Sesame Street Always Gives Perspective

So, I’ve not been as dutiful at practicing my bass lately, and I was spending some time rebuilding my chops last night, in advance of a very heavy jam session that will take place next week at a conference I’m attending, I have to say, I felt a little like the manamana dude in this classic. My ideas didn’t seem to flow, I couldn’t connect phrases, and when I was playing legit stuff (that’s Jazzer lingo for “classical repertoire”), I just wanted to be improvising over the form. Then I started to reflect on my professional life lately, and wow, did that make me feel like the dude in this clip. (My hair is also getting a bit longer and I forgot my razor the last trip I made up to Boston, so I might have looked like that little dude a couple of times recently as well.)

I heard a great NPR story a few months back about using theater improv in MBA course work to get these enterprising, ordered and organized sorts of folks into the mindset of seeking creative and collaborative answers to questions. The thought being that, since the proper disposition in any improvisational situation is that you respond to others’ offerings with a “yes! and…” So, maybe I feel like the Manamana dude because it doesn’t appear lately that I’ve found myself in those scenarios, despite the fact that I’m an improvisor by training and am always looking for creative answers to questions. Maybe what I’m putting out, though, is as out of place as that which my furry little friend in the clip above was offering to the dulcet tone the girls were trying to establish. And what do you do with an offering that you really can’t reply to in any sort of affirmative manner?

Alas, I’ve no answers to these questions… just throwing these observations out into the blogosphere to see what anyone else might think.



About Art

I've been a higher education professional for over 15 years and an Academic Advising administrator for the past eight of those. I have a background in exploratory student advising and have spent a great deal of time guiding students through contemplating their personal college-to-career pathways. I've published, presented, and consulted on the intersection of social media and academia and am a firm believer in social media's power as a tool for engagement rather than solely information delivery. I've worked at public and private institutions as well as 2-year colleges and 4-year universities. I believe in Academic Advising as a teaching and learning activity, that learner-centered education is the key to students' academic success, and that as long as we keep students' individual goals and success at the center of our decision-making process, the problem of college-level student attrition can be solved.
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