Scientific studies have confirmed that getting more than 4 hours of sleep per night is probably a good idea. However, this week, at Space Camp, I felt like a real astronaut: they have 8-9 hours per day scheduled for sleep time, but usually end up only sleeping for 3 or 4. They spend the other budgeted hours just looking out the window trying to savor the incredible views and otherworldly experience. They figure for a week they can just try to get by with much less sleep. That’s what I did this week.
I just didn’t want to sacrifice any time with the other state and international teachers! It’s just too rich, too intense, too otherworldly. We all generally choose the route of sleep deprivation. I’m now fairly worthless. Sorry if I slur my words a bit.
Space Camp itself was, of course, quite fun. Realistic mission simulations, hands-on laboratory projects, and famous astronauts and engineers. A bit overscheduled, perhaps, but great fun. I feel enriched, inspired and more connected with my peers.
I did, however, have some difficulty focusing and staying awake during some of the sessions. These instances had a few things in common:
1. An external influence on fatigue,
2. A long period of time sitting and listening,
3. A speaker who is not terribly engaging,
4. More than one class like this in a row.
As is often the case, I learn more about teaching by sitting in the role of a student.