Staying Grounded

Week 55 – April 5, 2021 – Focus on my strengths

One of my pet peeves about blogging is not to repeat blog titles. I do it from time and again then feel compelled to change it because I made these arbitrary rules in my head. I’ve written many blogs and you can tell first hand if I repeated a blog title. It says it right in the URL… blah, blah, blah-2. Admittedly, nothing is more frustrating, but I am not going to do anything about it and let it be. Although having two of the same titles aggravates me to no end, is this the hill I’m going to die on? Not today.

I just finished something for work that sucked the life out of me. No joy. No love. It was awful. I’m not saying that it was not a necessary good, but it was something that I had to do as part of my work and honestly, it was not fun. I put it off for a few weeks to see how the situation would evolve and now was the best time to write that report. I have soooooo much on my plate, each demanding my time, but I have to proceed with one step at a time. I am totally mono-tasker. That’s it. I’ve got to be me.

That’s been “my struggle” lately… and I do not believe struggles are a bad thing. I think that’s where the learning lies, it’s within the struggle. I’ve been taking the time to learn more about myself. Being in COVID-times one can’t help but reflect on what’s important and why. I’ve been a big fan of Myers-Briggs since doing my master’s degree eons ago. I fluctuate between ESTJ and ENTP. It depends on what I am doing and where my headspace is. Recently, my friend introduced me to Enneagram. It turns out that I am Enneagram 8. Strangely, what I’ve read so far is pretty close.

Learning more about myself gives me some kind of solace. I am on this journey of self-study and would like to hone this skill as I move forward with teaching and research. I am so interested in identity development and learning more about how my identity was developed. I wrote a Location Statement in preparation for a presentation I was doing with a teacher candidate at BCTEN (BC Teacher Education Network) Virtual Conference. I am currently working on a Location Statement in Education. I hope to post that soon. In the meantime, I engaged in one more survey.

I jumped in, spent the money, and delved into a survey questionnaire to learn about my strengths. We talk about “strength based learning” in teacher education, but how can you do that if you don’t know your strengths. I’ve done this survey several times before, but I wanted to do the full analysis as well as see if anything has changed for me or not. As it turns out, most of my strengths have remained the same but now I am making connections to my current context. What I have learned is, I have been resisting or denying my strengths. I would step forward, be spooked by no one else seeing or feeling the same way, and then would step back. Why did I do this?

I reflect on my Location Statement and social dynamics of my family. What I learned as a child is to step back, because I did see things differently. So, I just assumed I was wrong. In my family, being the youngest child, I had no say or authority. Apparently, this is my strength, amongst may other things that are true. HUH? What I did act without consultation, I would often look back with regret and huge self-doubt because of the same reasons. I must be wrong!!! It turns out, it’s my strength and I should embrace it. My mom was trying to teach that to me, even on her last days on this earth. She could see me and my strengths. That was a hard lesson to learn.

This week was challenging, which left me in two places…. heartbroken and heart-warmed. Now that I understand more about myself and understanding why I am behaving in response to certain situations helps me to realize that I am operating from my values, that I can see things differently from others, and I am driven to influence others. I have purpose and I know my why. What I do and how I do it is ALIGNED to who I am. I just have to trust myself. This is my strength and my job is not to step back. My self-doubt is not real. It’s my strength and I have to honour that.

I looked back at my last blog titled, “Staying Grounded” and I was in a different place 2-years ago. You can hear my self doubt and uncertainty. I still talked about being a “uni-tasker” and being completely flooded with work. I was also talking about Prince George not being my PLACE and that I had no intentions of leaving the Sunshine Coast. It’s amazing how things have changed in 24-months. I’ve been back on the Sunshine Coast since Mother’s Day 2020 due to the pandemic. I’ve been teaching remotely and enjoying being back on the Coast with my daughter, but my marriage ended and I am 100% thinking about leaving and starting anew. It’s time for change.

