Posted: May 29th, 2021
Instructions: This assignment is for those of you, based on your own self-assessment, spend too much of your time thinking about the past or the future at the expense of the current moment. (So this assignment is not for everyone.)
What to do: Review the information on chronemics and time orientation when it becomes available on Moodle. Also be sure to attend our class session on chronemics for more insight regarding time orientation.
After that class, spend a minimum of 5 consecutive days taking notes—with several short “entries” a day that detail your time orientation. Pay attention to which of the three orientations (past, present, future) your thinking “resides” the most. Speculate on why you think this might be. Throughout this 5 days, try consciously spending more time in “the present,” e.g., no focusing on the past or future while doing certain “automatic activities like showering, driving, or walking somewhere. Spend some time just NOTICING. Notice your breathing, the color of something, the wind, sounds you ordinarily miss, the feel of a fabric, the temperature, cloud shapes—anything that you could enjoy for its own sake as opposed to focusing on the phenomena from the from the remembered (regretted?) past or the conjectured (worried about? hopeful?) future.
Write about all this and how “staying in the present,” affects your life in a 4-6 page paper. Are you worrying less? Are you less anxious? Are you enjoying life more? (Claims scholars make about orienting to the “here and now.”)
As a reminder, this is not an exercise for those of you who already spend most of your time oriented in the present. (In fact, some of you probably orient too much to the present, and might benefit from considering the past or future more fully and more often.) However, for those for whom this exercise is a good fit, it can be an important experience.
What to Turn In:
A copy of your notes (may be handwritten and scanned into Moodle or typed)
A 4-6 page paper detailing your experience and answering the questions outlined above.
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