The world still looks the same. It’s still a beautiful struggle. A beautiful beautiful struggle.
I deliberately haven’t blogged for over a month because I’ve honestly just been adjusting. I’ve been fully immersed in what was going on around me. And there has been a great deal going on.
This is my attempt at a bullet point summary…
1) Emotional experience around getting the doctorate when it struck me that Mrs Cloete had to die for Dr Swartz to be born. It felt raw and I felt hollow. It signalled the commencement of the next stage in my journey – radical self acceptance. The shadow me, is also me.
2) I was a bit overwhelmed initially by all the attention I got when I got the doctorate, however after about two weeks that seemed to settle. Out of pure coincidence three major things culminated in my life more-or-less the same time. Within the space of ten days I heard:
a) I am a finalist for an international e-Learning Excellence Award. I was invited to Denmark to present my case study in November
b) I won the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in the Engineering Faculty for 2019 at my university
c) I was graduating with the doctorate… and then I decided to graduate wearing white converse sneakers and a VannieKaap t-shirt (www.shop.vanniekaap.com) which said “Chise your dreams”. Chise your dreams is a colloquialism in my community which essentially means “Pursue your dreams”.
3) Two articles about me were published on the university website. Here are the links them http://www.cput.ac.za/blogs/bulletin/2019/10/04/innovative-lecturer-shines-bright/ and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2635250656506113&id=166568333374370&anchor_composer=false#_=_ I’m just grateful.
4) I’ve successfully managed to secure funding via my university to go on a two legged trip. I’ll be presenting a paper in Dublin, Ireland on the 5th November and then participating in the e-Learning Excellence Awards on the 7-8th November in Copenhagen, Denmark. I applied for my visa on Wednesday morning.
5) I’ve been roped in at my university and got involved in the admin side of research in the Faculty. I’m simply LOVING it! I’m learning so much about the operational procedures required. It’s opened up a whole new world and perspective for me. I’ve only supervised students in the past. I’m now seeing the other end of things – understanding the engine that has to operate to get the vehicle from point A to point B. I was also once again asked by senior management to consider applying for the HoD position in my Department. Without a hint of hesitation I gracefully declined. I’m very pro-my university #MyCPUT. But I’m not yet ready for that, and quite frankly I’m not as interested in doing HoD work as I am about getting involved in research. I told my supervisor that I will have the greatest impact if I get involved with supporting the research program in my department. My heart burns to make a difference there – and I will.
6) I received ethical clearance for some more personal research that I want to do. Kinda excited about that.
7) I had a random horrible experience where I was ambushed during one of my lessons. A group of protesting students entered my class and violently disrupted it. In summary it was a traumatic experience and fortunately things did not turn out worse than what they did. All I want to do right now is get my students ready for final exams
8) Things are going ok with my own students. My stats students and BTech research students are managing. My MEng students are making good progress.
9) I’m the proud new owner of a MacBook Pro! Finally! And switching has been so easy. I’m simply loving it. The machine is so intuitive. It’s super fast too. What a pleasure. #NewToy
10) And finally…. just to remind me that as much as things might seem different, they really are still the same, my Bella reminds me of the real hierarchy in the world (and in my household) everyday. She is still the queen of everyone!