Institute for Performance and Learning conference, day 2!

Good day wrapping up the conference! The keynote this morning was Dr. Mary Donohue, who the attendees enjoyed. I didn’t agree with some of her statements and conclusions, but they seemed to resonate with others.

Four sessions again today, covering microlearning sprints, executive-ready presentations, virtual reality, and taking charge of professional development.

Some great conversations with new and old friends about authoring tools, design, and workplace cultures. I look forward to more in the future!

For now, headed home on the train. More to share tomorrow!

Holiday break

It has been a really nice holiday so far, and I’ve enjoyed the family time! We didn’t go to the US this year, instead spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day with my husband’s family. Other than that we’ve been spending time at home, working on a few little projects here and there and enjoying the break.

I received my CPLP certificate and pin, so it feels official now!

I’ve got a lot of great ideas for 2015, and I’m really excited to start the new year. I’ve got some good personal goals and career goals forming, and I’m looking forward to seeing what my team at work will be working on when I return!

I’ll keep you posted on some of those things here- there’ll be some changes to my site over the next few months, so stay tuned!

September – Glorious Autumn After a Lovely Summer!

I have been quiet writing-wise for a bit, but mostly because I was greatly enjoying my summer! We spent lots of time at the park and taking walks, spent time in the backyard and on the deck, hung out with friends, and it was pretty wonderful.




We got a natural gas line installed for our barbecue grill this summer, which meant lots of grilling, but had the side effect of one of our cats going missing (the contractors left a window open, which we didn’t realize until later). Amazingly, after over two months, he was returned to us via the Humane Society thanks to his microchip. If you ever needed convincing on microchipping your pets, that is it right there. He’s an indoor cat, but it still made the difference between him coming home and not!


We also visited the Toronto Zoo in August, which has become a yearly trip for us. Wesley had a lot of fun this time and really enjoyed seeing the animals!


It wasn’t all rest and relaxation though! In August, I and 14 others were part of a GISHWHES team. It’s this huge worldwide scavenger hunt that went on for a week, with nearly 200 crazy items that had to be completed via images or videos. We did a bunch of different ones, but my favourite was probably the business suit waterballoon fight- basically we had to get 10 people in business suits to have a waterballoon fight, and then take a video and set it to opera music. This is what came out of that-

That was just one of the 100 items that my awesome team completed. It was great. We get to find out soon who won the contest part of it!

In addition to all that, I also completed the work product portion of my CPLP certification this summer as well. It was difficult to do with a newborn at home, for sure, but overall I was proud of all the work I put into that project. I should find out in a few weeks whether I passed or not. Terrifying!

We also got some more family portraits done, which turned out pretty well. Wesley wasn’t 100% cooperative, but the pictures that came from that are so funny that I don’t even mind.



My birthday has also come and gone. Lots of lovely birthday wishes, and Trevor got me a gift card for an overnight stay at Langdon Hall! I am SO EXCITED about that!

Capping off the summer, some friends of ours got married in Iceland, and then had a really lovely reception back in Canada! It was our first dress-up outing since Everett was born, so we took the opportunity to go all out. It was a lovely evening.

Trevor and I

And now, it’s definitely autumn, though the weather this weekend is still amazing and sunny and warm. But the trees tell the real story.


Weirder goals for maternity leave

Today is the first “work” day of my maternity leave- I had my last day on Friday (with a great send-off by coworkers). This is quite the accomplishment- I didn’t make it to my last day with my previous leave. 🙂 So many people who go on maternity leave have pretty much one clear set of goals- have a baby, take care of it. But me, being an overachiever, I like to have some other goals as well.

Last time around, I was still working on a variety of projects and singing with the church choir, and since this time I won’t have all those side projects on my plate, I’ve come up with a few things that I’d like to accomplish.

First of all, I still need to submit my CPLP work product. I rescheduled my submission for a variety of reasons, and managed to get the bulk of the work on the project done before going on leave. I will have some writing and polishing to do between now and August, and will be submitting then. The rest of my study group submitted in February and passed, which was awesome to see!

In addition to that, I’m also looking at improving my math and statistics skills. I didn’t take much math after trig, and would really like to complete calculus and statistics courses. I have a growing interest in measurement and evaluation (especially as it comes to the effectiveness of business changes and learning programs), and I think a stronger math background will really help me develop better skills in that area.

So yes, I have some slightly unorthodox goals for maternity leave, but that’s me I guess. 🙂

Good few weeks, but eyes on the vacation prize!

