We are back from our break and we’ve got news! After sixty episodes, we start our third year on the air by making a few adjustments to the content of our show. We want to include innovation that is not limited to digital tools only. We know there are many creative ways our listeners are innovating and that might simply be with pen and paper! Join us as we shift our gears and introduce you to DIESOL 2.0 : Developing Innovation in ESOL!
Episode Transcript
Brent Warner
The DIESOL podcast Digital Integration in English as a Second or Other Language, or…

Ixchell Reyes
Developing Innovation in English as a Second or Other Language, Episode 61.

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL This is episode 61. We are your hosts. I’m Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes
And I’m Ixchell Reyes holy moly!

Brent Warner
It’s been a while.

Ixchell Reyes
It has been a while. Hey, Brent, how are you doing?

Brent Warner
I am holding up. Okay. So last time we talked. You were in Japan.

Ixchell Reyes
I was I’m back. I’m back home. I’m against Texas.

Brent Warner
Yeah. And also, we kind of put a little pause on the show. For a few reasons we didn’t we weren’t able to totally bring everybody up to speed. But I think we can talk a bit about it now. Right? Yeah. So well, one. Right away, you know, the Ukraine thing was

Ixchell Reyes
just too heavy. It was I mean, it’s still it still is still going on

Brent Warner
thing. And there’s a lot there. And including students, you know, I have students on both sides of that. It’s been very confusing and tricky to deal with. But also,

Ixchell Reyes
there’s that that in itself, and then other conflicts going on. And then I was coming back, and my niece passed away. And she was very young, she passed away from leukemia, it was sudden and unexpected. And so that kind of was just difficult time.

Brent Warner
Yeah, and so we kind of wanted just to briefly talk about that. Because I mean, that’s, you know, quite heavy. And there’s a lot going on around that. But also, we didn’t exactly want to apologize for pausing the show because of that, because we think like, I mean, we were doing a little pre show a show, but like, you have some good thoughts about like, why it’s important to be able to accept those things and not necessarily push through and do the things you’re not ready to do at the moment.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, I think I think one of the things that happens when any kind of traumatic event presents itself in life, whether it’s war, or whatever it is, because there’s just all of us are dealing with our own situations, but especially in the teaching field, we the many of us feel like we have to push through, we have to stay strong, we have to keep going, keep going, keep going. And and society, especially in the teaching field has conditioned us to, to work that way. And although it may be well intentioned, you know, people telling you stay strong, you can do it, you can do this, just push through, it actually invalidates how vulnerable you may be feeling. And I think of you know, students that are, you know, have families elsewhere, or are going through situations that may not be a war necessarily, but it’s something at home. And for, for us to feel like we are less than ourselves because we’re not, quote unquote, being strong. And then we are left with guilt and shame and we feel bad about what we’re doing or not doing. And then we don’t give ourselves permission to actually just be in our vulnerable time where, for me, it happened to be mourning my niece and and I have to say after given just a heartfelt thank you to my PLN because I did tweet about her on social media and people just sent messages they donated to her fund. And I knew a lot of people didn’t want to have their full name out in public. So I know that there’s a lot of you out there who donated privately. And that just goes such a long way when someone is feeling vulnerable. But if you know if we’re not, if I as an educator cannot admit my times of weakness or the times where I do need help, then it’s going to be really difficult for me to model that for other young people. And at this time, it happens to be the sister of my niece who passed away and other little cousins so and of course my students, our students and my colleagues, I want my colleagues to be able to do the same for me and so that’s sort of where we are conversation was before the before the show started.

Brent Warner
Yeah. And I thought you know, a few of those things were just really valuable and worth paying attention to because you know, Oh, sometimes, you know, for us, we’re probably like, go getters at certain level with the show and trying to say, hey, we want to keep providing and hopefully it’s useful for people. But, you know, at the end of the day, it’s a show and like, it’s, it’s, you know, your own health and our own needs. And I’ve been dealing with my own like, you know, not luckily, you know, great grateful that there haven’t been deaths in my family or anything like that, and, you know, really feel for your situation. But we’re all dealing with different things, right. Yeah. And so, I’ve been somewhat stressed around, you know, I’ve been, I’ve just been stepping into my own, my own levels of burnout around online teaching, and all those types of things as well. So, so I think it’s just kind of worthwhile and valuable to validate that. And absolutely, we need to put both sides of it to write because I like what you’re saying about, you know, this idea of be strong, right? It’s like, Well, okay, but does strong mean, burying your emotions and just smiling when you’re not wanting to smile? And I think by default, at least in American culture, that’s kind of a lot of what it means, right? It’s like, just don’t show anybody that you’re upset, or, you know, and that’s that–

Ixchell Reyes
The show must go on, right. Suck it up! And yeah, I heard a lot of Yeah, that. I mean, and it is, and yes, it’s well intended, but like, here’s the thing, you’re dealing with stuff as well. And that does it just, you know, none of everybody’s stuff is valid. And and the thing is that we need to be able to communicate how we’re feeling so that we know, when we need a break, we know when we need to offer students break, we need to know when we need to offer our colleagues a break or or be there for them in the way that we can support them. And so I think that that’s extremely important, because it keeps us from burning out. And it keeps us having that fire within to continue when we’ve got the space to continue.

