Tūhoro. My one word for 2016.
That was the plan, the goal, the desire for the year.
How is it going so far?
Having to negotiate the traffic to get to across town meetings was an interesting challenge to begin my time in Christchurch. Google maps seems to take me a different way each time. The traffic can be horrific and in places the parking even more so! My new colleagues witnessed one spectacular melt down when a 25 minute drive took me nearly an hour one morning a few weeks in. I have since learnt not to stress if I am a few minutes late. I have also learnt to check google the night before and to leave at least 15 minutes earlier than Aunty Google says to allow.
And I've learnt that just when I've learnt one way roadworks sprout up and I get lost all over again.
Gradually over time I've explored a little. The beaches of New Brighton where I'm living are great. I've been on a Re-Start bus tour to get an idea of what has happened and what is being built in the central city. I've explored Hamner Springs and Diamond Harbour just out of Christchurch and will venture south over the next ten weeks. The South Island certainly has some beautiful spots to explore.
The death of my father less than a fortnight after I moved to Christchurch has been an exploration of a whole different sort than I envisaged when I chose this as my one word for 2016.
I've explored the world of grief. It's a strange phenomenon and one I had only fleeting prior experience of. Dad wasn't well, and hadn't been for a while. I guess you could say his death wasn't totally unexpected. However neither was it expected then and there. I now understand what people mean when they say grief comes in waves and that its okay to dive into that grief and explore it a little. That pushing stuff like that aside does no one any good. My father was an explorer. He was a pilot, a top dresser. He was a pioneer. He started blueberry growing in New Zealand. He led cooperatives and groups of people. He led a large family and is missed. A lot. However his family know how to explore for themselves- thanks to him and Mum, and will continue to do so. I am proud this has turned out to such an apt word for 2016.
I have a new school, a new position and new colleagues.
The first part of the year has been about exploring how all those things fit, about getting to know them and allowing them to get to know me. This term I look forward to exploring our curriculum designing more, as well as the massive job of how we recruit for 40+ staff members collectively. I love that this requires me to explore research and read. I love that I can read during the day and that this forms part of the expectations of my position. Twitter and Extending my online PLN has been a really necessary part of my term. it's very rare to go somewhere new professionally and not meet someone face to face for the first time who you've already connected with online. and those familiar Twitter chats both organised and spontaneous have helped me bridge over a time when I just needed to be by myself but not be all alone.
I've started my masters with a research proposal written and submitted for approval. It's hard doing it my distance but mar research proposal is in for feedback and I look forward to developing it further in Term 2.
So all in all a mixed bag of a first term, but I'm certainly exploring, and will continue to do so. In reflection Im pretty impressed with what I've achieved.
In term 2 my specific goals will eb around exploring more of Christchurch- maybe some parts of the country to the South of Christchurch, and to explore meeting the educators and people in Christchurch outside of my general small work circle.