So, after giving my colleagues a bit of a hard time because I have been the main contributor to the blog for that past few months, I somehow managed to forget to write a post last month (Sorry everyone!). Sigh… karma is a harsh mistress sometimes. I am in the thick of writing for my dissertation, which I somehow did not realize needed to be given to my committee quite so soon, and have been a bit distracted.
However, karma takes and she gives. I have had a couple of lovely moments of asking for what I want, and just flat out receiving it since I last wrote. I am a big proponent of the “just ask for what you want/need” philosophy and have attempted to pass this bit of wisdom on to my own children and those I have taught over the years. My attitude is that if you don’t ask, the answer is automatically “no”, so you might as well ask. On one level, you have nothing to lose, besides a bit of pride. Therefore, I encourage them to reach out to the world and make their wishes known. Otherwise, they are much less likely to get what help they need along the way.
My first recent example of asking had to do with the date for my PhD defense. As a student who does not live in, or even frequent, Corvallis, I tend to be out of the loop with how this whole grad student process works. I haven’t really seen others go through it, and am a bit lazy when it comes to digging around on websites. So, I decided to call my trusty friend Deb and ask her if there were any deadlines I should be paying attention to regarding graduating this spring. Turns out there was! If I want to walk in June, I should defend my dissertation by May 1. Oops- I really thought I had more time. However, May 1 is a lucky day in my world. It is the birthday of my life partner and best friend and happens to be one of my favorite holidays in the Celtic calendar- Beltane. So, I took a risk, emailed all 5 members of my committee and told them that was the day I hoped to have my defense. And by some small miracle, they are all available that one day! Yay!
My next example regards a conference I heard about last year, and wanted to attend, SXSWedu. It could be my Austin past, the whole SXSW industry has taken up a good part of the calendar there. However, it seems to be a conference that promotes a lot of exciting new things happening in education, particularly in my area of study- the Maker Movement, and (in one of life’s many ironies for a Luddite like myself) technology and social media. And I am still invested enough in being “cool” to want to attend this “cool” conference. I had vague ideas about submitting a proposal for this year’s event, but am not on the right listserves to hear about the appropriate deadlines, and missed that. I was still interested in attending, so checked into prices. However, the $450 early bird price was a bit of a shock, so I resigned myself to missing it again this year. Yet, within days, I had an email that some group (TES Global) was giving out free conference passes to educators who tweeted innovative things happening in their classrooms. Well, I am not actually teaching, so I tweeted a few photos from my research project, which does look exciting and innovative and techie, and I was lucky enough to get one of the passes. While I think they had lots to give out, and I don’t feel too special for having “won” one- I would not be going this year without it! I am very excited to go next week, and hope to make up for all of my missing blogs over the years while I am there! Keep your eyes peeled!
So my friends- just ask for what you want! Even if you are not sure you deserve it, you might just get it!