Light at the end of the Tunnel

I’ve wondered seriously whether I need to declare online bankrupcy. Laurence Lessig did it for e-mail. E-mail is not quite my problem. Just a bit too much online stuff, too many frontiers. But I decided it is just the end of year run up to Christmas, I was tired – plus, there has been a lot on the go in the last month.

We are being restructured again, 366 days from the last time, and really only part of the way along the curve of our last restructure. In the last month I’ve oscillated from consiracy theory to “there is no master plan”.

Welcome to the Student Learning Centre

I formally moved over to the UCTL on 5th December 2006. On 6th December 2007 we will find out a new structure for UCTL with the merger of 15 staff from the Student Learning Centre here. This follows a month of work by a guest consultant, Mark McGinn of PeopleFit. I’ve found it a bit hard having no forum to talk over ideas and thoughts around the integration process. This has meant a lot of “Business as Usual” has been put on the back burner. Things like planning for next year, and finishing off plans from this year.

Stephen Covey (in an oft quoted statement, I cannot find out which of his books it has come from) said (I think)

People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value

I have wondered about my core. In some respects I have had to face this question again this year. New location, new role, new team. Just exactly who am I?

ASDUNZ Conference

I went to an ASDUNZ UNconference last year at Canterbury (ASDUNZ – the Association of Staff Developers of New Zealand). I stayed as long as I actually felt welcomed. (40 minutes). At that stage I was figuring out things. Could I wear the hat of “Staff Developer”? I was actually in the “Flexible Learning Group” at UCTL, not the other “Academic Development Group”.

I was able to go to Auckland this year for the ASDUNZ conference. It was great. I’ll post more on it soon, but suffice to say I felt quite different this year: “Yes, I can wear the Staff Developer hat”. Every discipline of course has their academic journal.

The International Journal for Academic Development. Most of the articles (3/4) in the latest edition have a touch of angst. Who are we? What exactly is our role? What exactly do we contribute? This was part of the tone of the conference. I felt right at home. But they also knew about Appreciative Inquiry: and there was some marvellous postive comment and forward looking interaction.

And so onwards.

Thinking Llike A Physicist

I am off to China next week, primarily for a visit to my sister who has been there for 10 years, but also to present a two day Physics Education workshop at Chuxiong Normal University. Back to my roots really: I have not done a physics workshop or talk or presentation or even talked about Newton’s Law for five years, when I did the 40 hour teaching study at the old College of Education.
It will be fun.

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