Any good Mountaineer understands the significance of a canary in the coal mine…the canary portends danger or failure.
In other words…it takes one for the team.
So Chickens, there’s something you and I can learn from these wee warblers…these sentinel saviors…
Pay attention to early warning signs!!!!
As a matter of fact…we have just such a system in place here @ WVNCC in the form of an email and phone call you’ll receive if someone detects toxic or subversive signs emanating from your ‘general direction.’
So if you:
- Miss class(es), even one…especially at the beginning of a semester (yes…you can be absent in online courses too!)…I mean, this is bottom rung stuff…’just showing up’ is like ‘just having one’ cookie, potato chip, whatever…IT IS NOT ENOUGH.
- Miss assignments…ahem…I repeat…does no good to show up if you don’t do any work. BUZZKILL=we do not learn by osmosis.
I think we can agree these are, like, no-brainers. But (and this is where your canary can really sing) be in tune with yourself and your environment (I promise, your professor is):
- Are you engaging? Are you able to listen and concentrate in class? Are you finding something…anything…about your coursework interesting?
- Are you motivating yourself? Are you regularly snuggling up with why you’re doing what you’re doing?
- Have you incorporated “student” into your identity? Are you able to prioritize and balance it with the many competing commitments for your time, attention and affection?
So we have our canaries in place, Chickens, but you too, must have your own. Build your personal capital (i.e. self-awareness and reflection). Check in with yourself Chickens…listen for sounds of distress, look for red flags, ask for support…don’t go all “Trump-et” on us.
How sublime the subtleties of learning! It is not all found in a book…Ms. Maya A. and I know why the caged bird sings!
We’re on your team…we’ll sound off in warning if need be…so we can, ultimately, sing songs of your success.