Inventory

It’s been a while since I published a post, and it’s not because I’ve been overly busy. I had a lot of time off this summer, and I’m just trying to figure out my goals now that I’ve completed my teaching diploma. I can do a lot of things, and I know a lot of things, and I’ve surprised myself by taking a personal inventory and organizing my many attributes. Keep in mind, that I am not an expert at most of the items on this extensive list. Mostly, I need a pep talk because I am too hard on myself, and I waste too much energy focusing on negative insights. While this post is meant to be satirical, I think it’s important for people (especially woman, as much as I try to avoid genderization) to remember their strengths.

Self-deprecation is one of my best qualities; I am self-deprecating to a fault and often to my own detriment, and this is the point of my post. Performing a personal inventory also encourages me to be my best self for all the Stakeholders in my life: me, my family, my friends, my employers, my coworkers, my patients, my students, and the public at large. So, here is my list:

– I am a great mother (at least I aspire to be)

– I’m a dream wife (most of the time 😉)

– I am a good granddaughter, daughter, sister, cousin, and aunty (I hope)

– I am a good and loyal friend

– I am a dental assistant (I love what I do, and it pays the bills)

– I am a teacher (not a tester: I am saving this topic for a future blog post)

– I am adept at technology (yup, I’m a geek)

– I am an amateur zoo keeper: I am the caregiver of 1 Chihuahua, I cockatiel, and 2 geckos

– I can grow anything (although I’ve yet to cross-pollinate an avocado tree)

– I am a fantastic cook (I have a limited repertoire)

– I play guitar and ukulele (nothing fancy though)

– I can play the ukulele while hula-hooping!

– I’m a runner (it’s not a pretty sight, and neighbours have stopped me to see if I’m okay, or to make sure that I’m not being chased)

– I am a skier

– I am typically optimistic

– I am a lifelong learner

– I’m a blogger (at least I’m trying to be)

My father Paddy told me that ‘it’s okay to stand up and take recognition for my achievements, but it’s not okay to boast.’ He said this was while I was visiting him in palliative care for the last time, and I didn’t know what to think of his advice at the time. Am I too proud?

I’m beginning to understand what he was trying to tell me. I don’t intend this post to be boastful, especially at the expense of overly focusing on my own perceived strengths. I just need to be reminded that it is okay to feel good about myself, take stock of my achievements, and accept credit when necessary. It’s okay to draw attention to my efforts, successes, and failures (all learning moments) for all those at stake (myself included). I am realizing that self-deprecation, and expecting my Stakeholders to passively take notice of my strengths, is a behaviour that is, (and has been) detrimental to self-improvement and self-love. It starts with little things, like, when someone gives me a compliment, I should just say ‘thank you,’ and stop making excuses for my achievements or being embarrassed by the attention; this is hard for me. I am an introvert, and that’s okay, but I need not be a pushover. Thanks for the pep talk dad.

Dad

Exit PIDP

PIDP Books

I did it! I completed the Provincial Instructor Diploma at VCC!! What a fantastic learning and growth experience these past few years have been. I feel like I am ‘living the dream’ because I have a clinical position in an OMS practice, and I recently accepted a position as a substitute instructor in the Dental Assisting program at Okanagan College! To me, professional practice is about being authentic, relatable, and creating a legacy.

The final Capstone Project in the PIDP asked me to reflect on my instructional goals, and encouraged me to remain a reflective practitioner (there is A LOT of reflecting in this program). Reflection can be done in many ways, and this post paraphrases my final project. Have I addressed the diverse learning styles of my students? Have I applied the principles of Bloom’s Taxonomy to encourage higher forms of critical thinking? Are some learners better at retaining theory (cognitive)? Do others prefer a hands-on approach to learning (psychomotor), or do they learn best by how a lesson makes them feel (affective)? I believe that a combination of all three learning domains is the key to active learning.

My greatest ‘aha’ in the PIDP moment was the realization that it does not matter how well I know my subject, although this is extremely important. I discovered that what matters most is how well I can convey my knowledge, skills, and attitudes to my learners.