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, these are great. And one of the things you posted early on Ixchell, I think on Instagram was you had this post that had like two to two slides to it, or two pictures to it. It was like how to support someone who’s grieving, don’t say this and do say this, right. And I thought that was like, really, really insightful. Because it’s like, it said the same things like you’re strong, right? Or you’re gonna be fine. And it’s like…

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and you know, that’s, it’s funny, because we came out, I came up with these with my niece because she was there when my, my niece, Monica, who passed away, she was there when she passed away. And people kept telling her Wow, we’re so proud of you. You were did so well, you were so strong. And that left her feeling defeated. She said, All I did was hold her hand. I didn’t do anything, I couldn’t even speak I was in so much shock. And so a lot of people from all over the world reached out because they knew my knees say she had come to work. And she had met my students, she was friends with some of my students, etc. She practice English with them. And so we decided, Okay, what does help us? Well, the thing is, we just want to know that people understand that we’re going through a difficult time and that we they are there with us, they feel for us. And that’s all they have to say. And, and so I also after I posted that I received several messages from people from different parts of the world saying thank you so much for sharing this, because I would not have known and these are things that are difficult for me to know, as someone from another country. And had I not posted that that conversation wouldn’t have happened.

Brent Warner
Yeah. And I think it’s not only not not from another country, I think a lot of people from here just kind of default to these responses that were like,

Ixchell Reyes
oh, yeah, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Yeah, “my condolences.” It’s like, Well, those are like Hallmark card things. But if you get a Hallmark card thing with condolences, it’s just it sounds so the person who’s grieving, of course, appreciates, but what we probably what helps us, I’m with you, and your morning, I’m with you during this time. And so that that that does feel like a pillow when you need it, you know?

Brent Warner
So I think with all of these kind of ideas in mind, you know, we’ve been going through some changes here, we’ve, we’ve been kind of dealing with some issues. And, you know, we’re like, Well, what are we going to do? Some of the issues, what we’ll talk about in just a minute of like, things that were going on with you in Japan as well are can possibly lead to change, right and hopefully for a better job and kind of motivate a little bit of updates and a little bit of new ways of approaching things. So I think we’re just gonna jump right over and start talking about it.

Ixchell Reyes
Let’s do it.

Brent Warner
Okay, so um, if you didn’t hear if you weren’t if you weren’t an eagle eared Eagle-eared viewer? Is that a thing? So at the beginning of the show, you know the the DIESOL the the acronym is digital integration and English as a second or other language, but we are shifting… gears!

Ixchell Reyes
We’re evolving like a Pokemon.

Brent Warner
I gave a great analogy I said we’re shifting gears like keeping the car analogy alive and you went into Pokemon? (Laughter). All right. So

Ixchell Reyes
Shifting gears shifting,

Brent Warner
Shifting Pokemon, – I don’t even know what that means. They get bigger or something.

Ixchell Reyes
They become more powerful and strong, and they they adapt to what is needed at the moment.

Brent Warner
Oh, OK. Well, we can work with that, I guess.

Ixchell Reyes
We can adapt to the road to shifting gears.

Brent Warner
All right, so let’s, let’s repeat this. So we are changing the acronym meaning a bit.

Ixchell Reyes
Mmmhmm. I’m excited about this actually. Cool. I’m pretty excited about this.

Brent Warner
So what is it? What’s the new one,

Ixchell Reyes
The new one is Developing Innovation in English as a second or other language. So we’re keeping the D and I are DIESOL. But we are adding those words or changing them so that we’re expanding and including other areas that I think we talk about often, right? You and I talk about often, but they never make it on the show, because they’re not “digital integration” every time. But they’re equally as useful and relevant. And so, yeah, developing innovation in English as a second or other language. Is that – that’s more letters, we’re adding letters.

