Reflecting on 2018

studio

It’s reflection time. I love it. Here are some highlights from 2018:

For the first half of the year, I wrote and published a blog post every day. I always start my day with writing. Mostly I write in my journal. But something about writing for my blog feels different. Blogging helps me figure out what I really think. And it helps me track how my thinking evolves over time. My blog even helps other people – they tell me so!

SPRING. I did a lot of “upskilling” in 2018. In spring, I participated in Seth Godin’s altMBA. It’s a 5-week cohort-based course with lots of great reading, discussion, and exercises on leadership. My favorite reading from that course was The Coaching Habit. In addition to the course content, I loved the actual design of the course and the business model. Very clever.

SUMMER. At the end of summer, I visited Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine. While I didn’t study there, the visit inspired me to pick up my own artistic practice when I returned home. This is the major shift I experienced in 2018: a return to my own art and design work.

FALL. This fall while I was teaching Maker Lab at Ithaca College, I was also participating in a 6-week cohort-based course from the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT. This course is geared toward K-12 educators which I am not. But it was free and with a really smart and international crowd, so I signed up and did my best to apply the reading, discussion, and exercises to college-level teaching and learning. Glad I did it.

In addition to these online courses, I took some hands-on courses locally. I took a 5-session mezzotint course and a 4-session course in metalsmithing. I liked getting ink on my hands in the former and loved shaping and joining brass, silver, and aluminum in the latter. I also took a woodworking workshop at the makerspace and made a Shaker-inspired footstool. Fun! And I took a lamp-making workshop at the public library. That was cool, too.

WINTER. Finally, toward the end of the year, I found a studio mate for a very affordable art studio in an old industrial building. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I’ve been enjoying setting up my half of the space and reconnecting with my tools, materials, and old projects. Projects that I couldn’t really finish when they were set up in my living room or on my dining table. Now I have a space of my own. Well, it’s a shared space. But I like it.

I hope you enjoy reflecting on 2018 and that you are looking forward to 2019.

Onward!

TAKE IT FURTHER

It’s worth mentioning that I’ve significantly cut back on social media. I’ve taken the apps off my phone (I did that this summer when I went to Maine). More recently I’ve blocked most social sites from my web browser. While sometimes they are useful, mostly they are distracting and even anxiety producing. Also, I’m not feeling great about Facebook (and it’s little brother Instagram) as a company. I don’t want to buy what they are selling or contribute to their data gathering activity.

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