Having Second Thoughts

Week 54 – March 26, 2021 – My Five Year Plan

I have no bloody idea. What is my 5-year plan? Why would anyone ask me that? Gah. My life is in limbo. Who knows where I will be in 5-years never mind 5-months. Am I committed in what I do? Absolutely. Do I care about what I do? Absolutely. So, what’s the problem? I am reflecting on that. I am swamped with work and trying to carve out time that fills my cup. I don’t know how other people do it. It makes me wonder but also makes me reflect on what’s important to me and why. I’m back at that again. Obviously I have not put my finger on it. Knowing that I’m an Enneagram 8 (wing 7) and an ESTJ or ENTP (depending on context) sheds some light on why I am the way I am but I think I’m just scratching the surface. I am getting a little obsessed with developing my LOCATION STATEMENT (version 2), focussing on leadership, and “finding my place.” I have been here before. It’s time to dig a bit deeper. Being aligned to what I do and whom I’m with is so important to me. When I don’t have it, I’m left to question. Integrity and honesty are at the core of my being, yet I will give my power away or get angry or frustrated. That needs unpacking. Sometimes my triggers relate to competence, clarity, and control. All of this is a reflection of me and what bothers me. I think that is the underpinning of what’s provoking me, but why does that matter? I’ll admit, I don’t feel like I have those 3 C’s at the moment. Maybe that’s how my students feel too. I know that I’m working towards having the 3 C’s, but lately I have not been so hopeful. It’s been more than one year of COVID-19. Regardless of vaccines and the urge to get back to normal, nothing is normal and I’ve been living a life of temporary living and doing things “just for now.” I thought I could let things ride for a bit longer but now I’m feeling I need to build some roots and commit. Ugh. Another C word… COMMIT. I’m not there yet. Do I just take the bull by the horns or just stand by? I spoke to a couple of people today who inspired me but also mentored me in their own way. I should focus on that. The leadership they have provided me to focus on my 3 C’s + 1 is compelling and worth investigating. And yes, you saw that. I just made my 5-year plan into an algebraic expression. #boom

Getting a Hair Cut

Week 53 – March 20, 2021 – The Little Things

Ha. Here is a selfie of me at the Vancouver International Airport last year. My how times have changed. I cannot believe the lifestyle I was living over the last few years. I was living in two places. I was separated from my kid and now I am separated from my husband. I feel like I’m starting my career all over again and I am STILL figuring out what my strengths are and what I have to contribute to the world. I know… sounds intense. I was flying up and down from Prince George to Vancouver. I used to take the ferry ALL OF THE TIME before that. How did we get here? Oh ya… the global pandemic. I was trapped in my apartment… ALONE… and isolated for months (from March 13, 2020 to May 8, 2020). I left on Mother’s Day, as a gift to myself, to head back to the Sunshine Coast to be with my daughter. I have no regrets there. I’ve been living my life on the temporary. I did return to Prince George once with my daughter for a quick visit to pick up my desktop and books from my office and apartment and that was it. I never looked back. To think that my brother, sister, and dad planned to fly up to Prince George during spring break last year to see the women’s world curling and now we are hard-pressed with what to do with the plane tickets. How long with the credit and points last? This pandemic has played trick on my mind and there is nothing in my body that says, “I want to get on a plane.” I was on a plane all of the time, but now I rarely get out of my house. I am never on a ferry. I may go to Gibsons, which is about 25 minutes away from Sechelt, to go to London Drug. But really, I just stay home, go for edu-walks with a couple of friends, and go for a Tim Horton’s steeped tea from time to time. That’s it. I work remotely from home and I have slowly become very accustomed to this lifestyle. Weirdly, I’ve met more people from where I work from where I am via Zoom and I have never been so busy. Now that I in the groove of things, I feel content with what I am achieving with my service work and teaching. I do try to carve out some time to engage in research, but I’m not there yet. My position is predominately teaching and I am fulfilling that role. What I am enjoying is living and learning in transformation within the university and program. It’s super challenging, but reminded of the importance of leadership. I love being back in my home on the Sunshine Coast to be with my daughter. The global pandemic has been a gift that way and I am very grateful. What I am totally surprised about the pandemic was my ability to grow out my hair. I used to have short hair and struggled to grow out my hair for years. This is a pretty good photo of my hair (without bangs), but now I can tie my hair back into a bun. I have not cut my hair for more than a year and I think it’s time to get my haircut. I’m getting one this Tuesday and I was so proud to tell my hairdresser that my hair is long FOR THE FIRST TIME… (well, I think the last time my hair was significantly long, I was 5-years old). Not sure what to expect but I would like to have some “style” to my hair so that I don’t feel compelled to tie it back all of the time, even though it makes my life super easy and feel like I have short hair. Well, aside from the pandemic and waiting for my turn for the vaccine, I am delighted to know that this is a joy and gift for me to look forward to my first haircut in quite some time. This is truly an exercise gratitude and I am very thankful for the little things. Maybe next week’s blog will be a selfie with me with my “new do.” Yes. I am embracing 2021, but I cannot believe March is almost over. The time warp has to stop, but in the meantime, I will enjoy every moment. Grace.