Brent Warner
Uh-oh. We’re gonna have to squeeze onto the t shirt or something. Yeah, the so I like this. I like it a lot. Actually, I think we’re gonna have some good opportunities here. Because we have talked about some things, you know, that are not super digital on the show, we’ve kind of gone in some waves in different parts like that. But I think one of the one of the things is we have held off on a lot of conversations, right? So so we’ve done some things a little bit here. But then we always I’ve always kind of come back and said, Well, hold on a second, what’s our, what’s our online aspect to this? What’s the technology that we’re linking into this conversation? And even though they’re really valuable conversations, things like, you know, dei issues, or no tech classrooms, or materiality? Yeah, there’s so many different parts that we can talk about that our field still needs to keep growing a lot, right. Like, there’s so many different places. And so when we say developing innovation, right, when the innovation is great, because we can kind of keep thinking about new things and keep like trying to figure out new, interesting ways to approach and work with our students. But I also like the developing has kind of the, you know, the the, the present progressive sense of like, we are always developing innovation, right? We ourselves are developing, right? And then and the world out there is also developing as well. So so it kind of helps us have that flexibility, while still being able to absolutely focus on the tech stuff where we need to write. And so I think we’re not losing that side of it. We’re just we’re just saying, hey, like, we’re not pigeon holed.

Ixchell Reyes
We’re adding Yeah, we are adding this is I feel like we’ve just expanded and, and some of the conversations that I wanted to have it just in our field, didn’t really belong within digital integration, but definitely belong with innovation and developing and the fact Yeah, absolutely. We didn’t stop growing at the pandemic with, you know, zum zum classes, right now we know how not to do. So let’s do and, and also, that in other parts of the world, they didn’t have zoom teaching. And that’s what I figured out in Japan. So

Brent Warner
Tell me a little bit about that time in Japan because we’re trying to talk tech right? And you’re sitting there going, but Brent, I don’t have I’m not using any tech!

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, so here’s one of the common you know, people make make comments to me and here’s a comment. That was quite common. Oh, you’re going to Japan or you’re gonna love it because you’re such a techie. And yes, Japan is at the cutting edge of technology. However, their language classrooms and their education style in general is very much the old teacher centered Yeah, especially in language learning you are it’s very much translation method. And we’re, excuse me, I’m getting over the flu. I actually my technology there, and it hasn’t been the first time when I’m overseas. But you know, people would would be surprised to know that all I had was a whiteboard, a few whiteboard markers and my desk and that is it. There was no there was a cassette player actually found cassettes, old cassettes, and new they had actually like new ones that you could use to record I kid you not they had new ones in stock if I needed them, like blank cassettes, blank cassettes, they had VHS, VHS, VCR. They also had a DVD player. But we did have Wii Wii, I think some of them were really old school, English textbooks that they use still have old me to VHS because they went out of print. Okay, so again, that should tell you. And so one of the things that’s both disappointing and exciting is that oh my gosh, there is no tech, what the heck am I gonna do and then oh, my gosh, I get to design and try new things all over again and make things. And so it was kind of that feeling I had to do everything from scratch, it was very much paper and pencil, designing games, all sorts of games, because we also had a long schedule. And again, it’s that’s just expected. But if you’re having a long schedule of activities that’s wearing on the students who are used to sitting in their desks quietly translating for hours. So I sort of went back to basics and went back to when I first started teaching and and understanding that not everybody, and we’ve talked about that before, not everyone in other places, even in the United States has faced the technology available. So it was kind of an eye it was an eye opening experience. And it was very much kind of led me to thinking a lot about our show, when we were, you know, coming up with ideas, I just didn’t have a lot to share, because I wasn’t trying a lot in terms of digital tools. And so again, that reinforces the idea that innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be with things you plug in.

Brent Warner
And also during that time Ixchell, you were telling me you’re like, you’re like yeah, you know, I’m not dealing I’m not doing this stuff. But then you’re also saying and you know what thinking about it, like people who maybe would listen to the show, but they don’t feel like they have access to this. Right? Like all the things we’re talking about.

Ixchell Reyes
And there have been I know that we’ve had when we were on, oh my gosh, how could I be forgetting? What’s that other platform? We did? Oh, my gosh, clubhouse is still there. And but anyway, when we were on clubhouse, we did have listeners who shared but they said you know, they don’t have technology. And that’s the thing. Oftentimes you are you’re working with you have part time teachers and they’re they may not get the classroom, that’s the tech classroom. And so at or they may be freeway fliers, as part timers often are. And and you know, when you have, you’re not able to develop a lot of the other stuff, because you can’t take it with you all the time, depending on the technology in the classroom. So we really wanted to we had you and I had a conversation of you know, what is innovation? Because innovation for us here and in America might be one thing. But innovation in Japan or you know, other countries. Uzbekistan, for example, might be different.

Brent Warner
Yeah, and people, you know, like so, for example, we might have already gone through some of those innovations. But we that doesn’t mean like, we we can still talk about those, right? Because we can help, hopefully, you know, people who are let’s just say it was Becca, Stan, like, hey, I want to start doing this, like, this is our first, you know, we have you know, we’re out here in the countryside, and we have one computer in the classroom that doesn’t connect to the internet. Can I do anything with that? It’s like, okay, well, let’s start thinking about different ways to do that. Right? Or, like, you know, just like you said,

Ixchell Reyes
implementing a brand new program and setting things up and knowing what segments you know, what you need. And, of course, as a, as a new teacher, you’re taught all of these things, but teachers who are constant, you know, there’s a lot of teachers who are, you know, overseas or maybe not overseas, they’re just teachers that live there. You know, I don’t want to say only Americans go and teach overseas, we have plenty of excellent language teachers.

