Envisioning My Future – Day 4

It was exciting to continue from day 3 of my envisioning process. Once again, I took the same subset of images I had selected on the first day and rearrange them on the same background. I like using this blue background instead of the cutting board I had used on day 1, and wished I had used this blue background from the beginning.

Anyway, here is what I created and wrote for day 4:

Today I put ┬áthe picture that I had identified as “tenure” in the middle of my arrangement, as suggested by VizBot:

I did not intentionally arrange the photos much, except to hide all but the central figure in the tenure image. Now that I look at it, the other images create a coffin shape that comfortably contains the “tenure” figure. It does not look like death. It looks quite comfortable. Relaxed. Almost like it felt nurtured and reassured by the proximity of the other images.

Given my difficulties with the image of the old boat, I turned that image upside down to see how it might work. When I placed it above the me in the center it felt like an umbrella, shading me from whatever might fall from the skies. I also hid the crouched figure in the bottom image, since it felt like it distracted from the composition. Finally, as I was placing the window washer, I thought about how window washing could be a meditative practice, similar to the hands in the upper left image.

I find this composition somewhat pleasing; however I am having a difficult time crafting a storyline out of it. Certainly, wind energy and cycles are involved. I see the fish are largely moving away from me into the unknown and un-illuminated space off to the lower right. I still like the multitude of colors of the pencils, which now seem big enough to be logs from which to build a house; a shelter. The points are pointing away from me, so no danger there.

I find this arrangement comforting.

What does that mean?

It also is interesting to me that last night I started compiling my tenure file. I do not need this file for another 3 years, however yesterday morning I went to a conversation at UW Bothell about the tenure process. Two of the recently promoted Associates Professors, Tony Smith and Wadiya Udell, shared their stories about the tenure process, and what worked well for them.

Afterwards, both of them shared part of their tenure files with me. Tony Smith sent me a link to his online Catalyst website with all of the non-sensitive tenure file documents. It was wonderful to see the concrete example of all of the types of information that needs to be documented. This was so motivating that I created and started to fill in my own Catalyst website. As I was doing that I discovered that the annual review I just submitted had underreported the number of students I had supervised for independent study projects. Having all of that information in this site means that I can easily update it after each quarter. This will help spread the effort out over the next 3 years, so that my last step will be easier to do. It also will help me make sure that I am collecting all of the necessary materials.

I think that hearing from these 2 Associate Professors, seeing what they have put together, and starting to put together my material all helped lead to this calmer story line about tenure.

As before, VizBot answered with some instructions and questions:

Look back over each day’s image arrangements. Read what you wrote. Perhaps highlight anything that stands out to you.

Then put those aside and do one more arrangement any way you wish. What’s the story that emerges now?

What has changed over the five days? What can you bring forward from the experience into your daily life?

I was eager to try my last arrangement, but forced myself to sleep on the questions before doing day 5‘s arrangement.

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About davidsocha

In autumn 2010 after spending 19 years working in a variety of software organizations as a programmer, architect, manager, teacher, ScrumMaster, product designer, change agent, and agile coach, I finally listened to what everyone had been telling me I should be doing and joined the University of Washington Bothell as an Assistant Professor in Computing & Software Systems. My interests are how to create and maintain great teams, particularly those in software development organizations. I am most interested in distinctions that dramatically increase the effectiveness of teams, such as systems thinking, design thinking, biomimicry, and human centered design. I am a pragmatist, a collaborator, and an optimist.
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