Saturday, March 10, 2018

Final Reflections for #CCCWrite

So, this week the Final Reflections post totally escaped me! I had kept up with doing a post each week for #CCCWrite... until the last one. I've tagged my other #CCCWrite posts here, and what's great about the blogosphere is that the door is always open, so I'm going to catch up now with the final post.

Which means, first of all, a HUGE THANKS to Michelle for setting this up. Having this as something to do each week was something that really meant a lot to me; I came here to take care of my dad on hospice six weeks ago, just as #CCCWrite was getting started, when the hospice nurse told me my dad had days or maybe a few weeks to live. I thought I would be here two or three weeks, and then I would be home, using #CCCWrite to keep me focused while dealing with the sadness of losing my dad. And he was indeed so sick when I got here, barely able to stay awake, totally ready to die. Hence the hospice prognosis.

But here's what happened instead: it's now six weeks later, my dad is so happy with the people helping him at home, cooking good food for him, watching movies (SO MANY MOVIES) with him... that hospice has now revised its prognosis to weeks or even months. I'm going to stay another two weeks to see if this steady-state carries on, and if it does, I will go home for a while, who knows for how long, until hospice calls me back again.

Of course, the lesson is that all you can say for sure is TODAY, one day at a time. And in all the chaos of having suddenly brought myself here for an uncertain stay, it was so nice having the #CCCWrite prompts to help me to think about what is going on. My first post was about We All Need Help, and I have learned that lesson in a new way, navigating the world of hospice and homecare and HHAs and PCAs and  CNAs and RNs and APRNs and on and on and on. A new world to me and, now that I understand better how it works, a world I can navigate on my dad's behalf (he has no real idea who all the people are as they come and go, but he likes them very much).

So, my main goal for the Club was just to keep up in this chaotic time, and I did (almost). And I am glad I did. Because...

... my unexpected outcome is something awesome: I am going to InstructureCon this summer, thanks to the fabulous people at Instructure, and my mission is to work with them on how to create more/better opportunities for people to connect and share, building digital trails at the conference and beyond the conference that can amplify all that InstructureCon energy outwards and onwards. And why did this happen...? It happened because of the discussions I had with people at Instructure after the blog post I wrote about (not) going to conferences as an adjunct.

To me, those are the kind of great "chain reactions" that can happen when you put your thoughts and hopes online, brainstorming out loud about the problems you face, asking for help, and sharing the solutions that you find. And as I get ready to think about this conference adventure during the summer, I will be able to go back and read people's #CCCWrite posts about their conference experiences, and that will give me insights I can use as I plot and plan for the InstructureCon adventure to come.

At that conference, I will finally, after all these years, be meeting Michelle Pacansky-Brock in person, which is very exciting... and in the meantime, I'll be seeing her online, along with other people I've connected with during this experience. My participation in the Club was pretty limited because of "circumstances beyond my control" (in fact, it gave a whole new meaning to "beyond my control"...!), but even with that limited participation, #CCCWrite has propelled me forward towards an incredible new  opportunity, and I am very (VERY) grateful to Michelle for being the #CCCWrite catalyst.

Blog on, everybody!!!!!!!!!

And here's a graphic for our journey: I didn't even put this panda on there; someone else did! But I like having the panda, of course. :-)

From Anne of Green Gables: I'm just as ambitious as ever. Only, I've changed the object of my ambitions. I'm going to be a good teacher-- and I'm going to save your eyesight. Besides, I mean to study at home here and take a little college course all by myself. Oh, I've dozens of plans, Marilla. I've been thinking them out for a week. I shall give life here my best, and I believe it will give its best to me in return. When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes--what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows--what new landscapes--what new beauties--what curves and hills and valleys further on.

More Quotes from Children's Literature.


  1. Laura, so glad to know you have more time with your father. It's good to know that, through your conversations online, connections were made to those who can make changes -- like in conference opportunities. Thanks for all your sharing and help, ~ Sheri

  2. And thanks for the Lit quotes -- they're awesome!

    1. Thank you, Sheri! I have snagged several of those for my inspiration blog. Have you seen my graphics about reading? I am always preaching the gospel of reading: Reading Graphics.

  3. I'm planning to go to InstructureCon, too! Hope to see you there! It is nice that you have had more time with your Dad. I'm sure it has been really nice for him to have you there.

    1. How great, Nancy! And it was fun to share the InstructureCon news with my dad; he and my mom used to go to Boulder often, so he was excited I would be having a Colorado adventure. You and Michelle and I will have to have a #CCCWrite rendezvous!!!

  4. Laura,

    I am so glad your dad is given more time.

    I applaud your resilience on keeping up with the post and life while taking care of your dad. The love and care from your family must have gave him the infusion and increase his life.

    Best wishes for the journey ahead.

    Let us continue the connection.


    1. I've thought about online connections a lot during this time. My dad learned how to use a PC back in the day (he retired in 1992), and he is a master of Excel spreadsheets. But he never really figured out how the internet works as a social space, to connect with others. I think he would have really enjoyed that, and I am always so impressed when I hear about people in their 80s and 90s who are using the Internet as a way to stay connected. WE NEED CONNECTIONS. :-)

    2. That really is what life is all about, isn't it? Whether online or in-person. I'm glad your dad got this extended time and you will have the memory of being with him AND I'm super excited about you coming to the conference and seeing what you do in the meantime. Take care. SD

    3. You know I took that panda as a divine sign, ha ha. I went to look for a graphic to add to the post, and there was that panda. :-)

  5. Laura, I have been wondering about your dad. It seems your Love was just what he needed. There are so many life lessons shared in your final post: the value of living for today, the value of love, the value of supporting one another, and, of course, the value of sharing.

    While I’d love to take credit for you going to InstructureCon this year, you need to know that YOU earned it! Your selfless efforts to share and lift others up even amidst unknown and emotional situations are admirable. When I meet people who are reluctant to “give their stuff away,” I try to help them see all of the beauty that comes from sharing. It’s hard to change that mindset but I always speak of you. You are such a role model and I’m grateful for all you did to help #CCCWrite happen.

    Can’t wait to sit down with you in Keystone! :) Be well, my friend. Enjoy today.

  6. So true about the sharing, Michelle! And as I watch my dad's friends of many decades coming here to visit him each week, I realize that the sharing online and the sharing in-person are all part of that same good energy: different spaces, different technology... but with the same good energy that happens when people connect. And we will get to enjoy some connect-in-person at Keystone! Yay!


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