Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I've never been to Baton Rouge, but LSU, here I come (with a responsibility to speak out)

Since completing my dissertation, I've had this tremendous weight on my shoulder to do as much as I possibly can to advocate for relocated youth in American Schools. As my dissertation was entitled (thanks Omar), there's a "Responsibility to Speak Out."

It has been a dream to design a course with the primary focus of reading, thinking about, and exploring refugee narratives in literature. When I saw LSU's call for a Young Adult Literature Conference in Baton Rouge, I couldn't help but chisel at my notes to design a seminar. All I had to do is look up at my library.

On Monday, I learned that my proposal was accepted and during the first week of June I will be working with several great minds, including Chris Crutcher, Joan Kaywell, Teri Lesesne, Chris Crowe, Kimberly Willis Holt, Steve Bickmore, and Matt de la PeƱa. 

It is only a weeklong seminar so I have to be precise and creative. The design, however, is to give academic writers (like me) an opportunity to compose with other writers (like them) together and to look for outlets for the work. My administrative, Ellen, suggested, "Bryan, You can write, but you also need to network. You need to bring these writers to Connecticut, too."

Phew. A tall order. I'm looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

It will be a week of SKYPE as I want my boys with me during the seminar. Hmmm. I'm actually thinking a little more creative right now, even for me. I wonder about a long weekend in New Orleans with them to celebrate the experience (don't tell them I said that).

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