The past 6 months have held some big milestones and new beginnings for both of us.
Where to begin… Let’s start with Brendon. Here are the important facts:
- In March, Brendon officially submitted his thesis. (Congrats, Breno!!)
- He will be returning to NZ for two weeks in July (very soon) to defend his thesis. A panel of 3 markers have read and evaluated his thesis, and after an hour-long quest period, Brendon will hopefully receive word that he will have passed his thesis.
- Just over a month ago (in May), Brendon was hired on with the City of Red Deer to design and conduct a qualitative research project on the issue of homelessness in Red Deer. His office building is but a 3 minute walk or a 2 minute jog from our apartment building. So far, the job has proven to be very thought-provoking and meaningful. It’s been neat to be able to apply his research in a new context. The territory still feels quite new and it is unsure at this time where this opportunity may lead; regardless, having a job in a related field has brought a new sense of ‘settledness’ to our lives, which we are both grateful to embrace.
What have I been up to? The past 6 months have marked an intense season of growth, both professionally and personally. I started reading again (a big step for someone who read a very limited number of books since university), and everything kind of unfolded from there. If you want the long story, I’d be happy to share it with you over coffee sometime, but the short of it is that:
- I had an incredible and very formative year teaching Grade 2, experiencing a level of satisfaction in teaching that I didn’t think was possible. A big part of that was the collaboration & team teaching that happened between my 3 fabulous grade partners and I, and the learning that transpired as a result.
- I have taken on the role of Literacy Lead at my school, and have been excitedly devouring literacy texts like chocolate.
- Although it hasn’t been in my plans for very long, I have decided to pursue my Masters (in Education) through the University of Alberta. I start my 3 week summer residency tomorrow, and will continue to teach full time while completing my Masters by distance over the school year.
Other highlights of the past few months have included:
A trip out to the West Coast and reunions with Dale, Amber, & Jack in Kelowna, as well as Mark, Laurel, & Emery in Victoria.
A trip to Vancouver in June to make Mel’s Sufjan dreams come true. Little did we know we would have the unspeakable honour of sitting in the front row, thanks for our incredibly kind and gracious sister Al.
Brendon is playing baseball in the “Twilight League” of Red Deer and reliving the joys of the ball park. Many sunflower seeds have been eaten and weak singles hit.
Mel had the chance to attend a literacy conference in Seattle and hear a bunch of her literacy heroes speak, and even talk with a few of them too. An inspiring & formative learning experience, for sure.
So this summer will be a little different for us. No cross-continental road trips planned. Still hoping to seize opportunities and find moments of refreshment and connection in-between pursuing our respective endeavours.