Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cold-Turkey

[Recently I've been teaching my sophomores about time and eternity. If you ever want to see a group of teens talk about something that is fascinating and confusing just start talking about God's existence outside of time. I promise, it will lead to a good class discussion. WE had just finished reading an essay by Peter Kreeft on time -- of which they had many questions. At the end of the essay he suggests that we stop wasting time and go 'cold-turkey' from the things in our life that cause us to waste our time, namely TV and other technological devices that eat our free time. Thinking on my feet, I gave them the beginning of an assignment. Go 'cold-turkey' on some time wasting device or activity for 31 days. Well the following is what they are going to be getting at the start of the second quarter Feel free to borrow or edit or do whatever with it. I'm still in the process of developing the assignment.]

Going Cold -Turkey

Assignment: For 31 days (one month) you will keep a daily journal about your experience of giving up one time wasting device or activity (TV, Games of any sort, internet, Ipod, too much time on cell phone, etc, etc, etc . . .). Consider what you are going to give up and what productive activity you are going to put in its place. Giving up something is only half the story. This assignment will count for one test grade and will begin on the first day of the second quarter. Upon completion of the exercise, you are to turn in a 500 word reflection paper on your experience with “going cold-turkey” with a time-wasting device or activity with your completed 31 day journal. More information on the essay will be given when the due date approaches.

The Daily Journal:
Each day you are to spend a few minutes writing briefly about your experience of the day in the context of what you have given up and what you have replaced that activity with. Before you begin writing, pray the following prayer:
“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will – all that I have and call my own. You have given it all to me. To You, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.”
You are to use the following prompt at the start of each day’s journal reflection:
“Today, in context of the time wasting device or activity that I have given up, the use of my time went . . . and I felt . . . about not using this device or activity today.”
You are then to elaborate on the specifics of why your day went as you have stated for a few sentences. End your journal with the following sentence:
"Instead of wasting my time (time wasting activiy that you gave up), . . . I did . . . in its place."
Examples:
Day 1 - October 20, 2008
Today, in context of the time wasting device or activity that I have given up, the use of my time went well, and I felt fine about not using this device or activity today. Personally, I think this assignment has not been a challenging event and activity thus far. Though it has only been one day into the assignment, it remains to be determined whether or not this will be a struggle in any way. I don’t see the point in this assignment. Instead of wasting my time watching 4 back to back episode of Law and Order on TV, I went for a run, read part of a novel, played my guitar, and discovered the meaning of life in its place. (This cannot be used in your journal)

Day 10 – October 30, 2008
Today, in context of the time wasting device or activity that I have given up, the use of my time went poorly, and I felt anxious about not using this device or activity today. It has been 10 days now since I have given up wasting my time watching TV. Today I really wanted to watch TV. But I guess it is best that I didn’t because I would have just spent 3.5 hours in front of the TV mindlessly flipping the channels. Though the temptation was great, I did not give into the temptation to waste time. Instead of wasting my time infront of the TV for I do not know how long, I learned a new song on my guitar and worked on my dribbling technique for soccer in its place.
*Note. The goal of this assignment is for us to learn to use our time more efficiently and productively. With that being said, if you do give up something like TV or the internet and you need either of these things for school or work it is permissible to use them for work, school, or recreational purposes. Translation: it might be a good use of time to watch LSU or the Saints play on TV, but it might not be a good use of time to let the TV eat up your free time when you can be using it to better yourself. Time is a non-renewable resource.

1 comment:

e.w.b. said...

Are you suggesting that Law and Order is a waste of my time? I gave a project the other day because my kids were complaining they didn't like Church. So I asked them to create one; I am making them write a creed, and prepare a 15 minute worship service outlining how they would like to worship. I am a little afraid they might start bowing down to an Ipod, but it is a risk I need to take.

Buell

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