I was knocked out of commission for most of February and a good part of March by a strange illness that was in no way related to COVID but which still managed to make life extremely uncomfortable.
I am, as they say, feeling much better now!
That said, I am also playing a ton of catch-up.
And there has been a ton to catch up on.
In November of last year, I stepped away from my position at Optum to work with the reporting and evaluation team at the Institute for Community Alliances (ICA). ICA is a nonprofit organization that acts as Minnesota’s Lead Agency for its Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). All of that is a lot of text that simply means that I get to use my experience and expertise to assist agencies and organizations dedicated to helping those experiencing homelessness. In a lot of ways, it is the exact type of job that I was looking for after I finished my research in Milwaukee, and its been an absolutely amazing experience.
It has also meant that I have a whole new set of lingo to learn along with developing a better understanding of the different stakeholders and issues at play within the communities we serve. It’s been an eye-opening and somewhat sobering experience, but the passion and dedication of the people I get to work with has been truly inspiring.
Not content with a single log on the fire, Courtney and I have also been working on our side project: Turtle and Rabbit Consulting. Turtle and Rabbit Consulting essentially acts as an umbrella organization for our research and consulting work. I have some technical consulting set up for later this summer. Courtney completed her PhD in November and is working on a series of writing and research projects. She presents at the The Renaissance Society of America’s annual meeting this week, and we have a shared presentation at the upcoming Britain and World Conference. I am particularly excited for Britain and the World because it is the first time I have had an opportunity to present on game design and pedagogy at an academic conference. I am also presenting at SIGDOC 2021 in October where I will focus on HMIS, and have a few research and writing projects on deck throughout the year. In short, you can expect to see projects from Turtle and Rabbit trickling out in what I hope will be a slow and steady succession.
Beyond the work that is lined up, my issues this winter have reinforced my goal to get back on track when it comes to my health and fitness. Like many, I spent last year in sedentary isolation and that was not a good thing. This was the first year since I started focusing on my fitness in late 2016 that I actually gained weight and didn’t end the year with more hiking miles tracked than the previous year. I have no plan to allow that tend to continue.
So yeah, there is a ton happening. It’s been a chaotic year, so far, but I remain hopeful for what is to come and look forward to sharing what I learn along the way.