Who Is Kathy in 2022?

I first created this post in 2019 (obviously had a different headline then), ignored it in 2020 and 2021, and decided to finally update it on this 2nd day of January, 2022. The original post appears below the line; this portion is an update to that post.

This site still serves as a repository for various portfolios intended to help me land jobs and gigs. Since 2019, I’ve added an instructional design portfolio and a writing portfolio.

It’s also a way to monitor my “socially constructed identity,” both online and off.

I am still interested in an eclectic assortment of topics. I don’t post new stuff here that often, and most recently, I’ve used the site to post lists of books and podcasts I’ve consumed each year.

Of the interests I detailed on the bulleted list below, career development/job search continues to diminish as an interest. I doubt I will ever completely abandon this topic because it happens to be one in which I’ve developed significant expertise.

Applied storytelling remains an interest and passion, but not one I actively do a whole lot with. I do use it in my teaching.

At the time of the 2019 post, I was between teaching gigs; in early 2020, I attained a position teaching organizational behavior and leadership in the healthcare-administration program at Columbia College, South Carolina. Landing this role was exciting because my doctoral studies focused on organizational behavior, but in all the time since I finished my PhD in 2007, I had never had an opportunity to teach it until this role came along. I teach only one or two classes a year in this program, but I greatly enjoy teaching these topics and designing my courses. I will be teaching a graduate course in OB early in the year and probably undergrad leadership later in 2022.

Which leads to my relatively new interest in instructional design. In 2019, I embarked on certificate program in instructional design, completing it in early 2020. As long as I’ve taught, I’ve found designing my courses, getting feedback from students, and tweaking the courses to make them better to be one of my favorite aspects of teaching. As an outgrowth of my teaching at Columbia College, I also became a part-time instructional designer for the school. I do occasional ID projects for Columbia, and have also done a few small ones for other schools.

Continuing the update of my list of interests from the 2019 post, my passion for my short-term rental business has grown, while my passion for Toastmasters has diminished. On the short-term-rental side, I am also embarking on marketing myself as a writer of short-term-rental listings for platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO. On the Toastmasters side, I had a horrendous experience as the chair of a committee in 2019 that left me rather bitter about the Toastmasters organization. Toastmasters will never be the same for me as it was for the first nine years I belonged. I still participate, but rather minimally these days (even though I was honored as Toastmaster of the Year for my district in 2021). I do remain interested in public speaking (would love to teach it someday) and the connection between communication and leadership, both topics in which Toastmasters enhanced my knowledge and experience.

New interest areas that have emerged since 2019:

Cultivating relationships with my 3 far-flung grandchildren, Jackson, 8; Neva, 4; and Omri, 1. Aside from trying to visit them when possible (difficult amid the COVID pandemic), I have been writing letters ands postcards to the two older ones and Face-Timing with Omri.

Feral cats. I have never, ever been a cat person but was forced to become one after a family of five ferals adopted me by coming I through a cat door in my house (initially installed for my sons’ cat when he was living here).

I might not list this topic at other times of the year, but in the winter, particularly this especially snowy January, I find myself quite preoccupied with snow removal, both plowing and snowblowing.

Gardening. I completed the Master Gardener course in 2019, but the local organization hasn’t been terribly active during the pandemic. I had a particularly successful garden in 2021, and I have written a gardening column for a local monthly paper for two years.

Previous post (2019)

I’ve had a personal Web site since around the late 1990s, converting it to this WordPress format in 2013. The incarnations of my site have reflected my evolving and emerging personal and professional interests through the years. I have long thought of the site as a place where I am socially constructing my identity – or perhaps chronicling my socially constructed identity.

Since the late 90s, my interests have been:

  • Career development and job search, the topic of many books and articles since the early 90s. I was already pulling away from this area when I revamped this site in 2013, and did so even more when my ex-partner and I sold our career site in 2015. I still consider myself to have expertise in this area but got rather burned out on using the expertise and have done little to update my knowledge in the last 3 years.
  • Applied storytelling and related aspects of my PhD program (best reflection of this interest is my blog, A Storied Career, barely updated since 2014. I will nevertheless link it here after solving a technical issue).
  • Online teaching
  • Serving as a short-term rental host
  • My leadership journey in Toastmasters

When I revamped the site on WordPress, my main focus was to use the site as a way to help me garner teaching gigs. I was already into Toastmasters at that time, but I didn’t want to clutter up the site with my dilettantish interests.

2019 is the year I turn 65. While I suspect I will never TRULY retire, 65 feels more like a time to celebrate my diverse experiences and interests than a time to be promoting myself for gigs, projects, jobs, opportunities. Don’t get me wrong; I am still very much open to gigs, projects, jobs, opportunities. But I hope to use this site for more than gig-seeking and self-promotion.

I had a good run of online teaching for 5 years. I am currently not teaching at all, partly because of natural partings of the ways with schools at which I taught, and partly because I am on Social Security and for one more year, have a tight limit on how much additional money I can make. I love teaching and am quite open to future opportunities, whether online or in the classroom.

Five years ago when I revamped this site, the idea of being a short-term rental host was only a tiny glimmer in my eye, and I had no idea it would unfold as a result of my husband dumping me.

Today, hosting is my main source of income and a huge source of joy. Read more about it.

Toastmasters has been a significant part of my life since 2010. I can’t really think of my socially constructed identity without including Toastmasters. Many phases of my Toastmasters journey have felt like a full-time job, and I have enhanced my skills just as much as I would have in a full-time job (you can read about my experiences). I’m in a different phase of Toastmasters now than I was for the preceding six years. Although serving as an Area Director currently, I am not in the thick of district leadership. I am also temporarily estranged from my home club. Opportunities at the International level beckon. I could run for the Toastmasters International Board of Directors, but am very unlikely to do so. I could apply as a Region Adviser, which I am somewhat inclined to do at some point. My hunch is that I will build on the campaign work I’ve done the past few years – not running for the Board myself, but assisting others in doing so. We shall see what evolves next in Toastmasters.

A new interest developed this year, the Master Gardeners volunteer program. It remains to be seen how much of my identity will be taken up with this work. So far, not enough to be featured on this site!

“Writer” and “educator” have long been titles that capture my identity and likely always will. “Short-term rental host” and “Toastmaster” also seem to be keepers. I’m not so deeply into the applied-storytelling world these days, but still appreciate it (I would be more dedicated if I had ever figured out how to derive any revenue from this interest).

I’m looking forward to the adventure of 2019, turning 65 (Medicare!), and observing how my identity continues to evolve.

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