OneThing5: I am a system, yes I am!

So . . . I would like to play my own game.

I can see myself doing the following in front of my students:
Stand before them and declare:  “I am a system.”

They would say, “Huh?”

I, realizing they are teenagers, would say, “Well, duh, I’m totally a system.”

And they would say, “You’re a dork, Mr. Joy.  Systems have wires and lights and things that move and are big.”

And I would say, “I am all of those things . . . and more!”

And they would say, “Mr. Joy, you are so totally a dork it’s not even funny.”

And then I would say, “What has been the feedback regulating me in the last 30 seconds?”

And they would say, “I have no idea what you’re saying.”

I would say, politely now, “I’m standing here, aren’t I?”

They:  “Sorry, Mr. Joy, you’re a world-class dork.”

I:  “What allows me to stand and not tip over?”

They: “Dork.”

I: “Have I breathed?”

They: “Loser.”

I: “Have I raised my voice?”

They:  “Nimrod.”

I: “Hey! Be nice.”

They: “Excuse us.  MISTER Nimrod.”

I:  “OK. You stand up.”

They: “Can we leave this boring class?”

I: “No.”

They: “Why would we want to stand?”

I: “So you can PASS this boring class.”

They: “OK.  We’ll stand.”

I: “Good job, standing up.”

Standing, they: “OMG! We stood!”

I: “Stand on one foot.”

Now compliant, they: “This is hard to do.”

I: “Put your arms down.”

They: “I can’t do this without my arms outstretched.”

I: “Why is that?”

They: “I tip over.”

I, coyly:  “Just stand still.”

They, panicked: “I keep leaning over.”

I, thinking systemically:  “When during the lean do you realize you have to do something?”

They: “Almost immediately!”

I: “You’re fools.  You mean you can’t stand up?”

Floundering, they: “We can’t.  It’s too hard.”

I: “What if you stretched out your arms?”

They, hopeful:  “I could balance better.”

I, seizing a teachable moment: “In health science, they call this homeostasis . . . in balance.”

They, getting a bit crazy: “And if we put bamboo poles on our shoulders, we’d really be strong.”

I: “So . . . your body going out of balance tells you to what?”

They: “Lean the other way . . . adjust.”

I: “And if I push really hard?”

They: “Just lean in, baby.”

I: “So . . . your body wanting to lean back against a push is a system response [your body balanced on one foot] to an anomaly [my shoving you] . . . and using a bamboo pole is a stronger system response . . . the less balance you have, the more you need the extended arms.”

They, shocked to have learned: “OMG . . . it’s totally systemic . . . LOL!”

I:  “Yup.”


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