At some point in my life I became a hybrid, someone who could fit a ton of different roles and never own a single one. I graduated with a B.F.A. in Studio Art, joined the I.T. department at my alma mater, and then got sucked into instructional technology vicariously through my wife's work as a technology resource teacher in a K-12 environment. Who does that?! I could have been an artist (although the career options aren't exactly pretty unless you prefer "Starving Artist"). The IT angle comes easy, but Christ. I'm better than that. Where do I stand and where do I want to be? Instruction comes easy to me. I can relate to people and explain high-level concepts like cloud computing and project-based learning on a level that the crazy woman on the corner of the street missing teeth might actually grok. And the nutso thing about it is that I actually kind of like that process of explaining complex things. Clarifying topics for people who want to understand but don't have the luxury and affordance of time to try and figure it out on their own. I'm a teacher. Stuck in an IT role repairing computers, but it's what I am. At my current role, I've done just about anything to take opportunities to teach faculty, staff, and students. I'm charged with training our student technicians on the various ins and outs of cleaning off spyware (and that's not really much fun, the virus crap, but the teaching is). I've developed opportunities to provide professional development to faculty and staff on mobile devices. Meanwhile I'm taking my yarn and sewing together the fabric of an online system through Twitter and ds106 that is allowing me to grow, learn, and process all of this in new and meaningful ways. The opportunity to take 60 minutes of my time and chat with students about design in the context of digital storytelling was like a shot of adrenaline. I'm addicted. I need this. 3 years ago I began a program to get my Masters in Instructional Technology. It was completely online, which worked with my current situation of being married with both of us having full-time jobs. But it didn't take long to become cynical of the entire program and plan. Outdated material that I was paying top dollar to be fed by a TA who often didn't respond to email was not the best way to win over this nagging feeling in my mind that everyone was doing it wrong. And yet the value put on that piece of paper is something I can't get past. Without going into many details, I attempted to interview for a position and wasn't even considered because of a lack of "advanced" degree. My response was the middle finger as I left the institution and found other places to bide my time. A year later I found myself back at the institution wondering who was wrong and where we go from here. You see I love the institution. I hate the mistakes it makes, the value it puts on medals and certificates, but I love the mission, the goals, the heart behind the institution. This is where I belong. Not as a hybrid, as an agent of change to help steer this ship into greater waters. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, wasted hours pretending I could ignore this inner urge and be satisfied with what I've done. But it's not something I choose, it's an inner sense of self that finds me and forces me to wake up and take no chances at grabbing that golden ring. I'm jumping. I don't know far I'm going to have to fly. But I'm going to fly to those attractive heights, where I can grow into the agent of change that my institution needs. For a long time I thought that meant I had to disappear, to learn, labor, and ultimately jump from the ashes with that magic degree that would earn my credibility. But now I realize my growth comes not just from the institutions that offer the degrees, but from all of you. You build me up and prompt me to create, to challenge, to change. I won't be leaving, I'll be growing alongside you all. This is my story.