Monday, September 20, 2010


Four score and a million years ago, back when I was employed, back when I had classrooms full of students held captive at fifty-minute intervals, w-a-a-y back . . . I used to tell my students about paradigm shifts and chaos.

Sometimes I would step up to the board with a blue dry-board marker in my hand and draw this picture for them:
Then, while they yawned broadly, I would define some terms. (I often defined the terms kind of loosely from my own dictionary-according-to-me, but it went sort of like this):

Paradigm: a pattern or a model.

Paradigm shift: a dramatic change in methodology or practice. It often refers to a major change in thinking and planning, which ultimately changes the way projects are implemented.

Chaos: great disorder, confusion, a state in which total control is impossible and chance is supreme.

Chaos Management: creating order out of chaos in order to move to a new paradigm.

Paradigm/Chaos Reassurance: At any given moment, life is completely senseless. But viewed over a period, it seems to reveal itself as an organism existing in time, having a purpose, trending in a certain direction. –Quote by Aldous Huxley

Pretty deep stuff, huh? If you don't understand it, don't worry. My students used to look at me pretty blankly, too.

So what's my point?

Right now I’m in the middle of a paradigm shift. At a time in life when I should be knitting afghans while rocking on the front porch, I’m in chaos up to my eyeballs.

I’m swimming in a sea of disorder. I can hardly wait to wash up on the shore of Paradigm 2 and get back to my NEW boring, humdrum life where everything is neat and predictable. This chaos business is intended for much younger people.

More details will follow . . .


Anonymous said...

This is the story of my life right now. Thanks for spelling it out for me. :)


Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

You've got me wondering? What has caused your chaos? It makes me a little sad that your students no longer have you. I bet you were an amazing teacher.

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