Challenge Yourself

Week 27 (of 38) – March 25 to 29, 2019

Learning comes in different forms and our job is to pay attention. This week was filled with subtle and not so subtle moments that nudged me to step out of my box… or at least consider it. I wondered what my “weekly blog of learning” would be about this week. My week entailed having my little family visiting me in Prince George for a few days, reuniting with my colleagues on campus, listening to news that took some time to synthesize, and immersing myself in a field of cows on a farm outside of Quesnel.

Learning is not meant to be easy. It’s not something that you just do… but it’s something that transforms you. I never understood that for a long time. For years I thought that “learning” was about getting grades, getting degrees, and getting promoted. I could not be more wrong… and I had to learn that. It was a tough lesson to learn and it was only myself that held myself back from that truth. Thank goodness for teachers, mentors, and good friends who are willing to tell you the truth to guide your thinking. I am so lucky.

It was during my doctorate when my supervisor said to me… “you wouldn’t be in this program if you didn’t expect to change?” I never expected to change, but I did. I’m sure that I have transformed many times during my lifetime up until my doctorate but I never acknowledged those changes until that moment with my supervisor. I was overwhelmed when he said that to me and somewhat bewildered as well. It took me some time to understand my why for completing my doctorate and those reasons changed from when I started the program to when I finally ended it. They changed because I changed.

This week, I learned that I love my family very deeply and being apart from them is challenging. Ironically, this separation is keeping us together. I have more gratitude and I appreciate my little family. I am also grateful for my colleagues on campus. I work with an incredible bunch of people at the university. It’s amazing what these people do and I was so happy to reconnect with them. They lift me up. Yet, there were moments this week that made me wonder about what educational reform and the leadership required to create change. Things to consider for research. Finally, my friend from Quesnel is a cattle rancher. Her gentle ways got me out of my comfort zone to be on the farm, wake up at 2 am to check the cows and their calves, and drive a quad. Although I did not ride a horse, I loved the experience. It’s something that I would have never done or understood.

What I learned this week is, learning takes time and patience. Notice. Be grateful. Change is happening. Learning is not about getting stuff done or jumping hoops, even though it may feel like that sometimes. And when it does, take a moment to question what you are learning at that moment and what you are suppose to learn. Learning can be frightening or a subtle experience so make the effort to reflect, wonder, and acknowledge change.