Personal development project!

An assignment was given to me in my EPE class in university to come up with a Personal Development Plan.  We were given freedom in what we chose, but it was supposed to be something that was beneficial to our physical, emotional, spiritual well being.

It was no question to me what I was going to do.  I already felt like I was unbalanced in my life and I was aftaid that my family was feeling the brunt of this imbalance.  So I chose to direct my plan to spending more time with my family amongst the chaos of school, work, and family.

We had to fight the battle of a busy lifestyle, with becoming organized and scheduled in order to make the plan work.  Sometimes the weather was a challenge to plans that we made, but there was always a solution when it was about spending time together as a family.

This is important for me to put into practice so that when I have a full time career I will know how to plan for family. Too often we let life take control and we lose our time in a blink of an eye.  I want to be mindful of today and remember what I have right in front of me.

The following is a reflection of my journey, I hope you enjoy!

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What did I accomplish?

So at the beginning, in my pledge to being an engaged citizen, I committed to meeting with an elder from the community.  In that I was going to offer a service of kindness and helpfulness in return for some wisdom or knowledge about life.

To be honest this was a rocky journey and I felt for most of the semester I was going out searching for these moments.  At times these moments would present themselves naturally to me, and at other times I struggled finding time or a way to MAKE it happen.  I wrote make in capital letters because that started to bother me.  Should this process of being an engaged citizenship be a forced thing? or should it come naturally?

Anyways, as I begin to reflect I partially felt like a failure in this department of my assignment.  I felt like I struggled with time and energy.  So I sat back to figure out what ate up all my time and I started to giggle. Why? you ask?….. I will tell you.

Aside from my school work, travel, family and work I also volunteer my time to help others and my friends.  I volunteer to: play music at places, help teachers at the school with their christmas recital preparation, help friends with fundraisers/functions, drive kids from the school to their games and activities becuase other parents are unable too.. and so on.

So what was to be the real purpose of the process of engaged citizenship? Was it to do a certain action regularly to make sure we can check off some box of – I DID THAT – or was it to open our eyes to pay attention of how we can offer time out of our lives to help others around us?  To be aware of what is going on around us?  To become citizens that do instead of citizens that complain that something should be done?

So I know in my heart of hearts that I am truely engaged in my community, my kids, my students, their families, people around me, my family, and being in the moment.  So in that sense I feel like I have passed with flying colors!

DON’T COMPLAIN, DO!

Reviewed….

In all honesty this is probably the first time I have read through a review of my work that was handed in.  This process causes me such anxiety.  I had to wrk up the courage and physically make myself read through both reviews.  It was easy to hear the good stuff, but when it came to the more criticizing part of things I became irritated and frustrated.

I don’t like to hear that I am not doing the best job.  Even though I know I have struggled a bit with this assignment, I didn’t want to hear anything negative from anyone else.  I give what I can, and I know sometimes that is not enough.  I have become okay with that though, just in order to get through this difficult time of hard work.

I appreciate the feedback and have found that some may think my commitment has not been quite clear or lost direction.  I have found this is because you can not necessarily force relationship or make someone else’s time frame fit yours.  That is actually a selfish thing to do.  So instead I have been alert and waiting for opportunities to be able to engage with elders of my community.

It is hard to keep giving when you are starting to feel empty.

Change of heart!

In my process of becoming an active citizen for ESST317, I found myself evaluating what that process should look like.  Even though Audrey and Katia have probably said it over and over, it is hard for us as students to change our way of thinking like a university student and becoming an active citizen.

It finally dawned on me that this is not some ASSIGNMENT, but it should be a practice of engaging in something important on a daily basis.  Being aware of the people around us, the moment we are in and engaging.  This is actucally living and engaging instead of going from point A to point B everyday of our lives.

This weekend we had some friends that came to see us from Steinback, Manitoba.  They are a very musical family similar to ours.  Their three children play fiddle, cello, and banjo.  So yesterday as they were all playing together we decided to pack up our instruments and go to the closest nursing home and jam in front of them (share our gifts for them to enjoy).  IMG_2982

It was so wonderful!  We did not call ahead, we just walked in, and the looks of the faces of all the residents was priceless.  Usually it is a quiet audience, but yesterday they were hooting and hollering, clapping, smiling, and even tears were shed because of memorable songs.

Needless to say, being an active citizen should come from the heart.  It should be something that becomes a part of your life because you see a need for it.  It should not be some assignment that you force yourself to do for a mark or a grade.  This was a wonderful moment for me as I was able to see the elderly be emotionally moved by the music.  It was also a wonderful, teachable moment for the the children to see how they can connect with others.

citizenship flop or not?