Learning how adults learn is key. Initially, I thought I was a behaviourist because dentistry is a vocation that requires strict knowledge and skills: pedagogy; an ‘I teach, you learn’ approach. However, the assigned readings introduced me to Carl Rogers’, Freedom to Learn (1969), and Malcolm Knowles’, The Adult Learner (1973 & 2015), and to the humanistic learning theory which focuses on a student-centred approach to learning: andragogy. I discovered that I can do this! I HAVE been doing this throughout my career as a dental assistant, and now I can articulate and improve upon how to teach adults:

– Value: Do learners know WHY something is important?
– Information: Have learners been given all the tools that they will need to learn?
– Relatability: What knowledge or understanding do students already possess?
– Readiness: What will motivate students to learn?
– Reflection: Have students been given the opportunity to critically reflect and act on what they are learning?

I elected to take the PIDP to become an educator, and it has exceeded my expectationsand I can see the value in what I have learned because I feel more confident as an instructor. Thank you, Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. Thank you, Vancouver Community College. Thank you, Jenny Leong (Program Assistant), and thank you to my instructors, Glenn Galy, Jacquie Harris, Bob Aitken, Jeff May, Brian Cassell, Alison Dewhurst, and Karen Brooke 🙂


Bloom’s Taxonomy Link:

Clark, D. (2015, January 12). Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Big Dog’s & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. Retrieved from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html

References:
Knowles, M. S. (1973). The Adult Learner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Knowles, M. S., Holton lll, E. F., Swanson, R. A. (2015). The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development (8thed.). New York: Routledge.

Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to Learn. Columbus: Charles E. Merrill.

I❤️🇨🇦

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To say that I love Canada is an understatement; I am so grateful and proud to be Canadian! I am spending this Canada Day outside as much as possible. I have fresh air, clean water, a comfy chair, and a clammy in hand.

As Canadians, we have a reputation for being friendly and polite, even amidst the adversity of our (at times) over-bearing neighbour to the south. Our Prime Minister has our backs though. I like that I can do my part in the Canada/US trade war by boycotting Heinz® ketchup, and I am sure that I can find an adequate ketchup that’s made in Canada. But, I’m worried that the ketchup boycott is the tip of the iceberg. As much as I love Canada, I also love the US. I don’t visit there often, but I enjoy their sports, movies, music, and technology (I’m a huge Apple Inc.® fan).

How far will this trade war and the tactics used by both sides continue? I’m okay with no ketchup, but what if we are asked to boycott Clamato® juice? I don’t think that there’s a substitute for the delicious drink that Canadians love to mix with our beer. I’d still be enjoying Canada Day, but with no clammy. What will my limit be? Cheers eh?!

 

Recharge

 

No books were cracked this weekend; I went camping with my family. I brought my laptop and my textbooks, however, I simply chose to photograph my school supplies against a natural backdrop instead of doing coursework. I intended to write a brilliant reflection on being an authentic instructor, I needed to write an assigned blog post on lecturing creatively (stay tuned folks!), and I was supposed to be working on an ethics assignment with a classmate: NONE of this happened. I literally spend the weekend sitting around the campfire in my lawn chair. I barely moved more than a kilometre for 2 whole days! I should mention that I have limited Wi-Fi at camp, and I used what data I could afford learning how to make photo galleries on my blog!

I guess you could say that I recharged my batteries. I found an online article on the 27 ways that one can recharge themselves. I won’t mention all 27 but I did accomplish three items in the top 5!

  1. Do a tech detox: ✅
  2. Drink a little too much wine with your friends: ✅ ✅
  3. Get out in nature: ✅ ✅ ✅

This post marks the halfway point in the last course of my diploma. I feel refreshed and ready to ‘crack the books’ once more.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The photos in my gallery were all taken in Christina Lake, BC

420 (plus 1)

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That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet – William Shakespeare

I wanted to post this yesterday, but I was afraid. Afraid because while marijuana is in the process of being legalized in Canada, I feel that there remains a needless stigma surrounding the plant and its recreational use. I do not want to come off sounding condoning or judgemental, but in my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with recreational marijuana use. Okay, I’ve said it; I’m out! Maybe if more people would educate themselves on the pros and cons of any drug use (alcohol included) they would discover that in the big scheme of things, marijuana is the most benign. I don’t want to enter into a discussion of ‘gateway’(1)drugs, or point fingers at ‘bad’(2)drugs either. I simply want to discuss that legalization is happening, and that we as a country should be proud of yet another freedom afforded to us🇨🇦

I want to be blunt though (pun intended), because as seldom as I do partake, I am responsible: I do not drive, work, look after children, operate potentially dangerous machinery, wield an axe (you get the point), unless I am sober. And, I am not ‘outing’ anyone (including myself), except to say that stigmas stem from fear. I’m not sure why people are afraid: are users afraid that they’ll be negatively judged, which could result in personal consequences: do you want your boss to know that you smoke weed? Are non-users afraid that ‘stoners’ will corrupt society? The issue is complicated to say the least.

