All posts by Lorelei Konopka

The Neurodiverse Learner

After reviewing some of the amazing resources compiled by our own Roxanna Dewey, this image spoke to me.

It inspired me to try something completely different and challenged my thinking. I have a sister with Downs Syndrome and a nephew with ADHD. This poem is dedicated to them and their relentless pursuit for happiness and belonging.

In the realm of learning, a different kind of pace,

Neurodivergent journey, a unique embrace.

Words may dance, and numbers may speak,

A symphony of learning, where strengths peak.

Challenges woven in the mosaic of thought,

Yet resilience blooms, a lesson well-taught.

Minds may wander through a different haze,

Neurodivergent learner, embracing diverse ways.

Unlocking potentials, like keys in a song,

Learning’s rhythm, where strengths belong.

A canvas of minds, where colors combine,

Neurodivergent learner, let your brilliance shine.

 

Moments of Learning

My parents could have predicted it, but it took me walking into the classroom for the very first time in 2005, to realize that my greatest purpose was being able to impact students’ lives in ways that others could not. To this day, my “happy place” is the classroom. There is something about being in the moment, talking about a topic, and embracing the student experience of learning all within a period of time. So true that not all teaching experiences are transcendent and some of our best laid plans to inspire learning do not prevail. But, at the core of a faculty is a Moment Maker. 

This week, I learned so much from being in the classroom, watching our faculty in action. Class observations hold important value to me because I get the chance to go back into my “happy place” and experience the moments of learning and the excellence of teaching. Highlights from this week include:

  • Professional communication framework that nurses use to be succinct, clear, and direct when sharing patient information knowing that these “are not social conversations.”
  • The skin of an apple is a great illustration of various pressure injuries. I will never look at an apple in quite the same way as I recall stages 1-4 of pressure injuries.
  • Some of our best research content is on the “deep web” and our wonderful GCC Library databases can help us find the best sources to inform a topic.
  • And a nice reminder that “Research is about seeing connections between things and not just searching!”

Everyday can be a day of learning, a day for a new experience, or  a new moment. Our faculty embrace these opportunities; as I have grown as a professional and in my reflection of purpose, the drive for learning something new every day takes me back to my “happy place.” So, when was the last time I learned something new?  That answer is right now- I am always in the moment of learning.

 

No Way! Not in My Car:  The Rise of Mobile Workspaces…

In the era of remote work, and the habits of increased multi-tasking,  unconventional yet practical alternatives to traditional office spaces have arisen. Alas, office meet car! !  Now,  as innovative and convenient as this may be, I find this newly formed behavior of mine to be quite conflicting.  

While I love the idea of flexibility and improved efficiency in my daily schedule, I am fairly certain my  ‘73 Dodge Dart was not intended as a mobile office. Mechanically sound, but technologically challenged, my hotrod is not ideal for the multi-screened Google Meets, while shifting between gears and navigating so many open tabs on my browser with a laptop as my passenger. Don’t worry, I only turn my video on when I am at a complete stop. All joking aside,  I never would have thought that calling into a meeting, responding to a Chat, or answering an email, all hands-free while driving to my next destination would have become part of my new version of an office. 

Appreciating the inspirational moments where my office and my expressions of self collide, I cannot help wondering how I can optimally integrate these worlds into a balance that my mobile workspace simply wasn’t designed to do.  The balancing act of working and living have intertwined as I cruise in my hotrod, hearing the rumble of the engine, the chimes from email notifications, with the recognition that my office, my space, and my work will forever be changed.