While it feels like I have no business taking time out this week to blog, with all the grading I have to do, I committed to blogging once a week for this academic year, and I've pushed through some tough Mondays this fall. Today is going to be my last blog till the new year, and I've come too far to give up now.
I had planned to use this final fall blog to write a bit about what I learned from my blogging journey. But over the weekend, I took this really interesting career test and wanted to share that with you instead. Since one of the things I learned about blogging is that one of the benefits is that I can write about whatever I want, I'm going to do just that.
Discovering My Sparketype
I know that people have mixed feelings about career tests. I get it. For the record, I will take any and all career or personality tests that cross my path. I love them. That said, some are definitely more informative than others, and I don't think any one test can ever tell you who you are. I see them as valuable information and a bit of fun.
I've taken a lot of career tests in my life. A lot. And it might be the timing of this one, but honestly, the Sparketype assessment from The Good Life Project was the most inspiring, useful, YOU TOTALLY GET ME test I've ever taken. This is not a sponsored post or anything like that. It's really good, y'all.
I'm a Maven-Scientist.
Your primary Sparketype is your thing. It's the thing you have to do. It's the thing you can't NOT do. My primary Sparketype is the Maven. Mavens are here to learn. I am so maven! What struck me about this is that while Mavens might end of sharing what they learn or helping others with their knowledge, that's not what it's about for Mavens. For us, learning is intrinsically valuable. This is so me! One of the things that struck me is that the creator of the Sparketype said that if you have amassed a number of degrees or certificates, odds are, you're a Maven.
In addition to our primary Sparketype, we each have a shadow Sparketype. This often shows up as things we're really good at, but it's not what really drives our behavior. Instead, the shadow Sparketype is meant to serve our primary Sparketype. My shadow Sparketype is the Scientist.
Scientists like to solve problems and puzzles. For me, that need to figure things out is in service of my drive to learn.
After I took the test (which is free), it gave me an offer to purchase a "mastery guide" for $20. Now usually I don't do that kind of thing, but something nudged me forward. I printed out the 100-page guide over the weekend, and read through the entire thing in one sitting. What I love about it is that no one needs to blow up their life; instead, we are nudged to look for small but significant ways to integrate our primary Sparketype into our work. In short, we can express our Sparketypes in ANY job, if we start small and build those habits into our daily lives.
There's so much more to it, and I've got a lot to reflect on, but I really wanted to share with all of you in case this might give you the kind of clarity that it's given me. I've been thinking a lot lately about the role that higher education plays in helping students to not only earn a degree and gain access to a stable career, but to also help students identify their purpose and make meaning of their lives. I think this test is going to really give me a foundation for that exploration and research. As a maven, I love research.
Back to grading, but if you do take this test, let me know your Sparketype. I'm super curious to LEARN more about you. :)
I'm one week away from having fulfilled my commitment to myself to blog once a week for this academic year. Rain or shine, sick or well, in the midst of a very active semester, I've stuck with this practice. I expect I'll write a bit about what I learned about weekly blogging in my post next week, so if you're interested in that topic, check back.
My original inspiration for what I wanted this blog to be came from the work of Austin Kleon. I wrote about that in early September. My plan was to share images or ideas with a few brief thoughts. I didn't really end up doing that. Once I get writing, it's hard to stop. So today, in honor of my original vision for blogging, I thought I'd give it a try. Short and sweet.
I have a daily journaling practice, which I've been doing since the spring. I absolutely love it, and I can't recommend it enough. My beloved Moleskine is almost full, and it will be time to start a new journal in the very near future. I was paging back through previous entries, and came upon one that I thought I'd share. I wrote about symbiotic relationships in higher education in my book, which I can't believe I'll get to share with the world in a few months (I just finished the index and final round of edits). Here's my take on symbiotic relationships as demonstrated by grocery carts:
What types of relationships prevail in higher education today? How can we find, celebrate, and build upon existing spaces of mutualism? How can we identify parasitism when we see it, and hold it accountable, without lowering ourselves into the muck with it (empathy over condemnation)?
Oh, one last thing, I wrote a thing about navigating the holidays. Well, I feel like it's better put to say that I captured the ideas and words of two empathetic educators. You can check it out HERE.
I wish you all a miraculous day.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I wouldn't say that I was on vacation because I went to the busiest place on the planet (or what felt like it) during the busiest travel days of the year, but I did take a week off from social media and a few days off from work. It cleared my head a bit, and I'm ready to SLOWLY and STEADILY finish up this semester on a positive note, rather than continuing to try to do one hundred things at once. Note to self: push reset on myself more often.
I thought that today I would do a post on the status of a new endeavor called #higheredreads before I sign off to go watch The Mandalorian with my homebound guys on this gorgeous snow day, our first of the year.
1. Some background
For the past couple of years, I've been posting on social media about wanting to create some sort of reading group. I've had tons of interest every time I post, but time constraints have prevented me from moving it forward. And yet, I keep posting about it because clearly it's something I really want to do, for myself and for our #highered community. I want to do this for myself because I have a big pile of professional reading that I just don't make time for consistently, and some external accountability will give me the structure that I need to stay motivated. I sense I'm not alone in this, and since I love #highered and the people who work in it, I want to help us to have a positive space to connect, learn, and grow.
I posted, yet again, about my desire to do this about a month ago. After tons of people expressed interest, I said, "Oh, what the hell," and decided to just do it.
2. #higheredreads is NOT a book club.
This is going to be a professional reading accountability group. This is not a book club. In a book club, members all read the same book and then meet to discuss it. I think that's great. That said, my sense is that book clubs can be stressful for a lot of us. Personally, I have so many books that I want to read that I don't want someone dictating my reading choices. I also know that while I want to have some structure around my professional reading, I don't want too much structure. Life is so active as it is, and we all have too much stress in our lives. I don't want to be part of something that adds more. If anyone out there wants to start a #highered book club, please, have at it. I think that's a great idea and will probably work well for lots of folks. But #higheredreads will be a bit different.
3. How will it work?
4. What should I read?
5. What else?
What am I missing? If you have any thoughts about this model, or how we can make this even more fun, positive, and supportive, please connect.
I'm committed to blogging once a week for this semester. Thanks for joining me on that journey. Check back Monday-ish for new posts.