The Deep End of the Pool

Posted on by Brooke

A couple of weeks ago, I succeeded in promoting another rank in Taekwon-do. I’m far enough along that I feel the rising temperature from the focused light of the microscope: expectations are higher, both in terms of technical performance and in terms of demonstrating “courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-discipline, and indomitable spirit” (e.g., finding opportunities to offer service to juniors, or embracing the scholarship associated with the tradition). Tying my slightly stiff new belt around my waist in front of the class, the instructor told me in a low voice, “You’re in the deep end of the pool now!”

This exchange has drifted regularly across my harried consciousness as this academic year wheezes toward its end and summer heaves into view. In a few distinct arenas, I find myself in a deeper part of the pool than I have occupied in the past. My summer Intro to OT course will be our first fully online course offering, and what is more, it’s in that perennially challenging “intensive” format. So, there’s that microscope again: the stadium of interested parties extends beyond the usual playing field of participants. Our increased institutional attention to distance learning and to learning technologies has me involved in more complex conversations with admins and other faculty than during my former years as an adjunct.  The deeper end of the pool is more heavily populated, and its very depth can be…unforgiving. Nonetheless, the deep end is the only place for grown-ups, and it’s where the really engaging and consequential games are played.

Where do you find yourself in the deep end of the pool these days?

[The Deep End of the Pool was written by G. Brooke Lester for and was originally posted on 2010/05/05. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]