Carousel horse- for some reason, it appealed to me. Mirroring my oftentimes disjointed mental state? 

For the past month or so I have been thinking and sometimes even drafting blog posts related to four different topics:

  1. Life as a new full-time faculty: insights, rant and raves
  2. Gamification as an educational tool: my Coursera MOOC experience
  3. Old school versus new school: how to balance team work with assertiveness while developing online classes.
  4. Running as a way to keep my sanity AND a great way to connect with students in anatomy/physiology courses.

Of course, these are all aspects of the same thing. As part of my new position, I have become lead faculty for a set of introductory biology courses, both onsite and online. The latter, developed several years ago, are in dire need of revamping. In my quest to learn more about new trends in online education, I wandered into the MOOC realm by taking a Coursera course about Gamification. I also collaborate with other online projects, which tend to be team-based. Often I have been on the learning end within a team, actually my favorite position because I love learning from people who are experts and trailblazers. However sometimes I happen to be more ahead of the game. As I personally dislike conflicts but now they are inevitable for progress, I have been recently found myself in situations where I have to decide if I want to fight for something all the way or not. And while I have practiced the tools of consensus building, the process is not easy to complete over a one hour conference call.  So when I hang up feeling that I have been either too pushy or too meek, I can feel my epinephrine (better known as adrenaline) levels shooting up. That is when running do wonders for me. Few things are as effective as a long run to clear the mind and burn the stress. And to make things even better, talking running has been a very effective way to discuss anatomy/physiology issues in my classes. There are always runners in any class- current or former. I have used running-related examples from carbo-loading through  barefoot running to water toxicity in my classes, and they tend to connect easily.

Months have passed since my latest blog post, and I decided just to throw this one out and hope I can go deeper into each.