Brent Warner
Well, and the other thing, too, is like, we have a lot of teachers here in the states that don’t have wealthy schools, right. They don’t have like, they don’t they don’t have access to the things that we’re talking about. So even though you We say, oh, it’s easy to go get a computer for $200, or whatever it is right? For some people that can be totally unrealistic. And for a whole community of students, right, like, they might not have access to that. So. So we have to be careful that we’re not making the total assumptions. And again, like I said, Yes, we’re gonna keep talking about that stuff, because we love it. And we, you know, there are a lot of great ways to go. But also, like, we want to be open to more beyond that. So. So I think that’s kind of what we’re leaning towards here with this conversation. And so we’ll see, we’ll see how the show kind of progresses and moves and what conversations we ended up having going forward, but I feel pretty good about it. I feel like we can, you know, refresh a bit and, and take new steps back into it. But with a little bit more open eyes.

Ixchell Reyes
We have evolved.

Brent Warner
We have, we have pokemon’d up

Ixchell Reyes
only, we’ve only shifted gears, that sounds like we moved a little bit.

Brent Warner
I mean, you know, like, you get the right gear shift, and you’re gonna get a big, herky-jerky.

Ixchell Reyes
Or a flying car, man. All right. Flying Car.

Brent Warner
Oh, definitely, our sound effects are not like eco friendly. We’ll make it work. All right.

Ixchell Reyes
So hey, guys, if you think you have friends out there that might benefit from the show now that we’re expanding, share the show, and let them know about our new name change.

Brent Warner
Thank you. Alright, so Ixchell we did talk a little bit, you know, we wanted to say here. I think one issue that has also come up for a lot of us during this time is that we feel like less creative, or I’ve felt less creative over the last over the last couple years, because we’re just kind of stuck in the Zoom fatigue. And we talked a little bit about that in the past and some of those, but I thought it might be useful with this new idea of saying, Hey, we’re developing innovation. One thing that can be an issue is like, I don’t feel creative, right? Like, I just don’t, I don’t feel like I have anything creative inside of me right now. I just I kind of am doing par for the course. And you know, maybe I’m, I wish I was being more creative. And I wish I was doing more fun stuff. But I, that juice is not coming to me, right. And so, so we just wanted to share some ideas, kind of as we’re, as we’re making these changes to talk a little bit about some possible ways to build some creativity for yourself. So, Michelle, I don’t know if you want to start? Yeah, I

Ixchell Reyes
think one of it. One of the things I was constantly thinking about was how I felt left out when I was in Japan, checking Twitter, and you know, people do try new things out, and you’re talking about this cool, new, whatever. And I’m just like, I can’t, I can’t use that. But the reality is that you don’t need to do what everyone else is raging about right now, if you’re not feeling like now’s the time or the Yeah, if you are that you have the space to try something new. You have to try it because you want to and because you see a need for it. And because you’re going to be excited to use it. And that’s one of the things that I thought, well, you know what, even if I learned this right now and take this Saturday course when I’m free, what am I going to use it for? Am I excited? No, it just feels like a chore. And so you have to remind yourself, you don’t have to do all of these things. Right? It’s not a race.

Brent Warner
Yeah, absolutely. And I’ll kind of add on to that, too. Because I think a lot of times, maybe we find something and we’re like, oh, oh, everybody already knows about that. So I shouldn’t get very excited about it or whatever it is, right. And so for you it might be like Google Docs, for example, you find you’re like, hey, I finally kind of saw Google Docs, I finally figured it out. Right? But I’m I’m behind because everybody was talking about that. How many however many years ago, right? And so there’s no new ideas going on in that, but it doesn’t matter. Because it’s for Yeah, you’re the one who’s saying, Hey, this is for me right now. And this is what I’m figuring out and it does help my students and it does help me do my work. And so, so I think that like, it’s very, very tempting for a lot of us to try to be on what’s hot, like the newest releases or all of those types of things, but but I’m totally with you there. It doesn’t matter. You know, like we try and tell our students this all the time. You don’t need to compare yourself to the other students. You don’t need to compare your, you know, techy or creative activity levels to other people. Yeah, you

