As we near the end of 2011, I have to wonder about how the year went. No, I do not mean in the news or the international stage or the weather, but rather where am I now? How did I do? How am I doing now? Perhaps looking back to debrief will help me look forward . . .
I am glad to say I am still employed, as that helps to keep most other things moving along. For those who may not know, I work professionally as a project manager in clinical education for a large home care nursing non-profit organization in New York City. I also teach as an adjunct instructor at Pace University and New York University, though as I am working on my doctoral thesis (aka doctoral dissertation in the US), I have significantly reduced the number of classes I am able to teach (presently teaching only a class on Teaching and Learning at Pace in the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program). I hope to teach more once I have those 3 letters behind my name, which brings me to my highlight of 2011 — my doctoral studies.
I am now engaged in my doctoral thesis in educational research, specifically in a program in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning, at Lancaster University in the UK. I am researching liminal experiences that occur during doctoral studies related to learning leaps or aha! moments. I have completed my data collection and, now that the transcription was just finished, am doing a final review of the transcripts by re-listening to the interviews while checking the texts before I return to the interviewees for their review.
I travelled to the UK twice in 2011, both times for academic meetings, with only one conference, the British Education Research Association, where I presented my work in 2011. I did take a quick trip to Dublin while on that side of the pond to visit a close friend from college, though otherwise no other travel to speak of.
I spent time with Spencer and Posey (in my arms in this picture), as well as with Michael and his increasingly fascinating work with his books and Christmas ornaments. Some time in the country exploring druidry, reading fantasy and science fiction, trying to make sense of actor-network theory, learning through the #change11 MOOC, and making wine (a hobby I am expanding in 2012, but more about that later).
I am thankful for all these things, and hope to continue all these things into the New Year, with one or two additions. Perhaps I will discuss my resolutions in a follow-up tomorrow . . .