Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reflecting on NCTE

Reflecting...literally

Maybe I shouldn't have read what I wrote in last year's reflection on attending NCTE. Wow. Did I really write that? Nice work, last year's me. All still true. So now what am I supposed to write?

This year I'll write about magic. I'll write about this:


I've presented at NCTE before, but I don't remember any of my sessions ever feeling as magical as this one with (L to R) Vicki Vinton, Julieanne Harmatz, Fran McVeigh, and Steve Peterson.



Vicki  invented our tribe.
"Our job is to find the disconnected and connect them, to find people eager to pursue a goal and give them the structure to go achieve that goal. But just about always, we start with an already existing worldview, a point of view, a hunger that's waiting to be satisfied." -- Seth Godin

We met in the comments on Vicki's blog. We knew each other through our written words both there, and on our own blogs. We knew each other through profile pictures and tweets. When we finally met in person, it was so fun to add facial expressions and voices and hands to shake and hugs and the sounds of laughter to everything we already knew about each other.

All the parts of our session fit like the verses of a song. The chorus of our song was, "What if?"

I think we'll be singing this song we wrote for a long time to come. We'll sing the chorus in our classrooms, and we'll sing out the new verses to each other on our blogs until we find a way and a place for an in-the-flesh reunion!

Here is Steve's reflection on NCTE and our session.

Fran has three reflections -- here, here, and here.

Julieanne wrote a thank you note to NCTE.

There was way, way more to my time at NCTE than just this one session with these four other people. There were other first-time meetings with online friends and lots of happy reunions with far-flung friends. There were many sessions that provided new learning and deep thinking. There were the obligations of the poetry committee and the CLA board.

But this one bit was magic.
Truly magic.

2 comments:

  1. Reading this makes me so sad I missed your session. There were too many hard choices to make. Some of my choices were just right, but I think I missed the boat on this one. NCTE is a magical place where new friends meet. I was happy to meet you, if only briefly. Thanks for being there!

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  2. Yours was a magical session - my favorite at NCTE, and the gold standard for what these sessions should be, Mary Lee. This is because you led with inquiry and passion - what followed was the serendipity of like minds coalescing around connecting ideas. It was magical, and I thank you all for that gift. I will always remember it - and all I learned thanks to the five of you.

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