Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Put Some Pants On!
I feel like this quite often. And I received a tweet from @mrhodotnet with this TED talk by Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice. There are a couple of references in this talk that will keep me from showing it in its entirety to my classes, but there was one story that really struck me. One that I had to share with my classes.
Schwartz talks about a time when he has to buy a pair of jeans. The last time he had done this was when there was one type of jeans that fit horribly until they had been washed a few dozen times (anyone remember Levi's 501's?). When asked what kind of jeans he wanted this time, he replies, "I want the kind that used to be the only kind." The clerk being clueless as to what this meant proceeds to show him his options. After about an hour of trying things on, Schwartz settles on the most comfortable pair of jeans he had ever worn.
But here's the kicker--he says he did better but felt worse. He had purchased the most comfortable pair of jeans he has ever owned yet felt worse about the experience. Why? Because maybe he left the best jeans in the store.
I think our students experience daily.
What do you think?
What step comes first?
What is the rate of change in this equation?
I'm convinced that these I dunno's are a result of our student being afraid of leaving the best answer unspoken and find it safer to stay neutral.
To which I say:
Quit standing there in you underwear and put some pants on. Don't worry about finding the best pair. Pick one. Don't worry, they'll break in.
I think I'll get a little mileage out of this metaphor.