As I reflect on last year, I can’t help but truly think – what happened? I was attempting to reflect (like, actually reflect, reflect), and in talking with the best manager in the world, Tracey DeLillo, I realized – there are chunks missing from 2018. It’s all a blur; almost like I blacked out.
But, here’s what I can tell you that I learned last year – Canvas is family. And family sticks together, laughs together, cries together, and encourages one another. We may be an awkward family at times, with braces and bowl cuts in our onesie pj’s on Christmas morning, but we are a family.
Here are a few of my family moments –
I spent my first full year being a Canvas Coach in 2018. We are a small, tight group of people that love helping Canvas users here in the Community. I wasn’t as active as I would’ve liked to be (more on this later), but they loved me anyways. We use slack for back channel conversation. This can be anything from “Hey, mobile people (that’s Kristin Lundstrum and Ryan Seilhamer), here’s someone who needs help!” or “Hey, I’m not sure how to answer this awesome use case, anyone got ideas?” But we also have fun in there. Jokes. Memes. Gifs. They all happen. And there’s a lot of them.
I mentioned Ryan as being a Canvas Coach, and mobile guy, but did you know he’s also a fabulous presenter? He’s the king of all things mobile (although he’d never admit it). Well, he was gracious enough to ask me to present with him at InstructureCarn last year. He knew me, but had never seen me present. I don’t know if he was nervous not knowing how I’d do, but I was nervous because I didn’t want to let him down. But, he trusted me and let me run with my parts. We made fun of each other, joked around, and had a packed house. Amazing opportunity and one I will be forever grateful for. Thank you, Ryan. (Shameless plug - Check out our presentation!)
Speaking of presenting, my colleague Kori Schneider and I presented at CanvasCon Texas! We had never presented before together, and I’m a major jokester so she knew what she was getting into, but she was still kind enough to agree to present with me! We talked to the largest room ever (with the most empty seats ever) about a project she and I had done together. We had tons of fun and something I would totally do again. (For more information on our presentation, check out CanvasCon Texas Presentation: Accessible. Modern. Relevant.)
On a personal note, I did something this fall that has been literally forever in the making. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Technology and Performance Improvement. I won’t tell you how many years ago I started my college education, just know – it’s been a long time coming. This fall I finally buckled down and completed my final 9 hours. I want to publicly thank my fellow Canvas Coaches and the Community Managers (I'm not going to name each of you, because I'm sure I'll miss someone!) for picking up my slack this fall while I was busier than I thought I’d be. I also want to thank my co-workers who are on here, Tracey DeLillo, Kori Schneider and Yolanda Miller for encouraging me, fighting for me, and celebrating me. Y’all are literally the best and I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.
So, in a brief moment of actual reflection, these are the moments that aren’t blacked out that I can remember from 2018. Cheers to 2019. May it be full of pandas, joy, and joyful pandas.