when you get behind in your planning, marking and so on. This is why, as I grew more experienced and was given extra responsibilities, I adopted a “Do It Now” philosophy.

Here are my reasons why. It

• Reduce stress on you personally because what needed to be done is done before any deadlines, giving you a chance, if necessary, to revise what you have done.

• Keeps everyone happy and off your back;

• Reduces your health risks; and

• Allows you time to cope with the unexpected.

Your first decision to make is to set up a system of priorities. Deciding priorities should be based on these areas:

• Urgent to you;

• Urgent to school Administration and the Educational Authorities;

• Urgent to students;

• Urgent to parents; and

• Your own family consideration.

Added to this, you should have a definite starting and finishing time for all school days except at exam and reporting times when deadlines are short and you need to work with other teachers on the marking and reporting process. This is designed to keep you happy, healthy and reduce your stress. Extending your day simply reduces your efficiency. You are better off going home and coming in a little early next morning when you are refreshed.

The “Do it now” philosophy needs a “To do” list to be effective. This list should be divided into sections to reflect the way you have set up your priorities.

The “To do” list should

• Reflected your ideas about priorities;

• Be divided into short, medium and long term issues;

• Have dates for completion of each task;

• Have you cross off each achieved issue as you go;

• Be revised weekly; and

• Use the school’s calendar to decide on completion dates and aid in prioritising tasks.

Record each item successfully concluded from your “To do” list. Record them in your personal or work diary. Look at your diary often especially when you feel you have not achieved much. You will be surprised what you have actually accomplished. This helps your stress levels by showing you how much you have been able to achieve.

The “Do It Now” philosophy together with your “To Do” list will keep you up to date and often ahead of time allowing you time to cope with the “Unexpected” which is so often a part of the teaching landscape.

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The Philosophy And History Behind Streetwear Clothing

Streetwear is a loose term to describe a fashion movement that arose from the bottom-up, as opposed to a bottom-down fashion where corporation specifically, research and invest in a line of clothes. Weary of the marketing excess of clothing giants such as Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Old Navy; a youth culture bore a new do-it-yourself fashion that incorporated the cap, the t-shirt and vintage style sneakers into a new brand of clothing. This ‘new brand’ should not be mistaken for the hip-hop culture fashion, because although they exploit baggy clothing and caps, they generally stay away from displays of grandeur, jewelry and the behavior that comes with it. A more similar comparison would benefit when comparing street wear clothing to skater-wear, where brands like Vans, Dickies and Emerica dominate the scene.

Popular items that have arisen from the street wear clothing style are printed t-shirts that contain abstract or very expressionistic images on any part of the t-shirt. They are usually asymmetric, making a sharp contrast to the more tamed t-shirts that are mass produced by clothing giants such as Tommy Hilfiger. Another addition to popular t-shirt designed contributed by the street-wear culture are clever reinterpretations and mash up of old and iconic figures. Popular characters include Rocky, from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Marylyn Monroe and the boom box. Text and phrases also dominate the scene. Phrases are usually mashed up with images or other designs. The more witty and coy the comment, the more popular and lasting the t-shirt becomes.

The color palette for street wear culture varies, but the some of the most colors to combine are black, purple, red and brown. Bold colors are preferable to calm and subtle colors. It can interpreted that it is through colors and color combination that street wear clothing call for attention and make their mark in fashion territory.

The sneaker and snug cap are trademark street wear accessories for the street wear culture. Among the most popular sneakers are Nike, Adidas, and Vans. The more eccentric the color combination on these sneakers, the better they are preferred. Popular colors include neon green, bright red, yellow, orange and sky blue. These colors are used interchangeably with the basic black and white. Street wear caps are borrowed from skater caps and they are composed of faint colors like beige, tan grey.

Review of The Great Books by Anthony O’Hear, Professor of Philosophy

I have been reading The Great Books: A Journey Through 2500 Years of the West’s Classic Literature and Books That Changed the World: The 50 Most Influential Books in Human History because I am looking for books to read to develop my course Readers are Leaders. This post is a review as well as a reflection on the works covered in The Great Books.

Initially I struggled while reading The Great Books by Anthony O’Hear, and thought it was dry and too academic. I decided to take a closer look at my feelings and prejudices toward The Great Books and discovered that I was simply tired of reading about Greek and Roman tragedies, which are the first few books that are covered. I was also tired and wary of all the war imagery and “gods” with larger-than-life egos, behaving very badly. After acknowledging my feelings, I got into The Great Books and started to enjoy the experience.

In The Great Books, Anthony O’Hear provides detailed summaries of the books he covers and I am wondering if he isn’t doing a disservice to the reader. With so much solid information given to you, why would you want to read those classics? He goes from chapter to chapter and you are right there with him. You also get a handle on the context of the book, and what was going on in society when it was written. When I was reading about Dante’s Divine Comedy, I passed through the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise, I was right there with him on the journey.

I also noticed with these great works of literature that O’Hear discussed, the authors often built on the works of others, similar to the way innovators and great thinkers who changed the world, built on the works of others. The Aeneid by Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) is Homer’s Odyssey, except he reverses the outcome of the Trojan War. Shakespeare’s The Tempest mentions Virgil and Ovid. And some of the characters in Divine Comedy are The Who’s Who in the Bible, and it also mentions many of the classics: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The Aeneid, Homer’s The OdysseyI. And Virgil is at Dante’s side as guide and mentor when he goes into the Inferno (hell). From Divine Comedy you realize that Dante is very knowledgeable and learned about the classics, the Bible and contemporary works back in his time. And this is true for many of the authors whose works are covered in The Great Books. Have all the great works of literature been written already?

Using the works of others raised an interesting issue. Back in those days, there weren’t copyright laws, or they weren’t as strict as they are today, and that was very instrumental in furthering society, not just in literature, but also in the inventions that we now take for granted. When we use the works of others, what is considered fair use? What about mash-ups, the process where artists pull from the works of others to create something new? Are copyright laws here to protect us, or are they preventing us from leaping forward and innovating and building on what’s been done before? What if someone used your work and created something much better, and in the process gave you credit, would you be okay with that? There are really no easy answers to these tough questions, but they are worth thinking about.

The works covered by the author include:

  • Homer: The Iliad, The Odyssey
  • Greek Tragedy
    • Aeschylus’
    • Sophocles’ Theban Plays: Antigone
    • Euripides: The Bacchae
  • Plato and the Death of Socrates
  • Virgil: The Aeneid
  • Ovid: Metamorphoses
  • St. Augustine: Confessions
  • Dante: The Divine Comedy – Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise
  • Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
  • Cervantes: Don Quixote
  • Milton: Paradise Lost
  • Pascal: Pensées
  • Racine: Phèdre
  • Goethe: Faust – Part One, Part Two

I didn’t read many of these classics in university because I didn’t major in English Literature, so I missed out on the discussions. But, the Great Works is a great substitute because it helps to further your understanding of the book. However there is always a danger when you rely on one source, one person’s frame of reference, that’s why I have been reading other books of this kind.

Though I thought that The Great Books by Anthony O’Hear was too long, the time was well spent reading it because it furthered my understanding of the great books mentioned. After the fact, I realized that it makes a great reference book. I recommend The Great Books from the Iliad and the Odyssey to Goethe’s Faust: A Journey Through 2500 Years of the West’s Classic Literature and Books That Changed the World.