#lifeisgood #streamofconsciousness #pandemicreflection

One Year in the Pandemic

Week 52 – March 13, 2021 – No more hiding

Holy moly. It’s been one year and the global pandemic persists. I remember the day when one of my students in January brought to my Numeracy Across the Curriculum class two possibilities to do her lesson plan on: (1) electromagnetic energy; or (2) the virus spreading in China. She chose option (1). It was only a couple of months later we found ourselves completing the course online asynchronously and using data from the media regarding the number of cases as inspiration to design learning around a current event that is related to their subject specialty and numeracy principles.

I also remember the day we were told that we were going to remote learning. It was Friday, March 13th. I was food shopping and bumped into one of my colleagues. We chatted briefly and joked about what if. We hugged and giggled. Little that I knew, it became official and no one was returning back to campus. Toilet paper was scarce and practicum ended abruptly before spring break. We scrambled to ensure that the Year 2 Teacher Candidates had enough evidence to pass practicum and graduate. For my numeracy course with my Year 1 Teacher Candidates, we went asynchronous online. I needed the time to cope with this new phenomena of isolation and social distancing. My students needed the time to complete the course at their own rate.

Both cohorts endured a strike and COVID-19. Their resiliency was tested and they exceed my expectations. While I was self-isolating from the world and watching the news 24/7, my colleague was compelled to call me everyday to see if I was OK. She met with the teacher candidates regularly on Zoom and I facilitated learning from a distance. That said, we did collaborate with some of the Year 2 teacher candidates to create a 2020 Legacy Project. And more recently, these teacher candidates (now teachers) contributed to the department website with a student testimonial. As much as it has been a difficult year, working with the 2020 and 2021 cohorts was just amazing. I am so grateful to work with them this year. A phenomenal crew.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. I left Prince George and headed back to the Sunshine Coast on Mother’s Day (May 8th) as a gift to myself. As disrupted 2020 was for the teacher candidates, it was a massive disruption for me in seeing my kid on a regular basis. I was losing touch. I did not expect to say longer than the summer. I packed a suitcase, a backpack with my laptop, and my plants and headed back to my second home. I did return once to Prince George to pick up my desktop, drop off a few things, and watch graduation online. Otherwise, I’ve been on the coast ever since. I wanted to get rid of my apartment to save a few dollars, but the pandemic worsened and market values went way up. It just made more sense to hold onto my place.

The last 12-months was a year of uncertainty. I have never worked so hard from my living room floor. What’s expected of me is massive and I don’t seem to have the time to get everything done in a timely manner and get some of my work done. In fact, I never get there. It’s been a year of reflection and constant pivoting. I am learning that you can’t please everyone and I have to make myself a priority. That’s not easy. Due to the uncertainty, it was difficult to make decisions. Furthermore, my life is also in a holding pattern and what I need to do is make the best of the opportunities that come my way. Student learning and advocacy continue to be a priority for me as well as supporting my colleagues and contributing to the university where I can.

