Lost in the Web!!

I confess – I am running out of energy for writing and researching and thinking. I have pretty much put myself in lockdown mode trying to get things written up and wrapped up in the next few weeks. In the process, I have decided that my own students are masters of self control!! Seriously, I think if I were in school in this era I would still be researching my first paper. I have some sort of information ADD and even though I have read countless books and journal articles for background on my project, I keep finding more!! Back in the Dark Ages, way before PCs, finding more info meant a trip to the library and actually locating real copies of journals or microfiche (all of you youngsters can look that up). It placed a limitation on how much research you could do. Basically, you ran out of information in your geographic area. Even then, I would always wander about in at least 4 or 5 of Columbia’s many libraries and haunt the main branch of the NYC Public Library. I kind of liked it, but I will admit, I was definitely not normal. I have absolutely no doubt that the pre-computer age saved me from myself!!

Now I am sitting here with access to exponentially more information. I have access to databases around the world thanks to this program and to the professional societies I am a member of.  And, I confess to really needing hard copies of certain types of information, so I have piles of stuff everywhere in addition to folders in folders on computers, USB drives and the Cloud. And yet, if I can’t find something to illustrate or support what I am trying to say, I wander off into the Internet in search of more!! Which leads to some sort of dichotomous branching effect (a shout out to you biology teachers) and a whole new idea and another search … And I am experiencing some sort of entanglement in the world wide web!! Help!!! How do students ever get anything done?? And I don’t even do the FaceBook and Twitter thing!

Which I guess is the point of this whole project – there is too much information out there!! No student or teacher can ever master all of it. And it multiplies and multiplies and multiplies!! Finding it is actually too easy.(At least based on the amount surrounding me, both physically and electronically.) Memorizing it is a complete waste of time and a hopeless endeavor! Knowing if it is good information, knowing how to use it and, most importantly, determining if it makes sense to you is the tricky part. In other words, you need to think critically, analyze and understand. And, if you are like me, you could probably use a little self-control !! Or at least a slow Internet connection!

P. S. I have at times ventured into the real world over the past few days and have some cool photos, but I am too tired and too easily distracted  to pull that stuff together right now. Next post, I promise!


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