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What Learning Again Taught Me: Indigenous Studies MOOC with University of Alberta

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Artwork: Lean Dorion   Previously I wrote about what teaching in these strange times has given me- both as an academic and as a human. And so, it also seems right that I write about what learning at the same time did for me. 12 weeks ago, I started a course with the University of Alberta. And for the last three months I’ve used my Sundays as my ‘back to school time.’ and it’s been a revelation in many ways- both in terms of the vital learning the course provides, but also in a broader way in thinking about how I continue to learn, and to work as an academic (forgive me we can never quite turn that bit of brain off can we?) Am I as proud of this as my degrees? yes. Did I forget to put my name in the course details? also yes   It’s their free course in Native Studies called Indigenous Canada. And really the whole point of this post is to tell you, whoever you are, to sign up. You can do that right here . And while we’re here, you can learn more about the Faculty of Native Studies here o

Pick Me Choose Me Love Me- on writing, on giving up, on kindness.

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Tom Hanks waving a typewriter is a writing mood This was not the blog I planned to put up today. I had another one edited and ready to go. It’s not a blog I have time to write. But it’s one born out of passion and frustration and those are usually the best/worst ones right?  This really is a blog of two halves; one on the way we treat writers, and others in our industry. And another that’s been bubbling for a while with a question of ‘and what next’.  Last night I received a rejection from a script submission. That in itself is no big deal- anyone who follows me on Twitter knows my attitude to rejections is openness and a sense of humour. I started a rejection pot this year, where I put £5 in a pot for every rejection, with the idea I can spend that pot on something silly and fun at the end of the year. And for reasons unknown, I started tweeting an Andrew Scott picture for everyone too. Partly to inject a sense of humour- it’s ridiculous the number of rejections we all get, so why not

What Teaching Again Taught Me

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Add caption This week I finished teaching a 6-week course, I’m in the middle of teaching another 6-week block of another and I’ve had a few ad-hoc workshops around that too. And after what turned out to be an almost full year away from teaching for the first time in a decade, and the general 2020-ness of everything else I realised how important teaching is to me.  First and foremost let me preface this with a caveat- this is about both general importance of teaching to me and a very specific type of teaching-optional learning for adults. It is not about the frankly astounding and astoundingly difficult job my colleagues in schools and Universities are doing. To my school teacher colleagues; you are heroes as much as our health workers and you deserve 100 times more recognition. To my colleagues in Universities; you deserve better. Honestly, I’ve got nothing more for you, you deserve so much better than what you VCs and the media are giving you, and I see you, I support you.  Even with

Thanksgiving Thankful

What Running for 30 Days taught me

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Across September I ran or walked a mile every day. This was part of a challenge set by my friend Jeff. A huge advocate of running for mental as well as physical wellbeing, Jeff himself is running every day this decade...so a month seemed like the least I could do challenge wise.  Why do it?  It’s 2020 we could all use some positive focus.  My running, while steady enough could use a periodic kick up the butt.  I had a book due October 1st (and any reason not to be doing that some of the day)  Bragging rights?  Spoiler alert, it had a positive impact on all these.  This also came on the back of a reassessment of both my exercise routine, and my relationship with exercise (and by extension my body) and (spoiler alert again) it had a really positive impact.  Which isn’t to say I loved every run. This is not one of those blogs. I will never be that runner. Running is in equal measure: boring and hard work. Also I contest the person who said ‘you never regret a run’ I have deeply regretted

'What if I don't think about the books' Fear and finishing project book.

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  In the spirit of blogging this whole writing experience, it seems apt to mark this moment of sending off the first draft to the publishers. And while that is no doubt a moment of victory. I feel a little like I’m being judged in my celebration of that from academia with a sort of hair toss and a ‘Yeah and?’ because obviously in academia, everyone has a book, and like probably a better one than you.  That’s what it feels like sometimes, all the time actually, this bitchy playground where the mean girls are looking over going ‘she’s writing what?’ and ‘oh my god she’s like blogging and tweeting about it, bless.’  Because I get that I’m not a ‘proper’ academic. And I get that my blogging my way through the book is probably met with snobbish disdain and yes, yes I frequently think about when it doesn’t survive peer review and I fail at it, how foolish all this will look.  But also what if, what if it does actually make it the whole way. And what if my being honest about all this, all the