Ixchell Reyes
don’t need to memorize the AW l like that other student has down. It’s not a race, right? You need what you take what you can do. are what you need at that time for whatever it is. And with that, just take a break and go back to basics. I think that’s what happened to me in Japan, it was a forced break off of technology, I actually had no Wi Fi in my classroom. And that’s just standard where I was, which also meant I was weaned off of social media. And I learned to live without it. I learned not to check my phone, during breaks and, and taking a break. And just going back to basics, helpless to stay in touch with the reason why we need tools. It’s because we need to make learning accessible. It’s not about the trendy gadget. It’s not about all of these things that suddenly popped up in the last three years because of at home teaching. Or I mean, online teaching. And so so that’s one thing that I realized I thought, hey, I’m back to basics, and it’s not a bad thing. This is actually great,

Brent Warner
right? Yeah, I like that too. Because it’s kind of gets you into the idea. We talked about this, but it’s like, the your that would help you look for the tool that fits the teaching, not the teaching that fits the tool, right? Yeah. So instead of, you know, looks like Hey, I found this thing, and how am I going to use it in the classroom? It’s like, Well, if that’s the question, then you’re not starting with the right like, what are the students goals for learning? Or what do you what is your, you know, your outcome, your intended outcomes, or whatever else? It is, right? Because we get so tied up in, I want to use this fun thing. I think it’s fun for the students.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. And then I was gonna add that, you know, when I, when I was in Japan, I was also training teachers. And so one of the thoughts that I would constantly was, you know, was ruminating about was, it doesn’t matter how many digital strategies I have, not one of them is going to be useful for these teachers, because the reality for them is that they have to remain here. And these Japanese teachers have to teach in this environment. So how am I going to make that learning accessible? Those tools accessible to them? Or what tools am I going to make accessible to them? So they can then actually use them? Because yeah, I can wow them with everything that Google Docs can do. But they don’t have internet access on their location at their location. So

Brent Warner
yeah, absolutely. So next up, I think for for maintaining your creativity or building your creativity, it kind of goes in two different ways, right? So when you’re saying yes or no to things, you have to know when to say yes to, to things that you can try and when to say no. So if you’re dealing with burnout, for example, you have to be a lot more willing to say no to things right. Like, no, I’m not going to do this. No, I’m not going to do that. And I think it’s okay to say no to things that people invite you or ask you to do. And on the other hand, you also want to be willing to say yes to things when you maybe feel a little bit uncomfortable with it, right? And I don’t mean in the sense of like, I can’t handle more on my plate. If that’s the problem, then say no, as I mentioned, but but if you’re saying, Well, hey, somebody’s asking me to be a co presenter on this thing, and I don’t feel confident in that, or, you know, I’m being asked to help out with this event that I, you know, I’ve never done before. And, you know, I don’t know how to do it, right? So you can you can choose these different things that might be new experiences, and then those new experiences, the ones that you do take can be like opening your eyes to a lot of different options and different ways to think about things. And so, so, my best advice for this, I know, this is kind of informal, but it’s just trust your gut, right? Like, oh,

Ixchell Reyes
that, you know, Brent, that is like the single most valuable thing that I’ve learned and actually applied, your gut knows. Trust your gut. Your gut knows.

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. So when you get that, like, go for it, right. And it’s different than being nervous, right. Like, it’s different. Yeah, but But yeah, so I think the the when to say yes or no can be a really good one.

Ixchell Reyes
And that might take some practice, especially if you’re used to saying yes to things that you’re expected to say yes. Or you think you’re expected to say yes or no to trust your gut, you’ve got to practice in real life. And the only way to do that is to do it to practice. Well, another thing that I came up on to stay you know, to stay creative is to read a completely unrelated book, not about work, not about education, not about because one of the things that I I’m you know, I’m constantly ordering things that I see people share with each other because there’s such great reads but then the thing is, is it becomes not a chore but I feel like I’m behind it having finished that book and I haven’t finished that book and, and then I realized, but it’s about work. And yes, I enjoy work but work cannot. I know that us who are love our job, we say like we’d love it. And it’s almost like a hobby because we’re refining we’d love it so much, but work cannot be your hobby. Right, right. Because at some point, you become your work, right? And your work cannot define who you are. Because God forbid your work be taken away from you, then who are you? And you are not your work? Yeah, for sure. And that’s just a big, I think, a big thought.

Brent Warner
I have right like, and that unrelated book can be like a good way to guide you into like your other interests that maybe you’re not sure about, right. Maybe you don’t totally know what other things you’re interested in, especially if you’ve gotten so tight. Oh, and you’re workaholics?

Ixchell Reyes
Yes. If you’re in if you’re one of those people who is like the director of whatever the chairperson for whatever, the volunteer for HA, HA the one that people want on their team all the time to lead. Yeah, you’re, you’re constantly, you’re in high demand because of your expertise. But what that does is it’s also draining, it’s draining you and you’ve got to, there will be no emergency, if you say no to something you’re not, it doesn’t make you less of a person or more of a person. And so that’s one thing that I just read something I was reading stuff that I not a weird, just comedy stuff, or stuff that I normally don’t read, because I’m not interested in it for entertainment. I usually watch Netflix, but it also sort of made me pause and, and sort of explore, like, what are the other things I like that are not related to education, because I’m just so my body is so conditioned to being a teacher, my brain is conditioned.

