Saturday, November 5, 2016

Three Minutes

Three minutes was the length of our timeslot to meet with our son's four core teachers. Three minutes to introduce ourselves, make a connection with these important people in our son's life, find out about his progress, and ask about how we might help him going forward. That process--times four--sounds like a lot for three minutes. Yet, probably due to diligent organization by the teachers and, thankfully, good work by our son, three minutes turned out to be enough. We shook a few hands, received a few highlights, and walked away reasonably satisfied and content to go on with our day.

The three minutes, however, got me thinking about what else we accomplish in three minutes...

Three minutes is twice the length of most news packages I edit these days. In just a minute and a half, those packages tell a whole story, capably catching the viewer up on the high points of a news item.

Three minutes is enough to make toast or fry eggs, but not enough to bake a potato, even in the microwave.

Three minutes is the length of time we are supposed to brush our teeth, but don't.

Three minutes is the time you set for "just a little more sleep" (and then a little more again).

Three minutes is the length of a soap opera scene twenty years ago, before attention spans made one minute scenes far more desirable.

Three minutes is how long it is until the bus is supposed to arrive and not nearly as long as it takes to arrive.

Three minutes allows for answering one or two emails, or deleting fifty of the ones that don't even need to be read.

We went into our parent teacher conference wondering how three minutes could possibly be enough. Clearly, three minutes is longer than it seems--either that, or we've learned to make three minutes enough to do just about anything.

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