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...