Brent Warner
Yeah, and like, we want to link everything we do back to it. And like think of ways that it can help our students, but one of the ways that we can help our students is by, you know, taking care of ourselves, too, right? And so, so I’m gonna link that too, because you said read an unrelated book. And I would also say, just find a totally unrelated hobby, right? So reading books, of course, can be part of that. But it could be something like, I’m gonna learn to play the guitar, right? Or, I’m actually kind of interested, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to work this out. But next semester, at our school, there’s a new class being offered, called Introduction to beekeeping. And

Ixchell Reyes
oh, my cousin’s just started that, really? Yes. And

Brent Warner
I’m like, that’s totally different. And it’s like, um, you know, like, you could just kind of be out there in nature, obviously, don’t want to get stung, by like, but I’m interested, right? I’m like, that sounds like a kind of a cool thing. So just unrelated doesn’t have to do anything with all the other stuff I’m doing. But it’s just something that I want to go learn about, maybe or, or see if I want to learn about it too, right. So the unreal hobby can be real big.

Ixchell Reyes
But here’s the thing, Brent, and I think we talk about this, you know, with our students, we tell them go read about this, go do that, go do something different. So you’re learning we as, as we as we get older, we also get stuck in our own little groups of like minded individuals. And so once you venture out of that comfort zone, because yes, it’s harder as an adult to venture out, then you start seeing things differently. And as a beekeeper, my you’re gonna be learning about the environment and how that’s, you know how taking care of bees impacts a lot of our you know, our everyday life and wondering, of course, you might learn that you might learn about that in a lecture in one of those textbooks that we get, but you’re now personally connected to it. So I think that’s, that’s awesome. My hobby that I was telling you that I might pick up is learning how to do nails did mention that and? Well, it’s still in an idea, pipe dream,

Brent Warner
or you’re still pursuing pursuing the first steps?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. Yeah. So I would also suggest journaling, I know. We tell our students to journal we asked them to journal here and there. But journaling can also show patterns of how much of a workaholic you’ve become, because you might be journaling about things that are stressing you out. Or it also, you might realize that you’re not able to write anything down because all you can think about is work or, you know, other things in that you know, how many work related thoughts you’re having becomes evident, but journaling about things that make you happy or journaling about the little moments of the day that you’re grateful for worrying about the past and the future is useless because they are both not depressed. They’re not here, but one of the practices that I’ve been following now for about a year and a half is I just have this little journal and it doesn’t have to be paid long. And pages, but it’s just moments that made me smile today. And if there aren’t any than you, right, none. That’s the reality. You don’t have to that but things I’m grateful for today. And sometimes I’m grateful for something like my toast, or my toaster, or that the coffee, you know, Starbucks, the Starbucks person was really kind. Yeah.

Brent Warner
Have you seen that Japanese toaster that does the with the water, you pour water in the top of it, and then we’ll talk about this later. This is a whole thing. But it’s pretty amazing.

Ixchell Reyes
We need to add weird finds. Oh, yeah.

Brent Warner
Well, if I ever buy it, it’s expensive. It’s an expensive toaster. But it’s super cool. So. Okay, so so you can be happy about your toast? You can journal journal. Yeah, any kind of journaling too? Because that energy, yeah. And it gets your brain in that flow state, right? Like once you once you get into that, so. So I think another way, I’m going to add in get bored, right? We’ve talked, there are articles out there about the value of boredom. And one of these I found there was an article by Elle Pizarro, I think it’s called the bright side of board. And we’ll put the link into the into the show notes. But one of the quotes that kind of came through and pulling from a few different studies, said in broad strokes, the picture is as follows. On account of its effective volitional and cognitive aspects, boredom motivates the pursuit of a new goal, when the current goal ceases to be satisfactory, attractive or meaningful to the agent. So the boredom can actually when you let yourself live in that boredom, then it can actually be the prompt that gets you out of boredom, right? And gets you into like, whatever your next passion, your next joy, your next goal is going to be. And so for me a couple of the ways that we might talk about it, and I think this is hard for a lot of us is like, when you do something, like go out on a walk in nature, right, so many people pop their headphones in, it’s like, the first thing they do pop the headphones in and listen to a podcast, listen to music, go for the run, whatever it is. And that’s totally fine. But what happens if you go without your headphones, right? Like, what if you just have your feet and nature, right? And like you just have and you go out and explore and listen to what nature is saying. And you know, how the wind is blowing? And how the, you know, the birds are tweeting, and all of these different things, right? are tweeting the birds they

Ixchell Reyes
tweet now.