I take a deep breath. I have been challenged many times this year and almost gave up. I am learning to be more vulnerable and to BE SEEN. That’s not easy for me. It’s been 12-months of reflection and it is becoming very clear to me what my next steps will be. It’s not about being selfish, it’s about doing things for you because you deserve it and you’re good enough. No pretending. No hiding. Just learning and doing what I love that stokes my fire. I need to do this for myself, but also model for my daughter that you can do anything regardless of obstacles. Do not be distracted by perceived expectations. Focus on what matters to you and get there on your terms. Keep persisting and re-navigating. You will succeed. In the meantime, I will continue to hibernate at home, teach online asynchronously, and go to meetings via Zoom. I hope to be vaccinated by the summer and ready for the fall. It’s time to bloom.

My Location Statement

Week 51 – March 7, 2021 – Preparing for BCTEN

I took a moment to write a location statement in preparation for our BCTEN Virtual Conference 2021 presentation I am co-creating with a Teacher Candidate. I was inspired by the location statement of Dr. Henry Harder from UNBC. Our presentation is about uncovering one’s cultural identity as an individual and educator help and support learners to develop their own identity. This is my first draft (see below). Admittedly, I found writing my location statement difficult. It could have went in many directions and I kept with one direction. I could have talked about my perception of being “Number 3,” talk about my experience constant struggle with my name, or dig deep into my experiences with racism. Instead, I focused on my career, family, and lack of cultural identity. If anything, this exercise was an excellent opportunity to explore my biases or at least some factors that influenced my identity, values, and sense of self.

Location Statement for
Alice Christine Ho Younghusband
B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Ed., Ed.D.

My name is Alice Christine Ho Younghusband. I am a non-Indigenous settler and first generation Chinese Canadian woman. I am a math educator, teacher educator, and action researcher. I am a mother, daughter, sister, aunty, niece, cousin, colleague, and friend. My mom and dad are both from Hong Kong and immigrated into Canada in 1968. My dad was a gas engineer in Hong Kong, and my mom was a wife and mother. My mom and dad immigrated to Canada with my sister. She was two at the time. My twin brother and I were born 4-years later in Prince Rupert, BC. I am the youngest of three and lived my life as “Number 3.” I have one daughter of my own.

Although I am of Chinese heritage, I do not have my language and know of any Chinese culture. I was assimilated to be a Canadian. My parents were a part of the Chinese Community in Prince Rupert and they worked very hard to give us a better life in Canada. My dad worked at the pulp mill as a chemical engineer and my mom worked at the cannery and pulp mill cafeteria. She was also a coffee shop owner, caterer, and worked at the delicatessen. My mom saved every dime and never asked for help. I remember as a child that my mom used to buy “X bread” (aka. day old bread) to stretch the dollar. They bought a house and built one too in Prince Rupert.

I have good memories of Prince Rupert. I graduated from Prince Rupert Secondary. I love being by the ocean and living in this small town. Being in Prince Rupert defined who I am and yes, I do miss the rain. I’ve always wanted to return back to Prince Rupert but only visited as a guest. At my 20-reunion, I did not realize that I was part of the largest grad class. My childhood was at the height of Prince Rupert’s economy, hence the good memories. After graduating from UBC with my Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education, my first teaching position was on the Sunshine Coast as a secondary math and science teacher. I taught at one school for 16-years.

The Sunshine Coast is/was my home for the last 25-years. I live in a small town by the ocean. This is truly part of my identity. I’ve meandered with my career choices in university and during my time as a math teacher. I completed my Master of Education degree on the Sunshine Coast from SFU in Curriculum and Instruction with hopes of being a school administrator. Over time, I took on teacher leadership roles as the professional development school representative, math department head, and staff rep. I was at the height of my career but broken inside. At the time I felt like I was constantly “fighting” for students at the risk of my own career and mental health.

My dreams of becoming a school administrator dashed, I left teaching and pursued a doctoral degree in educational leadership at SFU. I was so frustrated and disenchanted with leadership that I had to learn more about it. I continued my passion and wrote my dissertation on out-of-field teaching in secondary mathematics, subject matter acquisition, and professional learning. During this time at SFU, I was a school trustee and served on boards locally and provincially, contributed to the Math K-9 in BC’s Curriculum and FNESC First Peoples Math Teachers’ Resource Guide, and worked as a sessional and independent educational consultant.

