Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over lunch just now I caught up on two videos, I have to say I deeply appreciate having these short length messages that come from the way our colleagues think, operate, or as well crafted in the reflection post by @jnyrose on Missing Out and Joining in, paying attention to the ways of being, human presence, and also signs of the characteristics our colleagues on screen “carry themselves wherever they go”.

That and some tiny things I wrote down on a piece of paper as I watched. First up was someone I know wel, respect, and have the fortunate to meet at conferences and once on the streets of Denver for coffee, Remi Kalir (hi Remi!)

I’ve been evolving my approach to land acknowledgements, especially after having moved to Canada from the US 6 years ago, a place I took notice so early on from the early 2010s were this practice was prominent, and also noting how much more widely it is done. I believe in the part of coming to it from a personal approach rather than trying to rattle off a list of names, and I try to tap into my own deep appreciation for the very land itself.

I remain very impressed with how thoroughly and genuinely the BCcampus organization and its people practice many of the IHE approaches, but have noticed how prominent land acknowledgements are in their sessions, web site, email footers. As a tangential issue and something I am eager to learn more, is what the global organization I work for, which does not have a land base (its address is a post office box) in encouraging us to develop some kind of global land acknowledgement practice, I found a few examples and opened some discussion in our community space, but am still working on my colleagues to take this on. Until then I had added my own to my work email footers.

And aligning with that, I am slowly but more deliberately aiming like Remi suggests to display preferred pronouns, as he notes, its more important as a small signal. Remi is he does is now encouraging me to look more at where I am not doing this now (at least its in the work email footer).

I’d also not heard or thought more about the labor acknowledgement described in Remi’s video.

In his portion about the bits of personality we chose to share (or not) I was thinking as well of the setting in Remi’s video, him sitting looking at the camera with the typical bookshelf on one side, but I could not help but notice the lovely old wooden writing desk behind him on the left. There’s a story in that piece of furniture that I bet ties into Remi’s love of writing.

I am not one to make rules, but I almost always prefer to see and display my own surroundings during sessions. There are absolute situations where you cannot make this a rule, and I first believe everyone should choose for themselves. But I am not the biggest fan of a graphic backgrounds or image backdrops. Yes, of course there is no right to expect to see someone’s personal surroundings. But let’s say I just appreciate it seeing the decor of someone’s desert island. And their pets.

Someone else likely brought this up, but I’d add the importance of pronouncing people’s names correctly, or at least admitting you need help, and asking them. I struggle with doing this but have made it much more of a priority to find / ask forĀ  pronunciations of guests before hand. Also, doing something like a name pronounce link on your profile or email footer is so valuable.

Another practice I saw recently in a BCcampus webinar is the practice of a speaker saying “for those who cannot see me, I am a ….” doing a spoken description, like alt describing yourself. Any thoughts on this? I also commend some of the IHE faciliators who demonstrated the key practice of describing some relational or situational descriptions of whats on screen for those who are visually impaired.

These are small things we can all do.

And then I watched Nadine Aboulmagd’s video and just so appreciated the story she shared in the first half. I just always love a first person story that is relevant, and how the situation she encountered created a shift in attitude. An attribute I respect was Nadine’s determination to follow through on an uncomfortable interaction– it might be a path of least resistance to let it go, shrug it off, but in the way she describes it, both “sides” of this situation came to a memorable common place. We should always be doing this, even if we have to admit we were perhaps in wrong or inappropriate in assumptions., And again, from the desert island what do you carry metaphor, this comes through vividly in Nadine.

So my own “little” thing now at the end of a wandering reflection, is to increase my own practice of noticing the ways people are and act in groups, what they bring and show of themselves, and keep reflecting.