Welcome to my brain. Part of my brain anyway – I’ll not let you be privy to all of it I suppose, but I intend on spewing forth that, which if it continues to stay within my head, will keep me awake at night as it ricochets off the inside of my skull. This space provides me with an outlet, and perhaps you, with ideas to explore from a different perspective. I might be preaching to the choir, but I find with the right mindset, I can learn both from those with whom I disagree (know thine enemy, after all – but more than that, it’s new info and I am an info addict), as well as from those whose ideas I feel are very familiar. When I go to conferences on topics in which I’m well-versed, I try to find even small nuggets I didn’t already know, and at the same time appreciate the ones I did know being brought to the forefront of my consciousness again after a time of hibernation, because I can only be aware of so much at once.
So please humour my self-indulgence as I explore, but don’t limit myself to, my nerdly trifecta of professional interests: reading, research, and technology. I plan on tackling these topics and others through lenses made to focus on the detail, and at other times to pull away to look at the big picture. I’ll warn you now – I have a tendency to go off on tangents, though the joy of the blog format is I can easily create new sections and posts to accommodate this.
Note that though I’m a teacher-librarian, I don’t intend to write solely for that audience. I’ve also been a classroom and subject teacher in various grades from kindergarten to grade 12, and prior to that worked in a variety of types of businesses. As such, I hope to speak to classroom teachers, admins, and others with an interest in education and broader society. I have a fascination with the human experience and hope that will be reflected in this space.
Why The Goddess of Enlightenment?
My original blog posts on this site are almost a decade old, and were the result of a requirement for a Web 2.0 course when I was at grad school. I had two very young kids at the time and was working, so I was quite bleary-eyed and at times near the end of my rope. Despite the general exhaustion of most of us in the class, we were largely a goofy group and so we decided to have a little fun with our blogs. I chose to go with a Star-Warsian/sci-fi padawan of teacher-librarianship theme. I called the blog my Learning Chrysalid. But, it’s been years since I completed that degree and while I don’t consider myself a sage now, I figure I’m safely beyond the padawan/chrysalid stage.
And thus, I had to forge a new blog identity and knew I had to base it on my cheekiness at work.
First off, I don’t want you thinking I actually take myself seriously enough to believe I am equivalent to a goddess of enlightenment – I don’t. As my tagline notes, this blog is aspirational, and I’m hoping once in a while is at least a teensy bit inspirational. But, let’s face it, deep down teacher-librarian types (and I’m sure many others) wish they knew everything. Sort of. In reality we’d get bored knowing everything because many of us love information and learning, and so we keep needing new info to get our fix. Being an all-knowing maven, however, would at least justify my grad-school fees and make me seem fancy. Plus, teacher-librarians almost universally have a fear of not being appreciated enough to keep our positions (an issue of the short-sightedness of many school boards and governments – a topic I’ll likely discuss at some point down the line), so we want the fairly extensive knowledge we have developed as geeks, recognized.
Anyway, this all came out at a meeting I had years ago with our then head-of-school and the other teacher-librarian (it’s a grade K-12 International Baccalaureate school). We were debating our titles with him. My colleague and I didn’t feel our titles properly reflected our position, and the Head didn’t feel teacher-librarian was modern enough (I disagree with that, but that’s a tangent for another time). So I blurted out (remember, I have a brain-vomit issue) that our titles should be “Goddesses of Enlightenment”. The Head proceeded to suggest we needed t-shirts with that written on them.
We never did get the t-shirts nor that title officially, but I did have some fun with it.
For instance, I cornered the senior-school principal with a funding acquisition form requesting a $200,000 per-annum rental fee from Goddess Transport Systems Inc. for a gold-plated palanquin and the staff to carry it. As I have at least some humility, I noted on the form that this service would be shared between me and the other teacher-librarian. My justification? We had this new title and therefore we needed the symbols and accoutrements of our newly-elevated status. The principal was a good sport, regularly noting in the faculty weekly memo that he was in the process of ordering this. The big talker failed to ever follow through. Sigh. I have a lot of stuff I have to cart between the buildings and classrooms I work in, so a palanquin would have been fabulous.
And there you have it. I’m still in the process of developing my direction with this project, but I’m good with letting it evolve organically. Please join me in my space and pardon the brain-vomit (should I issue virtual splash guards?).