Perhaps my greatest accomplishment this summer is that I did a lot of nothing. My July was unusually quiet, void of the summer gigs at conferences that have kept me in presenter and work mode. Outside of my PLP commitments, I played a lot of golf and took the odd nap, read a little, wrote very little and hung out with family and friends. I needed that.
In the early part of the month I took part in an unique event called Unplugd. As part of the organizing committee, it was a year long process that finally came to fruition over the long weekend. For me it was a bit odd as I went from doing nothing to being placed with some pretty incredible and passionate folks ready to work, share, think and play. As soon as the event ended, I went right back into vacation mode and had little time to really reflect. I'm not even sure I'm ready yet. There was and is much to process. Many have already written some great personal reflections.
As I prepare to begin a new year I'm also going to be presenting at the ABEL Summer Institute. I playing with some old ideas and exploring a few new ones too. That's pretty much the mindset I'll have entering the new year at both Prairie South, my day job and teaching pre-service teachers at the University of Regina, my night job. I'm slowly getting back into my RSS reader and really beginning to think deeply again. Tonight two posts have me thinking. Bud writes a wonderful little pep talk to teachers as they begin the new year. My favorite part:
Be an expert when you need to be. Be a learner always. You are probably the most experienced learner in your classroom. But don’t assume you’re the most knowledgeable person or object. If you’ve a computer handy, then you’re not. Embrace that. Relationships and mentoring cannot be outsourced or Googled. They take time and genuine concern.
That's gold. Read it again and tell me that's not gold.
The second thing I read tonight was Hugh MacLeod's post about quitting Twitter and Facebook to focus on blogging. What I think is important for me is both the emphasis on doing something that's hard and owning it. You see, writing this post is much more difficult for me than cranking out 20 tweets. I'm not so quick to discount twitter as distracting and useless. I've advocated the opposite many times. But I do think the balance needs to be watch carefully and for me the balance needs to shift here. This is where I do my most meaningful work. The comments you leave me both agreeing and at times disagreeing are gold for me. This is my space to tell stories, and "stories is all we are" I think it's a much richer space to tell stories and besides I own these stories and this space. I pay for it and it's worth it. Bud's post that I shared with you is 3 years old. He owns it. He wrote and first posted it to his blog. Not twitter, not Facebook but HIS BLOG. That's kind of a big deal. You need a place for your stuff. Twitter is like a neighbourhood bar. You might want to visit but it's kind of an icky and awkward place to live. I'd love to come hang out where you have stuff and tell stories. You'd be surprised how many others would too.
So my summer of nothing is winding down. It's been a great summer. I hope you take some time to read both the posts I mentioned. I also hope, if you haven't a place to tell your stories that you find one. And don't tell me you don't have any to tell because that's all we are….stories.
Photo by: charbeck 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/23046603@N00/6023520691/