Day 310 – Break Time

Dr. Wenzel, an economics professor here at Hillsdale, occasionally gives his students an atypical assignment: Do nothing for 15 minutes. Turn off the cell phone, computer, music, television, etc. Get rid of all distractions, even books. Just sit on the edge of your bed in silence and think for 15 minutes. That’s all.

I tried it this evening, and it is relaxing, calming, and wonderful. Life can get so filled with things to do and deadlines to make that we never stop to actually think. Think and nothing else. After a stressful week, it was nice to reflect for a while.

Though I am, in terms of technology, an unapologetic modern, I still find value in turning some things off for a little while and having uninterrupted thought, free from the distractions of the modern world. If I knew I would not miss something important, I would like to turn my phone off and stop checking my email for a few days. The only problem I have is that technology is so ingrained in my life that if I shut off my phone or email, over 90% of my communication would be cut off. Perhaps this is a good thing, but not something I can do during school. Maybe I will give it a try over Christmas break or the summer.

Has anyone else tried this? How did it go? I am interested…let me know in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Day 310 – Break Time

  1. That’s a very French things to do. Over here, people just sit in parks or cafes by themselves for hours gazing at the scenery and passerby. I personally love biking near the river and just sitting and watching it. Yesterday, I was walking back from the grocery and just stopped and sat in this memorial area near a fountain for 10 minutes. It’s very refreshing.

    You already know my opinions about cell phones and email…very useful but they get in the way of real life.

  2. I often just pull off the road during my daily work routine and just sit. You may not know this, but when i first started to work at my current job my first service van had no radio. Many of my fellow techs installed their own radio or cd player. I went 2 yrs with no radio or cell phone! The company now requires that the service techs take 2 fifteen min breaks and a lunch. Sometimes my breaks end in a nap, thus my handy 30 min egg timer on my front seat! I think technology can consume you, but i do admit i like the luxuries.

  3. On days when I am off work, I rarely if ever turn on the TV, radio or computer. I just waltz around the quietness in peaceful contentment. I would have no problem going a week with no phone, TV, radio, computer, any technology whatsoever! That is the era I grew up in.

  4. When Mr. R and I returned from Korea, we lived in Lima, OH. We decided we didn’t want a tv. A year later Amanda was born. We spent an enormous amount of time reading to her for the next five years. It got to the point that I wouldn’t even have to open the books, I had memorized all of them. I think this had a great affect on her success in school and love for learning. We also have a very close mother/daughter relationship. Ben, on the other hand, grew up with Sesame Street and all the other shows on PBS. He gets good grades but doesn’t exhibit that “love of learning” like his sister. Different kids, different start in life…who knows? But if I were to do it again, I would limit the tv while they are young.

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