I am daughter, sister, mother, family, ex-wife, friend, teacher, mentor, colleague, employer, house owner, cook, shopper, pool person, plumber, electrician, interior designer, mechanic, doctor, nurse, mom’s taxi, spectator, lunch packer, beginner blogger…..
After a painful divorce and sharing my experiences, feelings and lessons along the way (still sharing) to woman in different contexts, I have been asked numerous times, “why don’t you write a book” or “why don’t you start a blog?” And I have been on the verge of both but never taken the lid off the pen to make my deeply personal journey more public. Is it because I lack courage? Perhaps. But it’s more than that.
Simply put, I am mother to two precious boys and I was married to their dad…who counts in our lives. If I were to write about my experiences around shifting from a double to a single act, I would want to own my words and my thoughts. But in doing so I have a real fear that I would be putting my family at risk by exposing deeply personal issues that would result in further hurt and damage. Even if I was to go undercover sooner or later someone would put two and two together and bust my identity. Believe it or not no two stories are the same.
And so to those who believed in me to write about and share my story with others, thank you. I am always willing to share my experiences….just on some things sharing might be better done off line.
So the other day I was chatting to my line manager and I was reflecting on my work and she said to me, “you have made a real impact in your area of expertise” and my immediate response was, “have I really?”. She replied, “well maybe not in the traditional sense”.
And that was the moment….
I have been employed at the University of Cape Town (UCT) South Africa for 15 years. I am a senior lecturer in the Education Development Unit: Commerce, teaching Accounting to first year students. My teaching was acknowledged with a Distinguished Teacher award in 2009 (the highest accolade one can receive for teaching at UCT). I am on a teaching only track which does not require research output but does require the majority of my time to be spent on teaching activities (used broadly here) and in forums which focus on teaching and learning in higher education. I am passionate about my job. I love what I do!
Given my scantily sketched context above and the conversation with my line manager, let’s go back to “and that was the moment”….. that I knew I had to WRITE….not on divorce but on teaching!
Colleagues have tirelessly encouraged me to write over the years (and I am thinking of one special lady in particular) but writing formally and in academic style and format does not come easily to me and I have balked against the idea of writing as part of my ongoing reflective practice for ages now….driven myself mad! I have a condition called “writing phobia”. Ring a bell anyone?
While I do not write for publication and attend conferences regularly (because of the career track that I chose), I have much to say about teaching and learning (just ask anyone who has worked with me) but I haven’t had the guts and confidence to put it out there.
And so it’s time (deep breath)to document some of the things that I do (even if only for my record). My hope is to get interested educators to talk about their experiences in teaching and learning in an informal and practical way and encourage other “non-traditionals” to WRITE and share.
So, why don’t I start a BLOG?