Year in Review

This year I left my job of almost 10 years. It was surprisingly hard to do but I haven’t really looked back, which is probably the biggest surprise of all.

I also:

  • began working with a new team at BCcampus (Learning and Teaching) which will be my new professional home for the next 2 years
  • started and completed a research project and published an article on it
  • finished another article I’d been writing for four years and got it published
  • started blogging more frequently
  • had a transformative visit at the University of Edinburgh with a h/t to Anne-Marie Scott who made it happen
  • presented at the Cascadia Open Summit, OER19, CNIE, ETUG and OE Global, thanks to BCcampus
  • was a keynote at OpenEd Week and Apereo
  • visited an art gallery in almost every city I visited
  • started a consulting practice helping organizations with their online learning strategy

More personal highlights include:

  • I didn’t paint as much but completed a handful of paintings of which 3 are still on my wall (which is always a test if I can still stand them after a month)
  • I’ve been going to the gym consistently for a year, the keyword being consistent
  • I started baking again and being more present in my life overall seems to produce better results

I’m entering the end of my forties. Friends, I’m not going to lie, the last part of this  decade has been a slog. I burned out, I recovered, I found art (again) and I finally feel like I’ve turned a corner. A big part of the reason why is because I found such great leadership and support with the people at BCcampus (and while at JIBC I had the support of a wonderful CTLI team). Since not everyone can have a BCcampus what does that mean?  For me it was simple things like frequent encouragement, support, a boost here and there, it was having my back when I stuck my neck out and it was sincerely caring about my well-being and my career. I share this despite being a rather private person because I see others slogging away and I want to pass on a bit of encouragement. If you need a convo, a DM, a card, whatever – let me know. Also, if you are in your fifties, female and feel like you have some wisdom to share could you let me know? I have an opening for a mentor.  

And in other news, the Pixies are recording a new album, so that gives us at least one thing to look forward to in 2020.


  • D'Arcy Norman

    What an amazing year! And those paintings! Love it. (also, Pixies!) I’ve been kicking around the idea of getting back into consulting – it’s been almost 20 years since I last seriously did that. Keep on being awesome. Kick some 2020 ass.

    • admin

      Thanks D’Arcy, returning to consulting has been an unexpected delight. I feel like I get to learn new things and up my game a bit. I’m trying to keep it manageable of course. Hope you have a great start to the New Year.

  • Jim Groom

    Hi Tannis,

    Congrats on the changes in 2019, never easy, but they certainly sound healthy. Anytime you can return to art seems a good move o me 🙂 I have noticed you’ve been blogging more (an outcropping of the art?) and that is doubly awesome. I remain a huge fan of the medium, and your ongoing work with open infrastructure and more is a source of inspiration. Lookin forward o even more of it in 2020, and wishing you a very happy holiday.

    • Carol

      Thank you for sharing your experiences from burnout and back. What resonates with me as a desire is “simple things like frequent encouragement, support, a boost here and there, it was having my back when I stuck my neck out and it was sincerely caring about my well-being and my career.” Good leadership and support is so important. Looks like you are on the right path.

    • admin

      Thanks Jim, I think just writing more has helped all around. I do notice that if I write more I paint less, so perhaps they are related. Happy holidays to you too, I’m envious thinking of all the yummy Italian treats you get to consume.

  • Melanie Meyers

    Hi Tannis,
    So many accomplishments (and changes) this year! Lovely to see your amazing art here – I always appreciated how you made sure art was part of our team building events at JIBC. Those days are among the most memorable. You continue to inspire me at work and beyond. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020!!

  • Clint Lalonde

    The art is fantastic! It feels like an optimistic reflection of the type of year it sounds like you’ve had. It has been a great year having you at BCcampus and working on projects with you. You’ve had a big influence on not only my work, but the work of the entire organization and it makes me very happy that we are able to work together on projects like the OpenETC. Onto a great 2020!

  • Clint Lalonde

    Well, I think my first comment never made it through so I’ll try again. First, the art is fantastic. Energy and enthusiasm. It feels like a reflection of the year you just described – optimistic & bright. Second, I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are at BCcampus and how much I have enjoyed working with you this past year. Looking forward to a great 2020 with both BCcampus and the OpenETC.

    • admin

      You’re right, I just checked and your comment never made it through! I wonder how often that happens? Thank you Clint, it’s a treat to get to work with you on both fronts – at BCcampus and with the OpenETC. (and you’re right, if I look back on my paintings from 4 years ago they are a bit dark. Very moody flowers. Although 2 of them sold, so maybe people prefer the moody ones?)

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