Farewell to QUT

On Friday I said goodbye to my friends and colleagues at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). It’s been hard. Not only have I loved my QUT friends and my role as librarian, I have also appreciated a wealth of support, mentoring, and opportunities to grow over the past four-and-a-bit years. QUT was also where I completed my Honours and Masters degrees, and where I first found interesting and rewarding work as a research assistant and research administrator.

The best measure of my transformation? when I arrived at QUT in 2001, I was a single mum on welfare, working part-time cleaning pub kitchens. I had never logged on to a computer. I didn’t know what email was, and took a few days to understand the differences between my username, password and email address. A month later I got my first assignment back – 19.75 of 20 marks. And eighteen months later I was working as a research assistant. I have not seen the ‘wrong’ side of a pub counter since. This transformation didn’t happen because I am a genius. About 95% I attribute to the professional and academic staff who took the time to explain the technology, the assignments, how to research, all the different things I needed to know and do. The remaining 5% I attribute to my desperate desire for a happy future for *my family.

I think my story really illustrates what the QUT culture is all about: creating opportunities for folk who don’t count for much elsewhere, and helping them unearth and realise who they really are. I only hope that as a librarian I have been a successful part of that culture, and that I can take the same philosophy to my new library role…

Goodbye QUT, I am taking a little of you with me ❤

*a big shout out too, to my parents and extended family for their love and support!

lifelong learning

A little time ago I quit a degree. Not because I don’t value university education – I already have two degrees in education – it’s just that I realised that I want a different kind of education now, and that this kind of education is all around me, not just in the university.

I want to become accomplished at nonviolent communication and I am getting a powerful education in this via an informal online course and weekly calls to my lovely empathy buddy, and by practicing nvc whenever I remember to… I aspire to become self-sufficient in vegetables and am learning why my zucchini flowers fall off and how to grow bigger beetroot and yummier pumpkins from an online guru and through a gardening group.
I learn about growing native trees and bush regeneration by doing it with my bushcare group. I learn about caring for chooks by hopping over the fence and asking my dear neighbour, what’s up with this old girl then? I am becoming a master crocheter by chatting to little old ladies on the train and youtube and Ravelry. And I get awesome professional development from my many generous colleagues at work.

Even better, I learn all sorts of wonderful things about people and humanity and the thousands of meanings of life by just chatting to people who come to the library helpdesk with all their questions, their comments and their stuff.

I am a lifelong learner. Anyone who is curious, a bit of a dreamer and willing to ask questions can join me.

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