I have struggled to write at times on this blog. When I first started my “musings”, they were personal thoughts and moments that I wanted to share with folks, to give them a glimpse into my often scattered mind. I deleted more posts than I published, and I wondered at times who would ever want to read the ramblings of me. In September, I started back at University and found out that blogging would become a large part of my learning journey. I thought it would be easier to document this journey, but I have struggled with it. I have felt, for lack of a better word, dumb at times and very behind in my own knowledge of apps, programs, and technology usage. I am okay though, because I have some fabulous people cheering me on.
One of the people who is cheering loudly for me, is my friend, Michelle. We are doing the same course together and chose to work together on our first project. Michelle, @MauiMickey to a lot of people, is the person who first introduced me to the concept of Open Education. I don’t think either of us knew we were involved in Open Education, but she encouraged me to start following the #kinderchat hashtag and to delve into the weekly chats. I could write a whole month worth of posts on the amazing people I have met there, but that is for another time. I believe Michelle and I were both nervous and excited about starting our Master’s, but we knew we had each other for support.
Michelle and I met for “University time” a few weeks ago at her house. We had come up with almost identical ideas for a project and we had an instant melding of our concept. At first, the idea of a scope and sequence for ECE people to use in their instruction of social media and connecting globally was a spark. We had an idea, a goal and we ran. Our plan was written up, we had focus. Michelle created a survey for students at our very different schools, and I started searching for research on underage Social Media usage. Through it all, I have had moments of panic, doubt and utter fear of failure. Throughout it all, Michelle has been a tweet away. Through our DM’s and Friday night socials, our project has evolved, grown and become something completely different from what I first envisioned. More importantly though, every single time I doubted myself, Michelle has been there to encourage me on.
Today, we met again for “University Time”. As we usually do, we had to get all of the decompressing about students and work out of the way first. Then came the questions: How are you doing on the blogs? Do you think we should send the survey out? How do you think we should organize who does what? How do we create a book? (okay that one was definitely my question). We had questions that neither of us could quite figure out, so we did the only logical thing. After several DMs with Valerie, we Skyped her. That conversation gave us our answers and a friendly, informal conversation occurred. A while after that, I had a moment where I looked at us. Michelle, on her school laptop with her iPad by her side, and me with my borrowed Macbook and sketchbook to scrawl in. I realized how very different we are and yet how well we work together. We easily came up with a list of things to put into our “How To” guide for ECE folks, and had no issues assigning jobs for each of to do. Scheduling our next get together could have been a logistical nightmare. My weekends are dedicated to union business, and Michelle is a very busy mom, wife and teacher. But no, she quickly understood and adjusted her life to fit my crazy calendar.
I know the blog posts about out projects are supposed to be more about our projects, but somehow tonight, that wasn’t what was sticking in my brain. Our project, in my opinion, is awesome. We have a plan, we have a goal and we have our jobs to do. What I found so important today was the people I am working with. I appreciate Valerie dropping what she was working on to talk to us, assure us, clarify things for us and laugh with us. I am so immensely grateful to Michelle for every encouraging tweet and message, for her enthusiasm and her understanding. A Kinderchat pal told me “the relationships in Graduate school are so important” and today I really realized how right she was.