The metaphor I've chosen to represent my MET journey is called " A Day on the Mountain". I chose this metaphor because there are honestly so many similarities between the two. The first time I ever went snowboarding in Japan, I stood at the bottom of the mountain looking up (1831 meters), with all my gear in my hands and thought, it's huge, there is no way I can get down this mountain in one piece. This is exactly the way I remember feeling when I first started my academic journey, especially in the beginning when scholarly articles literally felt like an avalanche falling over me. The writing back then was no easier. In those days I honestly felt like the end was nowhere in sight, and often wondered, would I even make it to where I stand today? Spoiler alert: I made it!
Another similarity between the mountain and the MET program is the courses you can choose to take, literally. On the mountain, there are a variety of different types of trails, all presenting varying degrees of difficulty. Green runs are typically for beginners or those who prefer a more leisure experience, blue runs pose a bit more challenge and require a bit more skill and black diamond runs, well they are the most challenging trails on the mountain. These are the runs where you truly test your skill level. There are trees, cliffs and moguls. You definitely feel like an accomplished rider when you make it to the bottom. These different types of runs are so similar to the course options you take in any master's level program. You can't forget about the terrain park, the place where many riders go to play around and have a bit of fun. On my academic journey, I've likened the terrain park, and all of its fun to the tools I've learned about, and plan to use in my own classroom. It's the place where you can take the theories and the skills you've learned and apply them in your own context for the benefit of learning. And let's be honest, the après ski is fun too. You get to sit back, with friends, think about the day, and also think about the future as well. You get psyched up for your next trip to the mountain.
Finally, I guess there is also the obvious connection that both the University of British Columbia and snowboarding in Japan are considered to be world class in their own leagues. Aren't I lucky to have the opportunity to do both!