My Design Patterns

What are my daily patterns?

I am very much a creature of habit. There’s something about routine I find comforting, though it is nice to break out of that occasionally.

My daily patterns involve taking some time in the morning before everyone else is awake to prepare myself for the day: I meditate, check my email and social media sites on my phone, let our dog Sam out, and look at my personal planner (it’s the smaller planner in the picture above). If I have time before my son wakes up, I then get myself ready for the day and fit whatever work I can into any spare time. Once my son wakes up, we’re off to the races: while we tend to follow a pattern (bathroom/diaper, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, say bye to my husband, go to daycare/school), this pattern is often adjusted a bit depending on the whim of the two year old.

At work, I always start by taking out my personal planner and comparing it to my desk planner (the bigger planner above) and adding any items to one or the other to stay on track. Then, I dive into email. After that, it depends on the day: teaching, grading, writing center work, meetings…while the individual components change, the common theme is busy. I am always going, going, going.

On the weekends, I’m still going, going, going, but it’s with the mom hat on instead of the professor hat.

In the evening, we again follow a pattern with my son (hang out and play a bit after daycare, eat dinner, bath every other night, dress in pajamas, brush teeth, settle in). If I can, I like to check my planner one more time and think about what’s coming up. I also check my email and social media sites one more time before settling in to meditate again and sleep.

I guess the main gist of my daily pattern would be think/plan, do, reflect/plan ahead, rest.

What patterns do you observe around you?

Being on a college campus is interesting, because school setting definitely have patterns: classes are usually the same length of time MWF and TTH, which means there’s a natural ebb and flow of people rushing around at set times. Thinking in terms of semesters, I feel like every semester follow a similar pattern on a college campus: the mixture of enthusiasm, dread, and curiosity at the beginning of the semester, the increasing stress and feeling of busy-ness as the semester continues, the antsy feelings as we near any holidays or breaks, and the end-of-semester push/stress/hectic chaos that ends in some kind of burnout by the end of finals. Or is it just me?

I also notice a typical pattern to the days here in Weatherford, at least during the week: calm in the morning and early afternoon as people are in work or school, then a rush of folks out and about from 3pm or so until 8pm or so, then a gradual decline into calm once again. Small town life definitely has a consistency to it.

What patterns do you use when learning something new?

I like to gather as much information as possible at the beginning of learning something new, through reading, watching videos, listening to lectures, and discussing ideas with others. I do like to practice skills as I develop them, but I don’t like being the first one to do something. Instead, I like to watch a few other folks or see their examples. Then, I like to model my approach on what I’ve seen. I’ve gotten better over the years about receiving feedback on my work, and I really value that now, as it helps me adjust/revise/ reconsider what I’m learning.

What patterns do you observe in learning environments?

I tend to notice when there’s a lot of collaborative learning that offers discussion and feedback on ideas. My discipline (rhetoric and composition) is all about active learning and working through/with ideas together, so I’ve been trained to hone in on those approaches. I also notice in my own classes that I incorporate a lot of reflection and practice at developing metacognitive awareness in my students.

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