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, @tdelillo , I realized – there are chunks missing from 2018. It’s all a blur; almost like I blacked out.
I was challenged by my colleagues to write a post reflecting on 2018. Oh, I've had several ideas about what I could write about...I could share a metaphor about how much I love my G2 gel pens and how they're like the community (I started a draft that I couldn't seem to complete), or I could share a metaphor about the process for revamping Canvas release notes (but that notation never made it out of my head).
I feel like I am late to the party for these 2018 Reflections blogs my friends are posting. Although, when I think about it, it is still January and the year has just started, so maybe I'm just in the nick-of-time! It may just be the sense of urgency I chronically feel, because I work four jobs and there never seems to be enough time. Or, perhaps, it is just because I have never been particularly good at all this self-reflection introspection stuff. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow ain't here and we can't count on it even happening anyways.
My 2018 consisted of a bumpy recovery from a series of setbacks in 2017. When I say “setbacks,” I’m referring to various events, some personal, some external, that taken individually wouldn’t sound like much—but the last of those external events, coming late in the year, hit me like a gut punch and set off a full-blown existential crisis. I knew I needed to reflect mightily on what had led up to that in order to address it.
When I started as an Instructional Designer in 2017, I had really no idea what I was getting into. I had made a few career hops (technical support to human resources to high school teacher to junior high teacher), but instructional design was never on my radar. In fact, I had plans to move on to being a university professor - I even had it lined up! I was basically waiting for a faculty member to retire, and then I could step into her position. But at the end of 2016, I applied and was hired as an instructional designer for a community college. I couldn't be happier with the choice.
I COPED. Okay, yeah, I know: everybody is always coping... but this past year presented me with harder stuff than I've ever had to deal with before, and somehow — thanks to a lot of help from a lot of people — I got through every day of 2018. Every single day. And now it is 2019... and I am still coping! 🙂
Hey everybody! Long time no see, or at least it feels that way. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I haven’t been around this wonderful world we call the Canvas Community as much in the past 12 months. Sure, I still bop in from time to time and do my best to keep up with all the notifications from the amazing things ya’ll are doing, but the past year I have been spending the majority of my time in our Bridge Community.
The Reflect and Celebrate blogging challenge was a timely inspiration to write and reflect on the happenings of this past year. As many in this Community, the challenges and changes we face throughout the year is just part of what occurs in the life of an Instructional Designer. But as I l stop to look back on 2018, it truly does seem to be one I am very proud of.
As I begin my fourth year on the Community Team, I like to reflect on the awesome experiences I’ve had at Instructure (and in my personal life) to surface inspiration to carry into the new year. (Thanks @Kristin for this reminder). So as I ruminate (as a cattle farmer I love the word ruminate) on 2018 there are three themes that I wish to bring with me into 2019, and I hope they inspire you as well.
I don't think I express the gratitude I feel often enough, so let me start by thanking @klundstrum for kicking off this blogging challenge. There are many awesome people in the Canvas Community, and all my "likes" and "helpful" clicks are poor representations of the value that I have found here for my fellow faculty at Cosumnes River College and especially our students. I could write a dozen blogs of gratitude for the people whose contributions I treasure here.
I had kind of a lot going on in 2018. But if I were to focus on the “Work Life” sub-account of 2018, and then the sub-sub-account of “Work Life - Good Stuff”, one of the highlights was the fact that 2018 was the first year my work team was stable for a whole, entire, calendar year.
So, I'm the world's worst blogger and terrible about self-reflection--I never seem to accomplish either, no matter how many times I set aside to write with a plethora of good intentions about what the final work product will be.
At Instructure we care a lot about our users and it is so great to see in our Community how much our users care for one another. In our day to day interactions, we grow to know one another as people, but because of our busy lives, we can't always delve as deeply as we might like. Conferences like InstructureCon are great, but can be even busier than our daily lives somehow!