Many of these opportunities stemmed from my work in K-12 education of a co-created Math 8 project with the District Principal in Aboriginal Education called “Math Embedded: A Tribute to Susan Point.” We created this project because the Math 8/9 curriculum at the time was newly released, the school district moved towards and block and a half for Math 8 (we had extra time), and I wanted to explore new learning for myself and students (because I was no longer teaching Math 12 and Calculus). I was reassigned to teach 2 blocks of Math 8 where each class had one-third of the class identified with learning needs. This project integrated mathematics, First Nations culture, and art. Moreover, we explored Assessment for Learning, technology use, student agency and choice, and co-teaching and co-creating. The results were phenomenal.

I would have loved to pursue this further and explore more deeply this idea of Indigenous culture and mathematics, but I was reassigned again to teach Science 9 with no Math 8 classes. This served as a tipping point. I could not do this any longer. Certainly, there were other factors such as my daughter being little and I resented the idea of not being with her during her first day at school or her first field trip, but I was also feeling burned out because I did not have voice in my own trajectory, and I needed some agency to take back my control. Admittedly, this was a huge turning point in my life such that I was even too scared to tell my parents. I feared disappointment and shame. To my surprise, they were supportive, and it helped me to gain a broader knowledge of K-12 education and perspectives to complete my dissertation.

Soon after I completed my dissertation and graduated from SFU, my mom was dying, and I had the privilege of taking care of her as Number 3 during her final days. She hated asking for help and not being independent or in control. I watched this woman transform from someone who was physically eroding from cancer to someone who took hold of her life and died with strength and dignity. She opted for MAID (medical assistance in dying). She held strong for the family and I learned more about her and from her. My mom was funny, intelligent, and loving. She held the family together. She was a peacekeeper (at least for me) and she found peace.

I am currently an Assistant Professor at UNBC. My mom would have been proud. It does not escape me that I have returned back to Northern BC but continue to live in two places because my daughter lives in Sechelt and hopes to graduate from high school soon. I am also flooded by the feelings of teaching out-of-field. I am learning how to be a researcher (as teaching faculty), I am teaching teacher candidates how to become teachers, and living in Prince George (a place not next to the ocean, not small as Prince Rupert or Sechelt, and snow is normal, not rain). My mom always told me that I never chose to do things the easy way. She is absolutely correct.

I am (re)learning what’s important to me, what’s my research agenda, and what’s my identity. This “pedagogical journey” I am on has not been straightforward, yet when I look back it seems like a straight line. During COVID, I returned to the Sunshine Coast to be with my daughter and teach remotely. I am loving being back in the rain, in community, and by the ocean. Place and land play a huge part in my identity. I am returning back to my roots in math education and assessment and learning more about local Indigenous peoples and culture and how the TRC influences who I am as a settler Chinese Canadian who was also colonized and assimilated. I am learner, leader, and educator. As a result, I will continue to disrupt, question, and take action.

Remembering What’s Important

Week 50 – February 27, 2021 – It’s Mom Day

It’s been 3-years since my mom passed away and I have officially made February 27th MOM DAY. This would have been one of her favourite views… METROTOWN. Gosh. She loved walking around this place. She knew every store and where to get the best food or the best sales. My mom would insist going there everyday to walk around, to at least for exercise or food shop, with my dad. I miss her dearly. 3-years ago today I said GOODBYE. It wasn’t easy, but I respected her decision. I cannot believe that 3-years ago that I wanted to write about my mom and her last 20-days of life. She was sick for months, if not years, and 20-days before February 27, 2018, she was admitted to the hospital. My mom wanted to go home, but on Family Day we learned she had cancer in the liver, on Valentine’s Day she opted to stop testing (she hated the needles), and on Chinese New Year’s Day she decided to for MAID (medical assistance in dying). Damn, she was a strong woman. I have such huge respect for her. And, even though she is not with me in the physical world, she is always with me. I miss her dearly and I continue to learn from her. What an incredible woman. Brave. A maverick, really. All I can say today is, “Happy Mom Day.” I love you. I miss you.