Things have been a little chaotic the past few weeks, but my vacation is coming and I’m excited! Before I talk about that though, a recap.

The Friday before last, I went to an outing of friends, wherein we all dressed up just for the fun of it and went to Imbibe. It was a good time, for sure- with one friend setting up an impromptu portrait studio so he could capture us all in our dress-up gear. It was ridiculous and awesome. Ran into a choir friend of mine there as well, so that was really fun. The image below links to the whole set of photos. Fun times!

CPLP exam is coming up soon. Worried about it, of course, but I don’t think I could have fit in more prep time. Like any standardised, proctored exam, there’s an element of the unknown going into your first take and you can’t fully prepare that away. If I need to retest, at least I’ll go into that with experience in how the test is written and run. I’ve done fine on the practice exam and other practice questions, but there are some things that stump me still.

But I’m not going to dwell too much!

I didn’t have much time to prep this weekend because I was volunteering and soaking up awesomeness at an amazing conference called Fluxible. I’ll write up some more details in another post hopefully when I’ve fully digested, but suffice it to say it was a really well-done conference, and an amazing experience.

This past Friday, I had to drive to Fort Erie, because I needed to do an interview to renew my NEXUS card. If you’re not familiar, the NEXUS card is basically an identification card for a trusted-traveler system between the US and Canada. You have to renew every five years, and the renewal requires an interview (though just by the US, it seems). It links to some other programs as well and is awesome, and means quick customs lines for cardholders. So Friday was pretty busy with driving down there for my interview and back, and then setup for the conference.

Meanwhile, I didn’t get to see Wesley much, but this week, it’s just he and I, as Trevor is traveling. So that will make things a bit less smooth, but I think it’ll be okay.

But then… on the 25th, sweet sweet vacation- and boy, do we need it! We’re traveling to Switzerland and Italy- Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken, and Milan. It’s going to be amazing. Wesley is going to stay home, and his grandparents have kindly offered to watch him while we’re away. It’ll be so nice to recharge and to see the Alps! No doubt I will have lots of photos to share here.

Anyone else have travel coming up soon, or am I the only one who schedules all vacations for the fall? 🙂

Collections of Learning Experiences

I’ve been doing so much LEARNING lately that I’m full to bursting. I’ve got like 10 different books that I’m reading, I’ve gone to some events, I’m studying for the CPLP, I’ve just wrapped up a leadership course and volunteer training and Family and Children’s services. I’ve been going through some internal courses at work. So many things! So I thought I’d talk it out here and try to get my thoughts in order!

First things first- the CanWIT event I went to this past week. So, I’ve recently joined the local Chapter of CanWIT, which is Canadian Women in Technology. They held an event called “Pitch Perfect”, which was mostly focused on pitching startups, but there were some good tips as well for just selling ideas in general. It was held at Workplace One in the newly renovated section of the Breithaupt Block, and the building is just gorgeous inside- worth the price of admission alone! There was a panel, and a number of young women there. I got to meet the mayor and the MPP, which was pretty awesome. Overall, a great event and I got some good tips.

In other news. my CPLP study group’s has been doing teachback sessions and they’re going pretty well, though I had to miss last week’s because I wasn’t feeling too hot. I’m starting to get kind of anxious about studying- there’s so much material to cover and sometimes I have no idea how I’ll manage. But I’m definitely learning new things, so that’s good!

I’ve also recently wrapped up a leadership course through University of Waterloo Professional Development. That was pretty good!

I have more presentations coming up. I (along with a couple of co-workers) also got accepted to present at a conference that unfortunately we can’t attend, which is too bad. I was really looking forward to that presentation.

CPLP Study Notes – Module 9: Career Planning and Talent Management

I started actively studying my ASTD Learning System materials last night. I started at “the back”, with Module 9, for a number of reasons, not the least because I don’t have a lot of expertise in that area already. Module 9 is Career Planning and Talent Management.

The first few chapters deal with workforce planning, stragetic planning, and succession and replacement planning. It’s awesome to gain some new insights into how these types of plans are formulated, and the roles workplace learning and performance professionals can play in this planning. Following that are chapters on job analysis, career development theories, and assessment tools. Some of these things I’ve had some exposure to, but definitely not at this level of detail. I’m pretty fascinated already, and I haven’t even gotten into my area of expertise yet!

One thing I’m noticing- as a courseware developer, I’m constantly thinking about how I could design the learning materials better, and develop visuals and activities to improve transfer and retention. I already have a list of objects I want to develop in order to improve my own retention of the key points. I may post those items here as I make them!