“What do you do when you get bored?” Paula had asked Sprite. “I cannot imagine you acting like the class clown or flicking paper balls around the room”
Retweet the Twitter Bird joined in the conversation “That is exactly the sort of thing my Tweetil would do when he was bored” she said.
“But Tweetelle always seems to be able to find some art or craft to do to amuse herself.”
“Tweetelle is autotelic!” I said. “It means she is able to set goals for herself, build the required level of challenge into activities, and keep herself entertained.”
I remembered the word from the excellent presentation about boredom by Michele Juratowitch of Clearing Skies at the VAGTC Conference in May 2015
The PDF of the slides for the presentation can be viewed at http://www.vagtc.asn.au/sites/vagtc.asn.au/files/VAGTC%20Conf%2015%20Boring%20HO.pdf
“I must be autotelic too then!” said Sprite. “But Tweetelle does not get in trouble when she amuses herself because she is doing NEST Ed.”
“So what should I tell Prudence about how to cope with boredom, Paula?”
I knew that Paula would ask me what advice she should give and I had already been researching the subject. I had even contacted Michele Juratowitch for advice and she had given me a wonderful list of links to articles including
She also included an excerpt from a Commencement Day address at Dartmouth College titled “In Praise of Boredom” by Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky .
Most of the articles we found were useful for teachers, parents or practitioners to read but not really suitable for students and were more concerned with the nature of boredom than with strategies students could use themselves to alleviate it.
Sure enough, right on cue, Paula turned to me and asked “So, what advice do you think I should give Sprite?”