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Showing posts from January, 2014

Executive Function

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From the "Ask a Question" area…
My son has Aspergers and he is very bright. However, I think what is difficult is that he has difficulty in Executive Function and I feel this will affect his learning as he grows older. Did you have the difficulty in EF and how did you cope with it? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Executive function (and, therefore, executive dysfunction) refers to one's ability or inability to organize daily routines required to function optimally in relationships, at school, at work, and within any community. When someone lacks impulse control, focus, and the ability to prioritize tasks, that individual suffers from impaired executive function.

To describe me as "scattershot" would be generous. Finishing projects requires Herculean efforts, and I admit that more often I fail than succeed when it comes to my to-do list.

Projects end up almost done, and I have the boxes of work to prove it. Getting through the day can be a challenge, es…

Day One, Survived!

Each new semester begins with anxiety, doubt, fear, and insecurity. Teaching means standing before a group of people, trying to convince them you are going to say and do something worthy of attention.

This was difficult teaching at a mid-range state university, a land-grant research university, and even a small private college. I don't care where you teach, you know that part of the job is rhetorical — persuading an audience to follow along.

Now, I teach at one of the top universities in the world, in a top-ten program. These students are the best of the best. These are not only the perfect SAT/ACT scores, they are also the student council presidents, drama club stars, musicians, and more. They are so talented it is often beyond my comprehension.

And I'm expected to help them learn about writing, public speaking, and general rhetoric.

Surviving the first day without a panic attack or meltdown? That's a victory. By week three, I'm fine, but those first two weeks…

(Lack of) Sleep Schedule

Until the last year or so, I fought insomnia on a weekly, even nightly, basis. Stumbling into a regular sleep schedule for the last year has been nice. And now it seems to have ended. I'm back to a shifted, annoying, non-sleep schedule.

I've tried wine, coffee (yes, it puts me to sleep), various teas, and watching Murder She Wrote mini-marathons on the Hallmark Channel. Nothing seems to work.

School starts in a week, and I need to be on a regular schedule. While I do not teach until noon, my office hours start at 10 a.m. and I need to leave for campus an hour earlier. That means waking up by 7:30 a.m. each morning… and I am not a morning person. Four hours of sleep, maybe less, won't be enough.

We did join a gym, so I am hoping that regular exercise helps. By this weekend, the weather should be nice and we'll be back to walking three nights a week and three trips to the gym. I know that I won't be able to maintain a perfect schedule with the exercise, though,…