Self Motivation

I have a project that I would like to complete, but I am fighting to get over one last hurdle.  But the hurdle isn’t one of the normal hurdles you hear about in development work.  The government isn’t blocking my visa or application.  I don’t need to bribe anyone.  Everyone around me supports the idea.  The only thing stopping me is… me.

Never before have I encountered such a complete lack of self motivation.  But I am finding more and more that its not a general lack (which is relieving), it’s just a lack of motivation to complete a specific project.  The project is to create a series of packets that allow for at least a minimal level of self guided instruction on learning the basics of a computer.  They would include pictures and diagrams and would potentially even be translated into kiswahili.  I have in fact actually ranked them with my highest personal priority for completion.  Yet I cannot bring myself to write them.

At first (a few weeks ago) I was worried that it was a complete lack of self motivation, but since then I have been able to complete a few projects.  Admittedly some other projects, mostly my NYS Daily News Grabber, have fallen by the wayside, but that is more from other lackings, such as internet and an internal server (which should be fixed soon).  Again, this is a bit of a relief because at least I can get some work done.  But why not these packets.

Am I afraid that such work is below me?  That would be terrible to me.  I don’t think that I am above helping at the basics.  I admit, I don’t like it much, but there is a real necessity for these packets and I would like to think that it would overcome any sense of superiority.  Is it that the task seems daunting?  That might be part of it.  If you take at a a look at the ICDL packets, it’s a lot of information packed in there.

I think part of it is that I don’t know what to make.  If I make an intro course only, then those people wanting deep knowledge get left out.  Also, I don’t really know a lot of the information.  My knowledge of Excel and Access is extremely limited.  I just never had to use them.  But here, there are four students who want to know everything about everything, even if they never use the information.  It’s all because they have seen the certificate courses and they think they can get certificates if I teach them and then they go and pass the test.  Except, I actaully don’t have a syllabus for teaching the certificate level coures nor doe I have the vast resources and examples that Polytechnics have, hence the need to make the packets in the first place.

I am just frustrated, because, gah, I don’t know why.  It seems like such an easy request to fulfill: “Teach me Word.” Ok, I can do that.  But apparently I cannot teach enough Word, and nobody actually has any need to learn word yet so they don’t come with a desire to create their own content.  I am just stumped.    And then I fail at teaching something that seems natural to me, but is completely befuddling to my student, like Highlighting or text cursor placement.  As I think about it more and more, I am overwhelmed.  I think I lack the motivation out of fear of missing something, of forgetting to insert a step.  It’s all so complicated, and my students need it all written out explicitly that I am just overwhelmed.  Not a happy feeling. 

I think I answered my own question.  I lack the self motivation to complete these lessons because I myself am overwhelmed at the complexity of the tasks involved.  Not a  happy notiong at all :/



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3 responses to “Self Motivation

  1. Jeff

    Hi John,

    Lots of people want teaching modules for excel and word at various levels of complexity. Don’t feel like you are alone in the world. Here is a good place to start for excel.

    This is a share site, so see what you can use. If you see some material that looks good for your application contct the author and see if you can make a modified version to meet your needs. Some authors may even be interested in helping you. You can get by with a little help from your friends.


  2. dad

    As the old and well worn adage goes…How do you eat an elephant (particularly relevant for your location, eh)? One bite at a time 😉 Maybe you should check out the, get one of his excel disk sets and see how he teaches Excel. The first step is the hardest, but once you get rolling, you will fly through it, and you might even have fun.
    Keep at it.

  3. Jason's Dad

    Hi Jon,

    Your Dad is right on the mark. You are just temporarily overwhelmed by the size, scope, and complexity of the project. Take a few minutes to jot down the major elements that you feel are key for your students to learn. Then begin to develop sections that address each area of the outline. Each of these sections can be a separate packet. Remember, your students are coming to you with little computer knowledge at all. You can start by having each package just cover the basics. One can always add more advanced material at a later date. In the interim, the packets will be a good reference and those students with a genuine interest will seek you out for more info. Trust me, your enthusiasm is contagious. Your students are fortunate to have you as an instructor! Have some fun with the assignment!