I often tell my students that I can't multitask, but usually it's just a nice way of saying, "Can't you see I'm already DOING something ELSE?"
The truth is that I am pretty good at multitasking, and I consider it a challenge to see just how many things I can do at one time.
I didn't say I do any of them WELL.
I often have a multitude of windows open on the computer, because I wander off to a new activity while I'm waiting for something to load. The internet just isn't fast enough for me.
I've been playing the Nintendo DS with one earphone in this week because I also want to be able to hear the Wimbledon commentary.
I read my book during baseball games, particularly during commercials.
An "expert" came to our school a few years ago to talk about "brain-based research" (give me a large personal break), and she claimed that the brain cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. I'm not sure what she considers "focus," but every scenario anyone came up with to illustrate the ability to focus on more than one thing, she refuted it. [Aside: I'm not sure, but I'm guessing she never had CHILDREN?]
I wanted to use the example from church the week before. I was playing the piano, transposing the song to a key other than the one it was written in, turning pages, and singing harmony. I didn't want to sound like a show-off, though, so I kept my opinion to myself. I'm not sure she convinced anyone in that room, though. And I don't even remember what her main point was as it related to education, so how effective a speaker could she have been?
As of today, it is against the law in Georgia to send or read text messages while driving. I will admit that I've been guilty of that ON A VERY LIMITED BASIS, but I won't do it anymore. I will say, though, that some people can do it. And some just can't.
The ones who can't are the same ones who shouldn't talk on a cell phone while driving. And it has nothing at all to do with holding the phones in their hands. Hands-free devices won't help those people, because they simply cannot do more than one thing at a time. I'm not knocking them, mind you. I just think that kind of ability is something you either have or you don't. You can't learn it. It's like being naturally graceful/clumsy, musically inclined/tone deaf, artistic/not.
I'm not even implying that I should be allowed to send text messages while driving just because I can (sort of) do it. There should not be anything in my life that I must respond to within the 8 minutes it takes me to get from school to my house. What did we do before cell phones? WE WAITED UNTIL WE GOT HOME.
Sometimes I have a football game on television, a different one on the computer, a video game on the computer, and maybe a department meeting going on. And I might be crocheting. I'm not sure how much FOCUS I'm giving to any one of those activities, but my brain is apparently taking in some of all of them.
I have to go. It's time to turn the page.