Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016. Reflect in order to properly respond.

Before I can respond, I must reflect. As these first days of 2016 pass, I find myself reconsidering my word for the year. Reflection has two meanings, both of which will be important to me as I continue this journey of education. In order to be a good teacher and researcher, I must reflect, not just on my own work, but on the work of others so that my own pedagogy is grounded on solid philosophy and based in reality rather than hypothesis. At the same time, I must always reflect my core beliefs that rest in the Gospel. No matter what is expedient or politically correct, my life must be a shining reflection of Jesus. In academia, that is a challenge, but Truth prevails over the wisdom of man. My goal this year is to be both reflection and reflective so that, when the end of the year arrives, I will have a clear sense of who I am, where I am going, and what I want to do with the second half of my life.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll understand why I haven't posted anything since PhD classes began in August. Here's a photo recap of things that happened when I wasn't reading, writing, studying, or teaching:

I learned a new poetry form: Tanka. It's related to Haiku, which I also developed a knack for composing.

Always time for photography - especially now that smart phone cameras are so improved.

Some time with my favorite model and Photoshop Elements

The Gulf

The sea is my happy place.

Had some time for fun art

A Connected Learning MOOC (massive open online course) inspired lots of art and poetry

Another Tanka proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Favorite place in the world with my favorite guy.
Sappy and cheesy - that's us.
Home school exploration with Caroline and Abigail. 

It was a long hike!

Corinne Loomis, BSN, RN
Mimi handed down HER nurses cap to Corinne

Ole Miss (HYDR)

Kennesaw State University has a new football program and a marching band.
Cutest Marching Owl
A (really short) visit with brother Mike and SIL Tomi. So much fun.

Hawks keep the rodent population under control. This one had a full meal as I watched.
My Thursday girls - since January 2007

Madalena Anne Cristancho. Born 5 weeks early on October 11
6 pounds, 2 ounces.

Carrie had a form of pre-eclampsia that kept her from her baby girl for 36 hours. This was their first family visit.



Corinne and Caty Mae were there when Maddie went home from the hospital after 13 long days

13.1 in Savannah
It's been a long time.

It was really hot (especially for November), but I finished!

Caroline - 9 years old!

Abigail - age 7

Thanksgiving in Savannah

Auntie Caty Mae

Christmas stories with Poppa

Noni Love

Loomis (and Cristancho) girls 2015
Family 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

No one can dictate my story but me.

     I love this quote by Ann Lamott.  This summer has been one of story upon story. The beginning of the summer was rough; I was dealing with the edge of depression (it still happens now and then), was betrayed and discarded by someone I thought was a friend, and felt at loose ends in a number of ways. My summer was saved by a connected learning MOOC (massive open online course) designed for educators. It included a number of challenges that allowed me to grow both artistically and professionally. I also made some new contacts who may become friends. I also found healing at my annual trip to Gulf Shores with true, longtime friends who know me well and assured me of my worth.
     I also had fun working on a chapter in a book with colleagues, finding a place in becoming with other professional acquaintances, and preparing new material with yet another educator for a couple of big education conventions. These professional collaborations got me thinking about the importance of language and story in both teaching and in life. These ideas are evolving, but may be a new direction for my doctoral research. Social media will still be a part of the process, but likely as a part of how language affects story. A Twitter post of 140 characters requires a different language than an essay, a photo, or a multi-modal composition. How do people determine which medium to use when telling their stories?
     Tomorrow begins a new chapter in my own story. Orientation at Georgia State kicks off a new philosophical course of study, and a new teaching position will keep me grounded in reality. I expect to be gleefully busy doing things I love to do: educating, researching, learning, and creating. And I will be telling the story I own.

created with my phone photos from this summer, an Anne Lamott quote from Pinterest, and Pixlr