In this week's blog, Creative Producer Fiona Lindsay reflects on the value of time...
In this age of superfast connectivity we still seem to run out of time! Perhaps the faster and easier it is for us to get things done and the more we try to do, the less we achieve. Why is this, I wonder? Well, the hard fact is that there are only so many hours in a day and that’s that.
I’m just back from a recent work trip to Sharjah in the UAE where the working day began at 7:30am due to the heat. This was 4:30am for my body clock and for a few days at least it felt as though my day was the equivalent of one and a half due to the time adjustment.
Time is such a difficult concept to grasp, I find. The only thing we know for sure is that it passes and we run out of it. Despite living at break-neck speed we never seem to have enough of it. Perhaps we’re just too hung up on it all and should relax a bit. In the UAE it’s considered the norm to arrive late and leave early and there’s still space for proper lunchtimes and prayer. Time was dictated for me but the work still got done. It’s interesting how simply we slip into each other’s cultural relationship with time.
Historically, the teaching profession and time have never enjoyed an idyllic union. I know many people working in education and they all seem to have a fractious relationship with it. One of my strongest memories growing up is returning home and my mum coming in after work (she was a teacher), quickly preparing tea and after shutting herself away to mark the days work and prepare for the following one. She was regularly up to midnight and I’m sure her day-to-day schedule was common amongst others in the profession.
Time is amplified by having to obey the dates of terms, the length of lessons, breaks and holiday, the need to get things achieved almost every day of the working week. This constant pressure makes teachers more inclined to say no to anything that’s additional to the curriculum, and understandably so.
With this in mind, we’re doing our best at Digital Theatre Plus to build an arts education resource that has focus and meets the needs of their teaching objectives. Being able to access as much content as is required from one website (ours) is something we’re endeavouring to achieve. I hate the phrases 'destination site' and 'one-stop-shop' as descriptors. Using theatre lingua franca, however, we could say that we’re creating a world.
Today in DTP World, we’re presenting the first of our Teacher Kits: a complete shopping bag of educational resources on the work of key dramatists. Teachers and students can find all they need in one place, saving a great deal of time in their search process. The work of Arthur Miller is in the spotlight this week and features three of his most revered plays: All My Sons, Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Time is critical to Joe Keller, Willy Loman, and John Proctor as they reflect on how they’ve lived their lives. We hope our resource will help make good use of teaching time, as it is very much of the essence.