Finding time: Writing for InsideOCULA

Although I’m fond of writing, finding the time to write often escapes me.

Losing track of time

Seated at my desk, my gaze drifts to the left, settling on the work calendar that resides just beyond the edge of my peripheral vision. ‘January,’ it boldly declares.

But that can’t be right. January has long since passed. We’re in… March, aren’t we? How did it suddenly become March? (It will be April by the time this gets published).

A corner of an office space with a wall-mounted calendar showing January 2024. The calendar is opened to a page with a vibrant red banner for January, below which is a stock image of a smiling woman at a desk talking to someone out of frame. Above the calendar is a poster labeled 'Psychology Wellness Centre.' To the right of the calendar, pinned to a fabric cubicle wall, are a couple of whimsical pins.
My calendar, sits open to January 2024. However, it is March…

The unyielding demands of work and its toll on the writing process

Lately, I’ve found myself drifting away from one of my most cherished passions: writing. The relentless demands of work have left me feeling utterly burned out. Typically, the fall ushers in a whirlwind of teaching responsibilities and research consultations, leaving little room for anything else. I usually breathe a sigh of relief when the winter term rolls around, as it tends to bring a lighter, more manageable schedule. But not this year. This year, the reprieve I’ve come to expect never arrived.

A calendar of lost opportunities: The disappearance of writing

The months have slipped by, each stealing a piece of my time and energy, leaving my cherished hobby of writing in the shadows. January vanished in a whirlwind of preparation for the Ontario Library Association Super Conference, a kaleidoscope of ideas and rehearsals. February followed, consumed by the meticulous task of compiling an award dossier for a colleague, each detail a testament to their excellence. And March? March arrived with a breath of fresh air, its pleasant weather a small consolation in the relentless march (pun intended) of days.

A printed document titled 'Professional Teaching Philosophy' rests on a wooden desk. The text is partially visible and discusses personal experiences and beliefs related to teaching. It mentions completing a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree, working at a university, and embracing new challenges. A date, 'Mar 7, 2024,' is visible at the bottom, suggesting a recent update or creation of the document. This was a substantial piece of writing I completed earlier this year.
This year I also managed to sit down and write my Professional Teaching Philosophy a document that has been in the works for years.

Before March, which allowed me to have additional time for reflection and introspection, my most significant recent endeavor in writing was a reflective blog post composed in mid-January. This piece, written in anticipation of the OLA Super Conference, look at the nuances and significance of engaging in meaningful conversations within the context of presentations.

A glimmer of hope: Rediscovering writing at the OLA Super Conference

Yet, upon reflection, I realize writing hasn’t been entirely absent from my life. At the OLA Super Conference, an unexpected opportunity emerged. After our session, I was approached by an editor from InsideOCULA, the Ontario College and University Library Association’s official publication. It’s a platform dedicated to fostering a vibrant academic library community by highlighting the various programs, activities, and research initiatives across Ontario’s university and college libraries. Familiar with my interest in blogging, they inquired if I’d be interested in contributing a piece for their online publication.

The honour of being invited to write

Receiving an invitation to write is not only a profound honour but also a robust testament to the value of our work. Such recognition reaffirms our efforts and empowers us to share our insights and achievements with a broader audience, effectively expanding our intellectual reach.

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to receive several such invitations. Notably, in 2016 and 2017, my innovative use of Minecraft to create an interactive learning environment for students captured the attention of educators and librarians. My inaugural presentation on this passion project took place at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s Digital Learning Conference, aimed at educators. This was swiftly followed by another opportunity to share my insights at the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association’s (OLITA) Digital Odyssey conference at OCAD University, with a session titled ‘Level up your Minecraft club’.

An invitation to my readers

I warmly invite you to explore the article I crafted for InsideOCULA. It’s a piece close to my heart, where I delve into our OLA Super Conference presentation. I believe it offers valuable insights that could resonate with many. Your support and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

(By invitation) Tucci, R. (2024, April 4). ChatGPT chronicles: Navigating the emotional landscape of generative AI in higher education. InsideOCULA.

Header image created by ChatGPT4.

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