Research as Disruption

Week 58 – April 24, 2021 – Mentorship and Gratitude

First… I would like to start off this blog by saying I got my first AstraZeneca vaccine shot today. I was on a walk and got the call. I think my kid is more happy than I am about getting the shot, but it does feel good to know that I am half way to being vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus. The pandemic is the whole reason why I am writing this blog series and it’s Week 58. The plan was to stop these weekly reflections when the pandemic was over… but sadly, I don’t think that day is coming soon.

Second… I was so tired from the week, having only 4-hour sleeps at best to get work done. By Friday night, I was so tired that I went to bed at 9:30 pm and woke at 4:30 am. Normally, I’m going to bed at 4:30 am by doing a late night of work. Now, I don’t know what do do with my time. I wrote a few emails, got up early and went for a walk in my neighbourhood. In this walk, I recorded my thirteenth episode of “Chris’s Edu-Vlog.” Today’s topic: FEAR. A four-letter word I’m trying to overcome… (and I will).

Finally, the crux of my blog today… Mentorship and Gratitude. Do you believe in serendipity or just good timing? The more I pay attention to my feelings and listen to my intuition, the more things make sense. I’ve been making some key decisions lately because I am figuring out MY WHY in more detail and with that comes more clarity. Different people come into your life as mentors. This mentorship does not have to be a formal relationship, but a connection where something is shared and learned.

I was chatting with someone and we seem to connect in a way that resonates with me as an educator and learner. In this conversation, the idea of academia came up. A long story make short, learning comes to you in different ways and forms. Sometimes it’s intended and sometimes not. Just the other day, a comment was made suggesting that RESEARCH IS DISRUPTIVE. I never thought of it that way, but it’s true. This small statement shifted my thinking. The university’s why is connected to my why.

Truthfully, I am shocked and spent the day reflecting on what I do and why. The pieces are falling together and I am stoked that they are. Aside from going out for a walk (with friends) a few times today, it has been a good day for me. I am triggered by this research phenomena and the why of the university and the realization that I am a mentor too. I want to share a couple of student messages that was gifted to me recently that validate my work, but also verifies my why. People can see it.

STUDENT 1: Thanks for your feedback, support and hard work behind the scenes with this course… It was an honour being in your class and mentored by you. I am sure we will run into each other again in the future. 🙂

STUDENT 2: You are truly amazing- never forget it. You have created success stories- finding the good and brightness in your students. You are and have paved the pathway for many of us… It’s educators like you, who 30+ years down the road we will always remember how you taught, modelled and cared so much for us. You have created space for diversity, inclusion and acceptance- you are a gem. You find the good in people and what they have to offer the profession and world – you work with that. I feel so honoured to have been given to the opportunity to learn, laugh and collaborate with you. You are one of those educators that wherever you go and end up- you have left an impact and trail behind that can’t ever be replaced.

As much as I appreciate these words (and is difficult for me to receive), I don’t expect comments like these from students. I would rather not. I am just doing my job. I don’t want to reduce my work to a job, but this is what I strive to do and I’m just getting started. I was more stoked when the students I as supervising during practicum submitted their final reports in less than 12-hours. I love it when my students are the agents of their learning and we are working together towards a common goal. The little things. I can see myself now more clearer… knowing my purpose and my why.