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JBB’s Final Thoughts Episode 34: Maybe I’m Not As Done As I Thought

JBB’s Final Thoughts Episode 34: Maybe I’m Not As Done As I Thought

I thought I had a pretty good idea where I was going to want to focus my energies to get to the next level of my life’s journey. Then I talked to fellow-Full Sail University refugee, Mel, and I’m not so sure anymore about those plans and my role as an educator. Great.

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Joe Bustillos here.

Last podcast I thought I had an idea about what I wanted to do and what I wanted to focus my energies on so that I might get to the next level in my personal journey. There’s no saying that those thoughts weren’t on the mark, but then I had a good conversation with my fellow Full Sail refugee, Mel, and it really got me thinking, “maybe I’m not really done yet.” “Done” as in “I’ve put in my time as an educator, and it’s nearing time for me to find the non-education next chapter.” Yeah, all that surprised me too. Granted, while I thought I had a one-year runway to explore things (having committed to the upcoming school year), my confidence in that plan was also challenged by the news that my teachers’ union is talking about having a strike at the beginning of said school year. So much for my one-year runway… more like three-month runway. Damn.

My friend Mel moved out here to Las Vegas looking for her next chapter also. We talked about what we learned working with Full Sail University’s emdt (Education, Media, Design & Technology) online programs, some of the great things that really seemed to work, things that may not be in-play any longer because management didn’t or doesn’t quite understand what the “secret sauce” behind a successful online educational experience might be. But after I got laid off in 2014 in the aftermath of the bad economy and my inability to get rehired somewhere else, even with my working knowledge of good online practices, I was left with the impression that I seem to have an expertise that no one seems to value. Listening to some of the horror stories Mel has experienced with her collection of online teaching gigs, I’m amazed at how good I had it at Full Sail, teaching only one course that switch out every 30-days, and where I generally never had classes over 60-students to deal with. We had remarkable freedom to craft our courses and continually iterate as we needed. Alas, the university’s inability to get credentialing that worked with public school educators looking to bump up their pay column, spelled the end of that online masters program and eventually the loss of what we had created.

So, why should this effect my plans for the next year or years? Full Sail let the program die, none of what I’ve been doing for the past five-years has been in the online education field, I should just let it go. Let someone else die on that hill, someone with an advanced degree and probably another source of income so that they can fight the good fight without worrying that they could be bankrupted by any career change. But, at the same time, if the past three-years has taught me anything, it’s that our assumption that applying technological solutions will fix everything is sorely wrong headed. The world has changed and no one seems to be speaking the right language(s) to make it work. And a lot of what I’ve been doing over the past few years has been a surprising example of how wrong we can get because we’re working old problems that didn’t work before technology and not-too-surprisingly doesn’t work with technology.

I wish I could tell you what the simple solution for all of this confusion in the educational spheres is, but then why would you hire me? If I just gave it to you on a podcast that virtually no one listens to… That wouldn’t be very smart (also the problem is much bigger that a single answer that could be communicated in a single podcast episode… but I do have idea [smile]). In fact, putting those ideas together would be worthy of a dissertation… damn. Here I thought I’d figured out that I wasn’t going to go down this path and that if another advanced degree was in my future, it would come from ongoing work and not before getting said work. Crap. Yeah, I don’t think I’m done with what I used to call my academic paper-chase. Guess I’ll be calling my local university to explore these thoughts. [sigh]

Let me ask you, are you as bad as me, getting all the way through your adult working life but still trying to figure out what you want to be when  you “grow up”? Or did you always know what you wanted to do or be? How many of you meandered through or into your career with no real plan? Please, let me know what you think or what you experienced in the comments below.

[Break]

[Zen as “F” Segment]

Thank you for spending this time with me at JBB’s Final Thoughts. If you want to continue to participate in my outer monologue you can subscribe to my blog at http://jbbsfinalthoughts.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the FOLLOW button where it says “Follow Blog via Email” and enter your email address. You can also subscribe directly to my YouTube channel, just search for JBB’s Final Thoughts (and make sure it doesn’t auto-correct to “jobs final thoughts”… damn auto-correct!). Catch you later, enjoy.

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