#pandemicreflections #lifeisgood #missingher

Stand Up

Week 49 – February 21, 2021 – A Curler’s Mindset

I always have intentions of writing a weekly blog on Fridays. As the weekend approaches, time will fly by and now it’s Sunday night. I do struggle with weekly or daily blogs, but a regular timeline is a good way to provide some structure in a busy work week to reflect. My preference is to blog when I’m inspired, but when COVID-19 struck, I was uninspired. So I need a weekly blog to inspire to. It’s week 49 and almost a year of weekly blogging. That’s pretty good, but I cannot believe that it’s almost been a year of remote/online teaching and learning. Is it possible to be Zoomed out?

Teaching remotely keeps me safe, but it can be super taxing on the mind. Sometimes my brain just needs a break from technology. I’ve just finished co-moderating #bcedchat on Twitter, so I’m geared for online work tonight. I have a kabillion things to do, but I have to carve out time to reflect or blog to think about what it and imagine what will be. I do enjoy blogging and thinking about my thinking.

This week I’m thinking about getting my curling mindset back. I used to curl as a high school student and loved it. In Grade 8 I started curling and remember skipping a team in a youth bonspiel. We lost in the finals because the other team scored an 8-ender against us and won a trip to Hawaii. That could have been the worst day of my life, but it was the beginning of my curling career. I witnessed how things could be.

I loved learning more about curling and playing the game. We went to camps, lots of bonspiels, and plenty of playdowns. By Grade 12, my team was runner-up in one provincials event and the winner in the other. It was a good year. In 5-years, we became provincial champions. Perseverance and grit. You will lose games and make mistakes. Learn. Don’t give up. There are coaches and mentors to help too. Accept the help. Take the feedback. Get out there and try again. #experientiallearningcycle

Taking Control

Week 48 – February 15, 2021 – Being Intentional

I cannot believe that it’s mid-February. Where has the time gone? This COVID Time Warp is not helping me. Time is flying by, yet standing still. It’s Week 48 since the pandemic announcement in BC and we’re steps away from its one-year anniversary. Although I appreciate this time to reflect and think about what’s important to me during the pandemic, I need to make some intentional changes for myself. I’ve been thinking about my strengths, my interests, and how I feel. It’s been a rollercoaster. I’ve had it pretty easy though. I teach remotely, I have a job, and I am home with my kid.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my cultural identity, decolonizing my pedagogy, and what’s next for me. I am so grateful to be on the Sunshine Coast and enjoying being back on the coast. I love the ocean and being with my kid and friends. I am recognizing the role of land to one’s identity and how PLACE IS STORY. I don’t think I would have understood this had I not taken myself out of place and situate myself somewhere different. The climate is different, in addition to the geography and people. You don’t notice until you really have to. This, in itself, is good learning.

Maybe it’s the “I’m 50” thing or I am so entrenched in my #pandemicreflections and we are approaching one-year of being #sociallydistanced. What I do know for sure is, I can’t let life happen to me. I’ve been letting it (for some reason) and it’s not playing out the way I had hoped. Also, I have to be more intentional with what I choose and understand why it’s important to me. Yes, this sounds like another opportunity for overthinking, but I am finding myself overworking and under fulfilled. I’ve been giving my power away by stepping aside, hoping for the best, and thinking good things happen to good people. None of this is serving me well. And yes, I can see that now.

I am reminded of my mom at this time of year. She passed away almost 3-years ago and she made critical decisions about her life to take back her control, integrity, and dignity. I remember the days so clearly, with one regret of not being with her overnight when she first went to the hospital. I’ll leave that for another blog post. 3-years ago, my mom prayed for family day long weekend to end. No one was on duty so she had to wait for everyone to come back. On the Wednesday, which was Valentine’s Day, she decided to stop all treatments. She was done with the needles. On the Friday, Chinese New Year, she opted for MAID (medical assistance in dying).

I remember those days. She was so absolute with her decision. My family did not believe her. They were planning something completely different for her but she stood her ground. She was determined to make the final decision of her life. She made that choice on Chinese New Year. She made it again when she signed all of the forms (and she was blind). She stayed consistent with her conviction with the 2-doctor interviews. She was sent home because they would not do MAID at the hospital. She insisted that she wanted to die at an institution and not at home. BAD ENERGY, she would say. We transported her from place to place. At her very last moment, they asked her again and she followed through. The nurse called her a “maverick” and a “trailblazer.”

