Creating a portfolio to chronicle my learning experience in MDDE610 would not be complete without taking a moment to pause and reflect on the life of the late Dr. Linda Lysynchuk. The first two months of this semester was spent in her home, providing her with the personal care and compassion she needed as she battled her final days with cancer. Linda left this planet on October 12, 2014 at 8:38 p.m. She was 52 years old. Linda was a dedicated and respected professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. But above all, she was a mother and wife.......and to me, she was family.

The inclusion of this information recognizes the significant influence of 'context' on a learner's educational experiences. Having rented a van and travelled 6 hours from home to care for her was definitely the most challenging context I've ever had to learn in. However, the gift of being able to be with her and still continue my studies was a marvel. Thanks to the ubiquitous nature of technology and the affordances of distance education, I was able to remain connected with my group members and participate as much as possible despite such difficult circumstances. I believe this experience has underlined for me, on a very personal level, the amazing potential of technology to break down barriers to education experienced by people across the globe. 

Linda was a strong supporter of my educational pursuits, and even in her last days was quick to ask me about my assignments and wondered how things were going. It's with this spirit in mind that I prepare this portfolio knowing that she would have given anything to remain with her family and continue her own work in education.