Sunday, January 29, 2012

Action Plan

I've had almost a week to process my experiences at ALA Midwinter; for the past few days, I've been participating virtually in EduCon. There is a conversational thread running through these and other gatherings, a sense that the time for talking is over, the time for acting is now.
How can I be part of the recasting of librarianship in particular, and education in general?

For all my talk of being self-embedded, there are limitations to what I can accomplish as an unattached teacher/librarian. With no students of my own, I must wait to be invited into a classroom. I am an afterthought, an add-on, rather than an integral part of the learning process.

I need to leverage my solitude, increase my productivity - and keep my sense of worth in the unfamiliar and unstructured world of retirement.

Here's my menu of possibilities:
  • continue to construct slideshares on topics that interest me, e.g. photography and storytelling
  • periodically remind members of my social network that I'm available via Skype for reading to, or chatting with, students
  • consider new options: would my friend's home-schooled child like to have a personal librarian or research buddy? Is there some way I could volunteer in our public or community college libraries?
  • spend less time chatting at conferences and more time actively participating in sessions, with the intent of investigating new topics for personal exploration
  • become more active in my professional organizations
  • seek out additional opportunities for writing
It's sketchy, but it's a plan. Retirement requires a tricky balancing act. I don't want to waste my time, I want to spend it wisely. Travel is fun, but after a while people tire of being around a dilettante.

In the words of the immortal Barbarella:

"A life without cause is a life without effect."

"Barbarella" by pellesten

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