Actually, I'm writing today simply to take stock on the NCTE/NWP conference that just was, and the LRA conference that soon-will-be. Interestingly, I located one of the collaborative Art projects I often assign to my graduate students and remembered, "Snap! I still need to find a frame for this puppy." Anyone have a 5 x 8 frame? The piece has been under my bed for three years and, when the project is finished, it will join the other Skills4Life art pieces from the last few years and the ones still to be created. integrity, focus, self-awareness, self-esteem, sense-of-humor, responsibility, and Ubuntu. This is year five of the project and I have two more years to go. I am proud of myself for sticking with it.
In the meantime, Alan Brown of Wake Forest sent me the photograph below where I was presenting at the Sports and Literacy symposium in DC. Although I wasn't officially on the program, I was invited by Dr. Brown because he and I worked together at LSU for the Young Adult Literature Conference. He needed someone last minute to fill in and I was thrilled to have the opportunity. It was a highlight of my trip, talking about the literacy work being promoted by Hoops4Hope.
But, now I'm getting ready to head to Marcos Island, Florida, will I will present more research on the in and out of school literacies of relocated refugees from Africa and the Writing Our Lives Conference work I've brought with me from Syracuse University to southern Connecticut. Both of these research projects began in CNY, so a highlight of the Literacy Research Association Conference is the reunion with those who invested so much unto me while I was a doctoral student. LRA is a Syracuse affair.
Why would you spend all that money to send me there? With that sort of money I could do amazing things with the young people I'm working with here. I tell you what...rather then spending money on me, why don't you select a phenomenal teacher from the schools in Tanzania and send them to the Connecticut Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. I'd rather invest in their experience of the United States than my sojourn over there. I know it will happen, but the time isn't right. I can't justify that amount of money when I'm seeing so many young people in schools down the road from where I live that have tremendous needs, too. Why don't we take the resources it would take to get me there and invest in the Ubuntu needed in Bridgeport? That would be ethically better.Andthis is where my brain is before I depart once again (another expense I wish I could trade for helping young people). Instead, I will go and hear many talk about social justice while knowing that each of us spent $1500 for the 20-minute presentations we give. It's crazy....but while in Rome, I must be a Roman professional).
Actually, I'm thankful. And every time I travel this way I feel more drive to do what is morally right in the communities where I live. Think Globally, Act Locally. That's my philosophy. There's so much I still need to pay forward.