Friday, April 1, 2016

Bounded Awareness

Making an exit is a process.  I am focused.  I whisper to my granddaughters, “I’m leaving now”.  Ava looks at me with an understanding gaze.  I am careful when picking up my keys from the crystal bowl on the table.  I ensure there is no noise.  This is an art.  Slowly I open the back door so no creeping could be heard.   Success!!  My focused attention to all the details worked!   

I successfully sneak out of the house without Barkley, my precious toy poodle becoming aware that he must stay home this time. I hate looking at his pathetic begging expression when he will be left behind.  He has a way to multiply my guilt ten-fold.

As I drive away while opening my purse to ensure my drivers license is at hand. I need to show it at the gate.  Once I couldn’t find my license.  It isn’t a good idea to drive onto a military base and tell the military police you have no driver’s license to show.  Take my word for it.  It can get ugly.

Twenty minutes later, I am at the Air Force Base, presenting my identification.  I drive through the gate and  park my car.  I arrive as usual; about ten minutes before class starts. Ten minutes is plenty of time to talk to the university staff, pick up materials and effortlessly facilitate tonight’s subject “Bounded Awareness”.  Bounded Awareness is the failure to see and use information and resources that are readily available.  We experience this when becoming narrowly focused.  Failure to take the complete environment into consideration can result in mistakes.  

I reach in the back seat to grab my bag filled with books, notes and video material for the night.  I spent a few hours this week reviewing the material and making sure I’m up to date on any changes that might have taken place on this subject in the past year.  I am totally prepared to deliver this material and marvel at my creative ability to find the perfect video from a National Geographic Series “The Brain Game”.  It features a twenty minute piece on Inattention Blindness, which effortlessly connects to Bounded Awareness.  

To my horror I realize I left the bag at home!  I was so focused on making sure my dog didn’t see me leave that I forgot all my materials.  I am caught up in a self-imposed drama of Bounded Awareness!  I call my son to rescue me.  I run into the building and bolt up the stairs.  I quickly write a note on the white board indicating class will start 1/2 hour late. 

I run out to the gate to wait for Brendan.  The military police are understanding allowing Brendan to drive onto the base and drop me off at the door rather than have me walk the 10 minutes or so to get to my classroom.  As I walk into the classroom, I realize there is a happy ending to this drama. I have a fresh story to demonstrate the concept of Bounded Awareness.