2022 was an interesting year. The world started opening back up, which after 2 years in isolation, was exciting and scary all at the same time.
My teaching evolved into something different, with my teaching philosophy changed in a way I didn’t think it ever would. The changes largely due to our forced COVID experiences of the past few years has me thinking in new and exciting ways that I am wanting to continue to explore from the lens of how best to support my students but also myself and other educators (from the perspective of Mepham’s matrix of autonomy, fairness, well-being – an idea carried over from my PhD days). Regardless, I’m excited to continue the journey of how best I can support the future software designers and developers of the world. Indeed some of it is trial and error but I am thankful for my students who, even though at times are forced to come along for the ride with me as I teach core and required classes, nonetheless come along and provide me with open and honest feedback along the way. Engineering students really are a great bunch to hang out with throughout my days!
I attended my first academic conference since coming on board with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Regina in 2017. Wrote two peer-reviewed and accepted papers to boot! The conference – CEEA-ACEG’s (Canadian Engineering Education Association) annual event – this year it was at York University in Toronto – my first conference since my PhD days. The conference was ever so fun as I got to link up with like-minded educators in engineering and science. Folks met over Zoom over the last few years but it was nice to connect with them in-person. The CEEA folks are so inspiring and I am glad to have decided to be attached in some way to the community.
I received official recognition at work for my experiential and reflective-based teaching practices and got to meet others who also demonstrated interesting and unique teaching practices who also received similar recognition as well. Even more crazy was I got a certificate to highlight my work as well as attend an event where I got to meet and shake the hand of our new university president and our new dean of engineering. I have realized I am thankful and grateful for having a gig that officially recognizes folks who take the time to go outside the box and take initiative to explore new ways of exploring and honing their craft in a safe-to-fall way (Kudos to Dr. Alec Couros for creating these fantastic teaching recognitions). My old gig did this too, they just took more of a fail-safe approach to it all – a kind of “ya explore away, but if the shit hits the fan, the fun (might) need(s) to be over.” Having said this, I am also ever so grateful for my past experiences too as without key folks giving this crazy guy a little leeway and flexibility to be crazy and creative I wouldn’t be who I am today (i.e. super thankful for the Jacky Hoffert’s, Cindy Ikola’s, Shannon Waugh’s, Chris Zimmer’s and Wilbour Craddock’s of the world)
Pippin, Nova, and I went through a rather scary event where Pippin almost lost his life due to a bloated stomach. Gladly he is back to his normal and annoying, but super awesome self. He really is our world and we love this little big guy ever so much!
COVID finally hit Nova and I and let me tell ya, it was an experience I would have rather done without but seemed inevitable. As we near the close of December we are both COVID-clear but I am still experiencing some long-COVID-type symptoms – the dry coughing, brain fog, and sinus fun. Hopefully, this clears soon. I was one of the unfortunates who during COVID lost all sense of taste and smell along with all of the other stomach and sinus fun. Thankful for vaccines though as maybe it could have been a worse time
I also re-started the gym thing after a 2-year hiatus due to COVID. This has had a really positive impact on me mentally and physically as I try to get back on track to having more healthy internals (I’ll likely always be a big dude as food is life, but I can tighten up the internals indeed). Also if I can get rid of some of those external “COVID cupcakes” mostly seen around the stomach region (haha), gained throughout COVID, even better! 🙂
Overall, reflecting back on 2022 – hills and valleys aside – another fine year! Stay tuned for my albums of the year coming soon!