creature of creative habit

Today I met with one of my mentors and we discussed how as humans we are creatures of habit who will stay with what we know even if it isn’t ideal, rather than embark on change. My mentor discussed a creative course she’d taken and said that it helped her “remember what it’s like to set aside time to be lured into the unexpected”.

This made me stop and think that this has been what my LCP journey has been about. I haven’t learned to create a masterpiece or become a symphony musician, but I have learned to remember the joy of having the safe space in which I can learn.

My mentor also discussed the need for us, once we’ve made a choice, to act as if it is the right direction, to observe it as we live with it, and if we have to, we can stop, reconsider and go back to plan B. There is time.


student services and workplace info lit

Last week, I met with one of my mentors, Lisa, to discuss how she incorporates workplace info lit into her Student Services department and some of the results of the Student Services Aligment Project.

We discussed how the new student services model supports one of the recommendations from the Ivany Report, to bring people into the workforce who have been traditionally unable to form an attachment to the labour market. Through the Student Services Alignment Project, NSCC is attempting to ensure that the supports are in place to help students experience success in their employment readiness training so that they can begin to form these attachments and enter the labour market. Some of the new initiatives include:

  • New roles for student services staff, including identifying a specific advisor for each student.
  • The Advising piece now happens right away, to try to help students before they reach crisis points in the term.
  • Ability for students to ask for supports and accommodations they need, and to work with a counsellor to develop these supports if they aren’t sure.
  • Programs such as Achieve, which help students with life skills.
  • Incoming student survey individual follow up for students who identify they would like assistance with or more support in a specific area.
  • More support for faculty in helping students with “soft skills” — At Lisa’s campus, a series of instructional sessions have been developed which can be incorporated into the classroom:

Akerley Workplace Skills courses.1Akerley Workplace Skills courses.2


My creativity mentor recommended a 40-day writing course to me, and I am in day 35! It’s been a fascinating journey to unravel and recreate myself as a writer, and it has revealed something in me that I didn’t expect. So, here I go, a Shakespearean sonnet about the place I love the most:

Chéverie, My Love

What mys’try do you hide within your walls

What story will you tell when layers lift

What ghosts will beckon when my spirit calls

What words upon my page be cast adrift?


The ocean breezes come and go at will

New tides each day cast stories at my feet

The eagle sits upon a branch, so still

Within the space where tide and time do meet


You’ve seen them come and go, so many loves

Fair-footed, feathered, differently attired

Birds of the air, fleet foxes, sweet young wives

You’ve witnessed through the years and much admired


And ‘neath the faded paper of your world

The story of your life to me unfurls.

the next half of my lcp

Yesterday, I met with my mentor, Mary Jane, and we discussed the next steps in our LCP work. We discussed some of the career-related training she has taken in her new term role as a learning strategist and how it fits well with our LCP goals, and we are looking at the possibility of tying this into how we’d like to share some of our learning. Here are the presentation opportunities we’d like to explore:

MJ_Apr 27_17 planning meetingMJ_Apr 27_17 planning meeting.2

creative writing

My creativity mentor, Kathleen, sent me some information about a 40-day writing program,

I’ve been following James Clear, who was also recommended to me by Kathleen, and a recent email I received discusses continuous improvement. In this post, Clear says:

“If you get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.”

Small steps. I just convinced myself to sign up for the 40 day writing project, starting in June!


21st century and digital literacy skills at NSCC

This morning, the Central Library Team met with Lisa Boyle, who I had asked to be one of my mentors when she was in the role of Academic Chair, Civil and Building Technologies. She has since moved to the role of  Manager, Teaching and Learning and is embarking on a renewal of the CCEDP program. I was excited to hear that the newly minted program for new instructors will include coursework on understanding the 21st century learner. It will also address digital literacies. I look forward to seeing how we train our faculty in these areas how I can help build library collections which support this work. Stay tuned!

keeping nscc students in mind

Today, I met with my mentor, Antonia, to discuss the 2016 NSCC Fall Student Success Survey, which was delivered to students in the fall. We discussed some of the data in the survey that supports the 21st century and digitial skills research I am completing. I plan to review the survey results in light of my research.

Antonia also suggested I get in touch with NSCC staff who are delivering the Educause survey related to technology, which was just sent out to selected students and faculty. I also plan to review the Educause research as a whole.


Yesterday, I also chatted with Darlene, another of my mentors, about physical literacy, terminology which continues to turn up in my research on 21st century workplace skills. Physical literacy, as defined by Physical and Health Education Canada, is:

“Individuals who are physically literate move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person (PHE Canada, 2010). 

Physically literate individuals consistently develop the motivation and ability to understand, communicate, apply, and analyze different forms of movement. They are able to demonstrate a variety of movements confidently, competently, creatively and strategically across a wide range of health-related physical activities. These skills enable individuals to make healthy, active choices that are both beneficial to and respectful of their whole self, others, and their environment.”

While this literacy doesn’t fall within the standard 21st century skills I am researching, it is an important consideration in having a workforce which is healthy and working at its optimal level. Darlene’s practice of incorporating healthy living into her curriculum is important in ensuring the next generation of employees has this workplace skill.