Designing the Learning/Teaching Space in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada


This is the concluding blog in the 12 blog series answering two questions for the final design project. The only drawback for this format is although I’m writing this forward unless you scroll right to the bottom you are reading it in reverse.

This is the disclaimer to understand before reviewing the answers to the two interesting questions posed by HarvardX Leaders for Learning. I have so enjoyed taking this class and the content, format and delivery has been beyond my expectations! I certainly would recommend both Leaders of Learning from HarvardX and to others without reservation. It is well oganized and the modules are manageable especially with the one week ‘catch up’ included in week four. I really appreciated this.

As I have already mentioned, my life/professional/personal circumstances are quite different that my colleagues still ‘in the trenches’ working at the various early, mid or later stages of their career. As a happily retired teacher of 30 years standing I have the luxury of more time and fewer demands to do a considerable amount of self reflection both upon my past professional life and what the early years of retirement has evolved into. And this has been just one tremendous benefit of this class apart from the opportunity to earn a certificate from Harvard!

For one thing, since I am neither a ‘lady who lunches’ or a avid golfer like many of my retired teacher colleagues what I have embraced in these early years of retirement is self employment and volunteerism on both sides of the border here in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada and later this year starting November 1rst for six months in San Miquel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.  In both places I facillitate an enhanced book club using a trilogy of artistic recovery books called ‘The Artist Way’ by Julia Cameron. I have just finished leading my ninth and most powerful group for the third book in the trilogy, ‘Finding Water, the Art of Perserverence. We had a circle of twelve ‘believing mirrors’ journeying together through the twelve week program.

For this session I was able to secure an off site (non church) setting in a private oceanview penthouse condo in downtown Nanaimo. As you can see by the pictures this was a spectacular learning/teaching locale which started as hierarchal collective but evolved into distributed collective as was the original creator/writer’s intent. Julia Cameron never franchised the Artist Way and it was always intended to be a grassroots learning and support network. Hence it is a perfect example of a learning network that I have been involved with and continue to be involved with into my retirement years when I actually have more time to develop and adapt it for circumstances on both sides of the border.

So that’s the collective situation for learning/teaching. Personally, with the use of my new HP laptop with webcam and Windows 8.1 I feel like I am no longer in the ‘break down lane’ on the electronic highway! This particular model even still has a DVD/CD drawer for maximum versatility. Certianly, one of the motivations for purchasing a new laptop was and the newly discovered I knew about but not about the second MOOC. As a lifelong learner, AND a happily retired professional I am free to explore realms yet to be imagined as a result of the immense networking capability of my post elementary teaching life.


About canmexartistway

I am a happily retired teacher/expat to be now relocated to the spectacularly beautiful Harbour City of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. During snowbird six I decided to morph from snowbird to Mexpat! I'm taking the 'scenic route' geographically and metaphorically during the next 5 to 6 months as I downsize, downsize, downsize in preparation for an international move in the fall. Follow my blog at

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