Brent Warner
You didn’t help at all, everybody who tweets, tweets on Twitter is a bird. Yeah. But again, like going out there without anything, right, just being a part of nature. And in that connect, you know, it can be for some, some people certainly are listening right now. And they’re going that’s not boring. That’s super fun. And it’s like, yes, but not for the people who are not used to that, right. So the people who are like, I always have to have something going through my ears, there’s always always always something right. And so it’s like, well, let’s step away from that. And so another way to do that, too, is to leave your phone behind, right? So if you’re going to a coffee shop, leave your phone, in the car, or maybe at home. It’s funny, because my dad does this all the time. So like when I go visit my dad, and we’ll be out and I’ll be like, oh, like, what about this? And he’s like, Oh, I don’t know, I left my phone on the counter at home. And I’m like, you forgot it. He’s like, No, I left it. Oh, yeah, you can do that, I guess. You can actually choose to just, you know, be out in the moments that you’re in the moments for, again, same type of thing. So if you’re at a coffee shop, and you’re intentionally setting yourself up, you say, Hey, I don’t have a book, I don’t have a tablet, I don’t have a phone. I’m just gonna sit here, enjoy the coffee, maybe people watch maybe just kind of be in the environment, right? And again, that can all lead you to see things that you wouldn’t have seen or heard otherwise.

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, yeah. Brian, one of the things that I did that, you know, as a result of not having Wi Fi is I realized I had the habit of just grabbing my phone. Even if I wasn’t going to check it. I would grab it and take it with me. And I learned to leave my phone behind. And so on my way to the cafeteria is quite a walk from my classroom. And I would normally I would be checking my phone if I had, you know if I was able to, but I was forced to watch listen here look. You know, feel the sensation of the wind. I know that sounds really cheesy, but there were things like that that I now could really do. Have my attention on. And now and I’ve learned to appreciate, oh, you know, the sound of the water of the river that’s nearby or the birds are not seeing today, what’s going on? Oh, it’s the, you know, winter is coming. So that must be it. And so, stuff like that. And then for those of us that like to go out running and block everyone, you know, so people will talk to us with our headphones. I also started leaving my phone behind, but I still didn’t want people to talk to me. And I was still a little bit shy. So I just would wear my sport headphones, but no sound and and I could just sit there and people watch. And then I learned that there were couples that would come around and feed the cats in the neighborhood. And because I was watching, otherwise, I would have blocked it because of the music. And the thing is it slows your thoughts down, which means you have to be alone with your thoughts. And that’s not a bad thing. You run away from them. They show up elsewhere. So I think that’s a great, great, great suggestion.

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. Another one. So kind of tying that into like slowing down your thoughts or being together with your thoughts is that there was another study that’s by McPherson, and it was called Emotional intent modulates the neural substrates of creativity, an fMRI study of emotionally targeted improvisation in jazz musicians. And that’s a long title. But it was really interesting, because basically, what they were doing is they’re saying, like, hey, if we prompt people before they do their creative music, I think they’re a jazz pianists. And if we prompt people with like, positive emotions before that, does that create more creativity, and what they found is that it does. And so the implication here is that you can actually do things like, you know, watch a comedy or, you know, pursue something joyful, like a beautiful, positive piece of art. And that can actually open you up to better and to more creativity. And so I think that’s kind of part one. And then the other thing I think, that a lot of us don’t do is like, we feel that moment of motivation. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in this moment shot when you’re like, Oh, this is a really good idea. This is a thing that I want to do. And then you and then you trick yourself, and you go, maybe I’ll do it tomorrow, right? But it’s like, if you feel that in that moment, strike while the iron is hot, right? Like, if you’re like, Hey, I’m ready to do this thing. I’ve got a little bit of the motivation, because that’s like the first, you know, the snowball effect, right? Isn’t it and then if you actually get into it, and you start building it, so like, I’ve had a few times where I’m like, Hey, I really want to make this video for my students. And and then I’m like, but I want to do it later, I guess. And then I never do it. Right. And but then I’ve had other times where I’m like, hey, I want to do this. And I’m like, I’ve got time right now. I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna put in 10 minutes into it. And then three hours later, I’m like, okay, cool. But it’s cool, because that’s time that I would have done otherwise sitting on the sofa or something, you know, something that I would have never ended up getting to at another point. Hey, Brian,

Ixchell Reyes
how about that book you’re writing? Summer?

Brent Warner
Next time? A few weeks. Give me Give me some time here.

Ixchell Reyes
Yes, so and that brings me to my last suggestion and that that it is okay to pause something for a few days or a few months. And in my case, it happened to be a couple months and then Brent’s bookcase and I’d be a year and that is okay. You have to give yourself permission to that that is okay. There will never be as I view it, and II sold emergency. But there can be a health emergency and there’s only one you and without you that then it becomes any soul emergency, but you have to remind yourself of that that you come first. If you’re not, you know feeling your best then at that time, you need to take a break. Trust your gut, I think your gut will tell you.