So I believe that I had one of the most packed up weeks of my life.  I had friday off, but in kicked family duties and motherly roles.  I had dentist and doctor appointments that I had to run all over Saskatchewan for ( as I live in a village ).  This weekend was the Treaty Education conferance as well I had two live performances to be at.  One on Saturday night and the other on Sunday afternoon.

I was beating myself up as I wanted to help out my neighbor Hank and be able to visit with him.  It wasn’t until I realized that in doing the two performances/gigs, that I was giving of my own time and resources to help a group of young teens be able to raise money for their trip to Cape Breton.

I find that often in times we get caught up in the chaios of life and we are trying to juggle to many things in order to fufill obligations and commitments.  When it is in those times that we are actually engaging in our goals or purpose without be aware.

I believe that the goal in our social studies course is to become and engaged citizen, make a footprint, realize ways that we can be a better version of ourselves.  This weekend amidst the hurricane of duties and commitments I was being a good citizen to those around me that were in need of my service.  I was able to listen to the words of two elders on saturday that shared their story and their wisdom of life.

One thing that resonated with me from listening to the elders is that we need to focus on the positive.  We can not continually be blaming the past for where we are in life, but grab onto who and where we are today and hold onto the positives that we have now.IMG_2584Look at these beautiful faces! I feel that I have accomplished making a postive footprint this week!

my citizenship

To be honest I have become overwhelmed by the expectations as I sit and read through each syllabus.  When I find that I have been asked to complete an assignment that requires more time of my schedule, I ask where? where do I find more time.

I am travelling for classes, I have three kids, a husband, I teach music lessons (in order to bring home some sort of an income) All of these things take TIME!!

So how can I do any of these things well if I can’t put in the time to them?  This is my process as I am tring to think of a way to become an active individual in some sort of a social awareness that connects to treaty, curriculum, family, well being, and I can do well to recieve a passing mark.

So I sat down and wrote down the things I am not willing to give up to make this action happen.  I am NOT willing to give up more time with my children:

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So the girls and I talked and we decided that one thing we have learned from treaty education and learning about the culture and tradition of the First Nations Peoples, is that they hold their elders as important individuals of society that impart wisdom, knowledge and they need to be cared for.

Our white society does not hold the same value towards elders and their important role of our well being.  So what does this mean and what can we do?

We are going to make a commitment to a few of the elders in our community maybe even one, named Hank Nickel.  He has been on my heart as he is quite elderly, and unable to move around.  I thought it would be wonderful to meet with him once a week and exchange my ability to help somewhere and ask if he would sit for tea and share his stories of life.

This would connect to the curriculum when exploring interactions and interdependence of nations, or even dynamic relationships.  Juxtapose different communities, cultures, races, and their values and traditions.  What makes a society and where that society places their value within the people.  Acutal curriculum that I could connect to are: PA6.3 Explore examples and explain how people, such as ethnic minority groups, the disabled, youth, and the elderly, may be affected by injustice or abuses of power as well as RW6.2 Contribute to initiating and guiding change in local and global communities regarding environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Sunday will be our day to set up times to go to tea and do something for an elder of our community.

Contribution to others learning!

Well, I feel that I was able to help only a little when it came to contributing to others learning.  The reason being that I was either working when people were posting questions or by the time I had seen the post or question it had already been answered by others. Overall I did the best that I could to help anyone out if I had the proper knowledge.

4 ways I was able to help out:

Twitter-

through twitter I would post educational information or resources that I found pertained to the class, but also that were some good tools for the classroom.

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Class-

I feel that I love to share and chat so I always loved to be able to share my opinion in class as well as share with what our group had discussed.  It was really hard for me to be quiet when Katia would ask for someone to speak that doesn’t normally!

Google +

Google was great! I have had to use it for another class.  This was the place that was hard to help out on because others were so quick to respond! But I managed to get a few helpful tips out there!

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Blogs:

I found that I was more encourageing with blogs, but I did feel that I had a moment of devils advocate on some certain topics pertaining to social activism. 😈

All in all this was a great experience and so much better to learn with an amazing group of people that helped me out in return!

Activism ONLINE….

This is something that I steer clear from… If there is one thing that I find irritating on facebook or online it is people posting there stance on a certain issue, whether it be political, religious, or even racial and then to see the banter that it creates for everyone to see.

After reading Katia’s post my point of view was altered a bit.  I still have a tension within my own life of what is worth posting and not.  If I can’t decide or if it feels to uncomfortable for me I tend to not post or react.

I have made a rule for myself to not get involved in any sort of banter online to deal with big issues, because I feel that my words are lost over the hundreds of other people that comment and in turn what has that accomplished?

I feel that if people are making educated posts, comments, and standing up for the right reasons that the activism can be positive and influential.  More times than not I feel like it becomes a boxing ring and a lot of people become inhuman and animal like in there attacks against each other.

This may be wrong of me, but I like to stay out of the lime light.