Monday, April 25, 2011

If you had 365 days?

If you had 365 days to pause, reflect, gather your breathe, investigate, rejuvenate, work on positively impacting the world, playing, being here now — what would you do? That is now my question.
But first a look at the last 4380 days. Since 1999, I have been teaching, directing, creating, exploring, collaborating, learning at Champlain College. The college has grown and changed and so have I. When I first began there it was known locally for professionally focused 2 year business degrees, today the college is known nationally even internationally, for its career bound baccalaureate degrees in creative media.

In those 4000+ days I have been fortunate to be able to work with wonderful colleagues and create and direct the following:
  • First the Multimedia and Graphic Design (MMG) program with 15 students that grew to over 300 (now Graphic Design & Digital Media, Digital Filmmaking but perhaps more fully the BFA in Creative Media),
  • Followed by the game programs—game art & animation, game design, game programming— which followed a similar trajectory,
  • GIV IT came directly after MMG and to date I've been fortunate that over 500 teens have spent an art-techie's dream of Shangri-La at the end of June on Champlain's campus with its faculty and students,
  • EMC began with an endowed chair and the idea of learning while doing ensconced in a community of students, staff, faculty and stakeholders,
  • our premiere project BREAKAWAY with the United Nations to address violence against women completed the launch of 5 chapters in 3 years and is now being played in over 135 countries,
  • And now the MFA in Emergent Media—a degree for innovators, artists, technologists, world changers.
Also since 1999, my life has experienced a lot of change as well. I went from a young, uncertain married mother with a vibrant freelance computer graphic business working with multi-nationals to an adult standing firmly on the other side of motherhood and life.

In 4000+ days, I've experienced incredible moments and the darkest of days. Among them I've:
  • raised an incredible daughter to a wonderful young woman
  • left an impossible marriage
  • released a freelance business for education
  • fell in love with Springer Spaniels, birds, and cats
  • learned to date in my 40s
  • made wonderful new friends
  • threw a lot of parties
  • married an incredible man
  • sold a house, built a house
  • planted LOTS of gardens
  • visited some of the poorest places in the world and some of the most sophisticated
  • grew to love scores of students
  • vacationed yearly with all my siblings and their families
  • and experienced an awful lot of loss: a dream, a marriage, precious pets, dear family, inspiring friends.
But all of that is what I DID do. What comes next? As of July 1, 2011 I have been granted a year long sabbatical! What I wish to do after a long, sun-filled nap is to re-energize, reorganize, re-envigorate, and reconfigure my life. On my wish list, is to:
  • reconnect with my family, my friends, myself
  • create—paint, draw, create interactive art, play with game engines, write more, share
  • reflect perhaps more blogging, perhaps a book
  • spread BREAKAWAY
  • be outdoors more, play with my Springers
  • travel—particularly to Europe, Africa, the US.
  • volunteer, connect—I would love to commit more time to the cause to end violence against women, I would love to influence education more deeply and in new ways, I will be on the Board of Trustees for the Vermont Council on the Arts.
  • make a new home and spend more time with Jim in Rochester.
So that's the grand list. Now to see what I can do! 365 days is both frightening and inspiring! So send me your thoughts, ideas, times to visit...


  1. I'm going to miss you so much, Ann, but am excited to see what unfolds from such a creative mind with a little more rest + breathing room.... and I hope, selfishly, you'll still have time occasionally: maybe for coffee or a hike, instead of a meeting. :)

  2. My mind might just stop!
    But that might be OK too.
    Yes coffee and hikes & you all WILL see me perhaps with less distracting my mind :-) Too awesome a group of masters for me to just leave alone!