Brent Warner
Yeah, absolutely. So hopefully some of these help if you’re thinking about some ways to rebuild or get back into the creative mode for yourself and for your for your career as well.

Ixchell Reyes
It is time for our fun finds. And this time around well, I’m still missing Japan. So I’m gonna recommend a Japanese fun fine. And these are beside B, the letter B and inside as in like s IDE size. Beside labels stickers, and these are just these are stickers of bumper stickers. So they’ve morphed into like I think they have cases and keychains not because they’re so popular but they’re pop art stickers and originally were from Osaka. I think they started out in 2003. But they have just you can find them online. But in Japan they have stores where you can walk in and I always come out with a bunch of stickers and this time around they had it They had created a Ukraine sticker. So so it was just based on donations. You didn’t You didn’t have to purchase it. Just take the sticker and donate whatever you want. And you can basically it’s like, we like those pop. What are they called? Pop? Art pop? No, no, no pop. Go pop Funko Pops. Okay. Funko Pops. So imagine that but the sticker version. Okay, so there’s millions of characters and yeah, you can find anything. So there there are a lot of fun. So,

Brent Warner
Yeah, and we have a lot of listeners who are sticker collectors.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, these are great for sticker collectors.

Brent Warner
Okay, cool. I like it. So here’s mine. Dun-duh-duh-duhhh…

Ixchell Reyes
It’s just a weird fun— Oh, this is cool!

Brent Warner
This is so cool. Yeah. So so this is and that made for great radio right there to remind. Wasn’t that amazing? Wasn’t that reveal? Excellent. No, so Ixchell you got me a gift from Japan, which is a good it’s a charger and I love it. It’s like so it’s such a cool, like, and it’s a nicely designed little charger. It’s just like a cube, right? It’s a little cube, not a cube. I mean, it’s called a cube. But it’s it’s a flat cube. Right? So it’s got this like, you know, it’s it’s like,

Ixchell Reyes
It’s like an inch? Like an inch thick, an inch and a half? What would you say?

Brent Warner
Probably three, three by three by one, I would say. So probably an inch thick. But it’s a nice little, like, it’s the kind of the perfect weight. So and it’s got this really good quality little rope on it. But the thing that I like about it is that it is a it’s also a wireless charger. Since I’ve upgraded my phone, like I hadn’t thought about it, and I’m like, oh, like, you know, I just still always charge charge charge traditionally, and I’m like, Oh, now my phone actually can do wireless charging. And so this is kind of the perfect little thing. So I can have it in my bag charged like to stick my phone next to it or put it together on the you know on the table or whatever it is. It does still have the cords for plugging in. So it has the you know, the USB slots in it, but but I you know, you can never go wrong with the charger first of all, so I like I’m stoked on having it but also I like the wireless function and this like the simple clean design. So mine is I guess it’s called Power Cube Pro. I don’t. She was yeah, those

Ixchell Reyes
You know, QI is “Chi” the power it that’s what she is for all of the wireless. That’s the type of wireless technology. Okay, so welcome to the wireless era

Brent Warner
As I wear my wired headphones and talk into my wired microphone. (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, no, I regret not going back and getting one for myself.

Brent Warner
You’ll have to go back to Japan, I guess. It’s the only answer.

Ixchell Reyes
I will have to go back to Japan. Yes. But yes, I’m glad you like that.

Brent Warner
Yeah, thank you. This is a very cool, so we’ll we’ll see if we can find I don’t know if people can get it here. But we’ll link so people can see what it is.

Ixchell Reyes
Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much for listening to the show. And welcome back from our hiatus, we are still giving away our pins. So leave us reviews. If you’re doing any kind of shout out, please tag us on social media, we’re on all the platforms.

Brent Warner
We also have a patreon if you want to support the show, we have a bias a coffee on there too. So if you feel like hey, this is worth supporting, then that would be awesome. But of course you know we’re just happy to have you listening so you can find show notes and other episodes at DIESOL.org/61 So slash the number six one. And of course you can listen to us at voicEd Canada that’s v o i c e d.ca The show is we’re still on Twitter so we don’t know. I guess we haven’t decided how we feel about Twitter potentially potentially being buy I mean, he says like but you kind of but like he can still back out until the very last minute so we’re still in we’re still in like he’s saying yes that he’s gonna buy it but there’s a lot there’s like still a back out clause which might end up happening. So anyways, regardless where you’re on Twitter @DIESOLpod and I am @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
I’m Ixchell at @Ixy_Pixy, that’s I x y underscore p i x y

Brent Warner
and for the whole creativity side of things we’re gonna do a whole made up language. So in Esperanto thank you is Dankon. Dankon for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast. Thanks everybody.

Ixchell Reyes
See you

ARTICLES

FUN FINDS

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