Caroline’s Journey: Week 1

Community Leadership? Yes, yes of course I would be interested in doing a course in this area.

My name is Caroline, I work in community development and I have an addiction; I am addicted to learning. So when my friend and colleague suggested I enrol in an online learning course with An Cosán Virtual Community College  in Community Leadership I did so willingly. Without much forward thinking.  Online learning is easy… right?

What is it to learn online, to partake remotely in a virtual class room? It is simple to hide behind your screen because you are in the comfort of your own front room. There are no awkward introductions, no meeting of a multitude of strangers, all experiencing ‘first-day-of-school’ syndrome. You don’t even have to get out of your pyjamas if you so wish, unless of course you attend the induction.

And I did attend, despite the usual wave of nerves.

A small room, approximately thirty people, all introductions and chit-chat; then down to the business of discussing leadership. Leadership… I must admit I hadn’t really thought about that concept much. I concerned myself more with the ‘community’ part of community leadership.

I’m not a leader. I don’t want to be a leader. I know nothing about leadership. I want to be in my pyjamas in the comfort of my living room, hiding behind a screen partaking in an easy online learning course, cup of tea and chocolate biscuit in hand for dunking.

As the discussion develops during the induction, I realise I have made a cardinal error. My name is Caroline, and I have an addiction to learning – easy learning, learning from a book or a Powerpoint where someone tells you the thing that you should absorb, the knowledge that you should assimilate.

Community Leadership is not that kind of course. You have to partake, you have to think, contribute, question yourself, reflect, self-learn; you have to be a part, not apart, even though it is learning through virtual technology.

Reasons for enrolling? Hopes, fears, expectations? Thoughts on leadership… I have no idea.

And I suppose that’s why I am here, taking this course. I hope, by the end, it will all become clear.

Caroline Healy

November 28, 2016