Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#POTCert11: Introduction

Here's my introduction. Now that I am not teaching classes and sending out or posting obligatory welcome notes, I no longer had an appropriate bio on file. Writing a fresh one took a bit longer than expected, evoking the inevitable bout of self-reflection about identities. The result may be both too long and not long enough. My 67th birthday was just a week ago: a lot happens in that many years, some lived in interesting times and places, some of it even pedagogically relevant. 

I moved to Mountainair NM from Davis CA at the beginning of 2000. Mountainair is a small, rural community in central NM. Although remote in being relatively isolated and not suburb distance from a significantly larger town, it is not a long a drive from much larger and better known Albuquerque or even Santa Fe. There are historic buildings, notable examples of wild folk art, pre-Columbian and Spanish Mission ruins, a small arts community, a bank, a gas station, a grocery store, a volunteer run community library, a blinker light, ranchers, developers selling the Old West mystique, even a gated (mostly) SoCal exurb and all too soon, our very own Dollar Store. I live alone, have cats, two very large hairy dogs and, until a few years back, took in two retired Welsh mares I bred in another life time, yard ornaments.

After living in the Lafayette LA area for 25 years straight after returning from eight years residence overseas, I headed westward ho to study Comparative Literature at UC Davis. Since then I've taught composition, English literature, World literature and Classics in translation, Spanish, ESL, developmental writing and study skills as well as directing a local family literacy program and teaching in after school programs. I've taught hybrid and online since the mid 90s ~ public, for-profit and as a volunteer. 

Retired now, I occupy myself online and with words, blogging, keeping up with far flung friends and family, following wide spread interests, community networking, curating social media content for fun and other projects that occasionally intersect ~ and still volunteer teach ESL online. This past year I added open online courses to the list. None have been for credit, nor all completed, but I still get a lot out of them ~ and keep coming back for more. Each time I get a better sense of the format and feel for the potential of distributed networks. 

It's a whole new learning culture, very likely a game changer, but one I feel like I've been waiting for all along.

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