74 Do Better Not More

Denise Hutchins

Spring 2022

I am reflecting partly on our Generous Thinking webinar and our January Jamboree reflecting on cluster learning. The idea that struck me during the webinar and stuck with me was the idea of doing better rather than doing more. This isn’t a totally new concept to me as I teach my students to work smarter and not harder. So, it’s similar, right?

But, this is the very essence of what we need to do when we think about our cluster learning. We need to integrate what we are doing with more people and groups on campus. This may mean that we lessen all that we do as a campus community BUT we could increase the impact of what we are doing, the breadth of what we do and can do, and our reach. To teach in the way that we want to which is involving hands-on, real experiences, we need to do better because to teach in this way can be exhausting. We need to make choices as we cannot do everything and do it well. There are many efforts and projects that I’d like to give my time to, but I can’t do this successfully. The sooner we accept that we should do less to really provide more, the better off we will be both as a campus and as individuals.

Could we commit to a few big initiatives or projects that many of us agree we will work on with our classes and student organizations? We could research big ideas, initiatives, or “clients” that connect with PSU and we could vote as a campus to decide which of these projects we want to take on. Could we commit to the idea that we truly need project managers to move the needle and work year-round to ensure there is continuity and constant progress? The timing of our semesters and summers does present a challenge for those who we are trying to help outside of the University. These project managers could maintain project teams of students too – summer work, winter work, skills acquisition, win-wins, oh my!

We really do have to get off of the production line – – we need to take back our time for deep thinking and innovation. Reeling in what we do, committing to less but potentially more impactfully, should enable us to do better and not more.

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