My mom was so brave. She is probably the most strongest person I know. She was caring and funny. She always thought of others and did what it took to take care of others. I mean, she waited for me to graduate before she passed away. Damn. I took soooooo long to get my dissertation done. She was even too ill at the time to go to my convocation. We did not know the extent of her illness or pain. She tried to hide it, even though at times she was not very good at it. Valentine’s Day, Family Day, and Chinese New year is not an easy time for me. There is a lot of pain and sadness. I miss her. But, I am left with a smile as I write, because she continues to teach me.

Understanding My Value

Week 47 – February 6, 2021 – Everyday is a learning day

Slowly but surely I am getting a better sense of who I am and what I can contribute. I am also learning how to value self and create boundaries that honour self and my work. I realize that at some level “I am the bad guy” because I have to “bad news” to problem solve. I know that I am a person of action, which at times being still would be more appropriate. I can see my value and that people can see my work too.

I am loving taking Saturdays off… guilt free. Even writing this blog entry is challenging because I’m on my computer. I need the rest. Napping was a thing for me today. I loved starting my day with book club, then a walk with my friend at the duck pond. I love the chillax pace of today. Although I have a tonne of things to do, as always, I worked hard this week to ensure that it would end with a natural break.

I’m not going to be shy about the shoes I stand in. Yes, they are Crocs. Another big week to come, but I will start working on my next steps that are best for me and the work I need to delve into. This is not going to be easy work, but I do need to be easy on self so that I can feel good about what I need to do. When I think about it, life is moving forwards as it should. I have nothing to complain about. Life is good.

#pandemicreflections #goingtobed #sleepisgood

My Cultural Identity

Week 46 – February 1, 2021 – What is this all about?

It’s been an interesting week. I have been prolonging this blog post for different reasons. First, I needed some mental space to step back and reflect. Second, I serendipitously engaged in different situations this week where my cultural identity is coming into my consciousness. Third, I need the time to blog and Monday seemed like the best day. Teacher candidates are officially in practicum today and I was working on the weekend to ensure they were all ready. Ok. I’m ready to write.

I was looking at old photos to add to this blog. My older siblings often share these photos with me on my birthday. They were easy to find. I chose these two photos for two reasons: (1) my mom looks great; (2) it looks like we are living our best Canadian life. I don’t even know what that means. Don’t get me wrong. My mom and dad immigrated into Canada with my sister, who was two, to start a better life in Canada. They moved to Prince Rupert, BC because my dad could find a job. They bought this house on 8th Avenue East. And, they did the best they could to give us a good life.

Now that I’m 50 and in a time where Truth and Reconciliation and Call to Action are at the forefront of my work in addition to the craziness on social and cultural unrest with Black Live Matter and the shared existence of BIPOC people, I awakened to my own identity and tempered with the question of “Who am I?” I am currently reading “The Skin We’re In” and attended a presentation by Shelley Moore about identity and who defines one’s identity. Although I am learning more about Indigenous ways of knowing in context to mathematics education, I’m learning more about my identity.

I’ve been having a few woke moments about my cultural identity. On one level, I realized that I am a product of colonialism and assimilation. I don’t have my language. I don’t know my culture. I’ve been to Hong Kong once, but I don’t even know where I am from except that I was born and raised in Prince Rupert, BC, graduated from Prince Rupert Secondary, and lived on Prince Rupert Blvd. I had a very good life, one that my parents made for me, and I can see my privilege. However, I am struggling now with my identity as a settler, Chinese-Canadian as I learn more about local Indigenous peoples and wrestling with the idea of decolonizing my pedagogies.

This is where I am today. I am still learning. I am a person of action and hope to unravel further about my heritage, my cultural identity, and how I can do better in what I do in light of the TRC and Calls to Action as an educator and citizen of Canada.

#pandemicreflections #pedagogicaljourney #decolonization