Hi everyone – well, it’s been quite a year. Globetrotting doesn’t even cover it! Midlife crisis only touches the surface.
Many of you know that I went head first into teaching last year so that I could move into a job as Instructional Librarian. Instructional librarianship is a new field in my profession that came about due to the preponderance of Wikipedia and Google and how students are assuming that Wikipedia is a peer-reviewed scholarly source. The overwhelming size of the internet (which grows logarithmically every day – to the tune of more than a 1000 new homepages being created each HOUR) has made information literacy a new field and a new branch of librarianship. However, the only way to get this kind of job (as an ‘experienced’ librarian) is to jump headfirst into a classroom and teach. ESL was the quickest way to do this. After years of working in library software and content sales, it had become evident to me that I loved the instruction and demos more than I loved the sales and I needed to fuel my passion. However, in the city of Calgary, I can count on one hand the number of instructional librarians working in post-secondary institutions.
Unfortunately, teaching is not a lucrative job and I needed to turn things around quickly. In February and March, after more than 6 years of contract work at SAIT in the Library Information Technology program, I launched into overseas ESL teaching for 8 weeks in Kazakhstan. Not a place to get excited about, but definitely worth it financially.
Shortly after returning home, a job posting came up for an Instructional Librarian at a Canadian College in Doha, Qatar. I applied, as I knew a number of people who had gone out to Doha in the past, one being a good friend from the University of Calgary. I didn’t expect much, but made a diligent effort and sent off my resume. The competition was Canadian-wide. I was shocked to find out I had been selected for an interview and shocked (panic-type shock) when I got the offer.
In August, I turned the house over to a property management company, and the rest they say is history. I arrived in Doha on August 22nd.
In October, I started a blog at www.mylittletoasteroven.wordpress.com which highlights the ups and downs of becoming an ex-pat and moving ‘halfway around the world.” I hope you’ve all had a chance to read it and keep up with me.
I’m happy to say that I have a fantastic job, at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, which I just love. I have a great team at work that loves having fun together. I am surrounded by inspirational leaders. I have an employer that has supported me throughout the whole process and has been there every step of the way.
Of course, I miss my family and friends more than anyone can imagine. It’s one of the reasons I started the blog, so that I could share with you what was happening and hear from you in return.
There is no Christmas here in Doha, so I am travelling to Germany on December 19th to be with my extended family, who live about an hour from Dresden. My gifts are packed and my scarves and sweaters are ready.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy the season with your family and friends. I miss you and will be thinking of you!