None-the-less, I am happy that discussions are happening, and I love this article that I read on Castanet News (Kelowna, BC) on the responsible and organized participants of 420 at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach yesterday:
https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-224297-3-.htm#224297
And, this article from Castanet on Friday on the origin of 420 is an interesting read as well:
https://www.castanet.net/news/World/224024/420-origins-hs-stoners

I did not use marijuana yesterday because I am not a typical pot smoker, but I did listen to my favourite 420 playlist because the songs are positive, upbeat, at times ironic and satirical, and controversial, and so is this blog post. Were it not for the following artists, and the culture that their art reflects, change (and freedom) would not have been initiated.

My Personal 420 Playlist:

Bang a Gong – T Rex
Because I Got High – Afroman
Call Me the Breeze (or anything by JJ Cale)
Come As You Are – Nirvana
Custard Pie (gives me the munchies) – Led Zeppelin
Dave’s Not Here – Cheech and Chong
Drugs In My Pocket – The Monks
Exodus (the song, the album, and the entire collection of Bob Marley)
Get Off My Cloud – The Rolling Stones
Give It Away (because the RHCP cite BM)
Gold Digger – Kanye West
Good Vibrations (a masterpiece) – The Beach Boys
Hash Pipe – Weezer (an obvious choice)
Hits From The Bong – Cyprus Hill (another obvious choice)
I Am The Walrus – The Beatles
Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
Kickapoo – Tenacious D
Kitty (cool title) – The Presidents of the United States of America
Know Yourself – Drake
Let The Good Times Roll – The Cars
Lookin’ Out My Backdoor – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Loser – Beck
Monkey Man – The Rolling Stones
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Bob Dylan
Santa Monica – Everclear
Stacks O’ Money – Eagles of Death Metal
Standing On The Rock (and anything by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils)
Stoners Anthem – Snoop Dogg
Sweet Leaf – Black Sabbath (in my opinion, the original Stoners Anthem)
The Joker – Steve Miller Band
What I Got – Sublime
You Don’t Know How It Feels (and everything from Tom Petty’s Wildflowers)

Enjoy,
Kitty out☮️

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I am the photographer of the above image, but until legislation is official, I cannot say where I took the photo 😉

(1) Alcohol is the number one gateway drug
(2) A drug that requires a reversal (lifesaving) antidote

Sticks Out

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The heart-breaking loss of 16 individuals from the Humboldt Broncos hockey club reverberates far and wide. There are no adequate words to express the profound sadness associated with the accident. It is however, a good reminder for me not dwell on the day to day stuff that does not matter, and I’ve consciously spent the past week being more appreciative of my life and my privileged circumstances.

The outpouring of love and support for the community of Humboldt that I’ve witnessed is moving and inspiring. People want to do something to help and to connect; we are trying to feel better. On my way to work one day last week I saw hockey sticks outside of my neighbour’s homes, and when I arrived at work my boss had put his sticks out at the entrance to our office. The respect that this small gesture represents has created a solidarity that goes beyond words, and it is extremely comforting; I hope that it consoles those directly affected by the tragedy too.

Shine On

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Featured Image: The Universal Female Symbol

My incredibly awesome sister Shannon Walsh shared Will Smith’s Facebook video Set Your Life on Fire, and tagged all the woman in her life who have fanned her flame to celebrate International Woman’s Day. I love the message that Will delivers, and not just for woman. I believe that the sole purpose of our existence on earth is to help each other; that’s it. In the video, Will talks about surrounding yourself with people that let you shine your light in a way that only he can.

Enjoy the video, and thanks to all the women (and men) in my life who ‘nourish and inspire’ me.