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  • the auld sod

    December 11th, 2017 she Posted in Friends & Family, Learning & Education No Comments »

    One of the factors which impacted my decision to accept the offer to study at Lancaster University is the requirement to fly to the UK to attend classes as part of my programme of study. My parents and sister were born in the UK and I have dual citizenship. When I was a child, my parents brought us home to visit family as often and for as long as they could afford. At times, this meant that I left school early at the end of the year, that I was late starting school by a week or two (hello, grade 6!), or that I left school mid-semester. I have to admit, I took most of these trips for granted. After all, didn’t everyone travel to see their cousins and grandparents?  It was a long time before I realized just how amazing many of those trips were. If nothing else, they introduced me to a travel bug that bit and took hold!

    Sadly, I haven’t been back to the auld sod since before I was married. My husband has met the Canadian side of the family a number of times, but has only met two of my UK-based aunts in the 20+ years we’ve been together. I’m hoping to leverage my education to remedy this horrible oversight on our part.

    This past week I’ve been prepping for my school trip. I’ve booked my spot in the university residence and purchased my flights to the UK. We’ve thrown a few extra days in to visit family before classes start. I doubt I’ll have time to go distillery hopping this trip, but that does leave me with a travel goal for next year.

    In all my travels and living in foreign countries, there’s one thing that has been haunting me. My horrific need to over pack for trips. I blame childhoods of packing wellies (sunny all the time) and then not packing rain gear (hello downpours!). In at attempt to be ever prepared, I pack things I don’t normally use at home (skin care routine?  Since when do I follow THAT religiously?) or I pack as if I’ll never see a washing machine at any point in the journey.

    I’m trying to remedy that this trip around. While I did purchase a ticket with a suitcase option for my husband and for my mum, I stuck my sister and I with the glorious challenge of traveling with only a carry-on suitcase and a personal item. This week I’ve set a goal to make a packing list. Next week, I may try a dry run for packing. This is so out of character for me when it comes to packing. Usually I’m the throw everything I own into every bag the night before type of trip packer. I’ve heard rumours that prepared people exist and apparently I’m going to try and become one in the new year. Who knew?

    Tune in next month to learn more about the saga of pre-packing!



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    6 weeks …

    December 5th, 2017 she Posted in Learning & Education No Comments »

    … that’s all the time I have left before I delve back into school. 9 of my 14 textbooks have arrived. My school email address is configured. My desk space has been set up and a laptop is at the ready. All that’s left is pre-reading and paying my tuition. And 4-6 years of study, research, hair pulling, and the occasional maniacal grin.

    When I left university 20+ years ago, I never imagined I’d return. I always assumed that higher education wasn’t for me. My brain didn’t work “that way”. Dropping out was a huge disappointment to my parents at the time. The first in the family to go to university was also the first who didn’t finish. I wasn’t ready to settle down or follow a single path. I worked and tried new things. I lived in multiple countries and continents. As I grew in work and life experience, I found a new passion and new friends. Those new friends helped me figure out the baby steps I’d need to follow to continue in my planned career change.

    Returning to university in my early 30s was the best thing that could have happened to me. With work and life experience under my belt, I had something to contribute to other students and profs that was missing from my first attempts at university immediately following high school. With new technologies available I was able to attend classes while working full-time. I never expected to move from BA to MEd to PhD in quick succession yet here I am. I only wish my dad could have lived to see this. I’m certain he’d be amazed at how everything turned out. Education was one of his fundamental values.

    If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have let myself off the hook for many things. I’d have been less worried about not measuring up and have perhaps enjoyed the journey a bit more along the way. Regardless, I can take comfort in the knowledge that I’m always learning.

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    tempus fugit

    July 31st, 2017 she Posted in Learning & Education No Comments »

    Once upon a time I spent a lot of time blogging. I found a community and enjoyed keeping a record of what was happening in my little world. If nothing else, I could return to it and reflect on past trips or activities. Having started the blog in 2003, then leaving it idle for a few years before picking it back up, it seems I’ve come full circle.

    My last post announced to the world that I was accepted into grad school. Since then, I’ve earned an MEd in Educational Technology and Design from the University of Saskatchewan. This past month, I received an invitation to join cohort 11 in the PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning at Lancaster University.

    I had planned to keep a journal during my time at U Sask but never seemed to find the time. I started and stopped a few handwritten journals and in the end, it’s only my MEd Capstone Project that’s left standing as a testament to my last few years.

    Perhaps I’ll do a better job this time around…

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    February 24th, 2015 she Posted in Learning & Education No Comments »

    Did I mention I got into grad school?  Oh, that might explain why I never blog any more. I barely have time to breathe between juggling work, Browncoat responsibilities and now school. Oddly enough I am supposed to be writing a learning journal to reflect upon what I’m learning in class. It too suffers from my chronic lack of postings. At the moment I have topics identified but never seem to have the time to write while I’m trying to manage the weekly readings, postings and my major semester project… Here’s hoping I survive the first year!

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    Birthday wishes

    July 31st, 2014 she Posted in Learning & Education No Comments »

    For the month of August, I’m making this post sticky. Scroll down to see new posts.

    After a brief chat with PayPal, I was able to determine (and get in writing) that as a private citizen I can use their Donate button to collect funds for my birthday campaign. Feel free to send me electronic cashy monies via PayPal if contacting the University of Saskatchewan’s bookstore directly doesn’t work for you.

    I’d like to think that aside from Drew, I don’t ask for too much from anyone. This year is going to be the exception. I want something very specific for my birthday and for once it’s doesn’t revolve around charity work or volunteering.

    I’m returning to university in fall to begin my Master’s in Education. With Drew retiring soon and tuition to pay, our budget is super tight. I’m hoping that rather than sending gifts our friends and family will consider helping me pay for my course textbooks.

    The U Sask Bookstore does not offer gift certificates or gift cards for purchase online; you have to physically be on campus at the bookstore to purchase them.

    Not to fret though. I contacted the bookstore and advised them of my grand plan to beg for birthday money to spend at the university. Their wonderful staff came up with an alternative for me (and you, generous donor).  You can purchase a gift card of any amount but instead of mailing it out the bookstore will keep it on-file. So as I need books, I can email or phone in my order. The bookstore staff will then delve into the gift cards on file, swipe the card and ship the books to me.

    To purchase a gift card, phone the U Sask bookstore (perhaps ask for the lovely Elaine?)  toll free 1-888-214-8888. Do be sure to say “Hi I would like to purchase a gift card for [y'all know my name] to keep on file. U Sask Bookstore staff will create the gift card, put the name on it and send you a receipt (or keep it with the cards).

    As people make their purchase, Elaine will email or fax you your receipt. You can wish me a Happy Birthday! in the best possible way!

    Elaine recommends that you also contact me and let me know of your purchase so that I’m aware of who my marvelous benefactors are and thank you with gushing praise and all that goodness.

    *fingers and toes crossed that someone other than me thinks this is a fabulous idea*

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