Today I had four surprise conversations over Zoom calls. My morning #educoffee was with a long time colleague from my campus who wanted some help working out a way to help facilitate largish online meetings. Mission success, she found the solution, I was just there to help test.
Another meeting (via my appointment system at https://kenbauer.youcanbook.me) was with a former colleague now teaching at another institution with questions about assessment. It was so nice to hear their voices and see their smiles on screen.
The other two were even more surprising. Afternoon #educoffee was with an instructional designer from my institution and we had an excellent conversation that lasted close to an hour. I had not met her before and I am so glad she “took a chance” coming into a virtual coffee shop where she may know none of the regulars. Turns out it was just me. I do hope others that may be shy jump in. We are friendly.
The fourth meeting was setup via my reservation system as well but with one of my students. Well, sort of. One of my students from 1995. She is working with a colleague on a very interesting education project with a social good angle. No other details for now but I was honoured that they wanted to ask my advice and possible collaboration. Sounds like a great project. Yes indeed, that was my first group of students here at the Tec de Monterrey and it was the semester I taught high school mathematics.
The core questions:
- What did you do today? The introduction covers much of it. Good conversations with family as well for breakfast together at the table (well some of us, timing can be tricky with all of the online learning of everyone here), some writing, some systems admin tasks and two invited speakers (thanks Lucio and Candelario) to my TI2011 class.
- What did you enjoy? Those conversations with colleagues and friends. Still having the ability to connect with others is so important and I am fortunate to have that. Some of our students, colleagues, family members and friends are alone/lonely and need our help.
- What did you find difficult? Those pending tasks are piling up. I’ll get to them.
- What has changed? My days are longer often but I can truly be flexible about what times I am working and what times I am not. Weaving reading, practicing guitar, time with family with work is a skill that I am finding interesting to navigate. Home and work in the same physical space has advantages.
And then, the stretch questions:
- What are you grateful for? Health. My family and loved ones are healthy.
- Which changes do you want to keep? This virtual coffee will remain even when going “back to the office”. I find it a good routine for my days.
- What are you scared of? This is going to be long.
- What has stayed the same? Still keeping my sleep routine, sleeping with no problem.
- When did you last laugh? This evening with good memories of my student Lucio who was one of our guest speakers.
Featured Image Credit
This photo by Alan Levine of our friend Brian Lamb with participants at #UdgAgora brings back nice memories and I’ve been reading and thinking about Brian’s (and Alan’s) influence on my praxis this week.