I have just attended the most significant, amazing, life-altering, inspiring (insert more superlative adjectives here) conference of my life. No exaggeration. The Momentous Institute’s Changing the Odds Conference has it all! As the days pass, I will go on and on about the details and the incredible speakers and the lessons and the aha moments…what does one do with a constant stream of aha moments? LIterally, every word from every speaker, including Michelle, including those I met in line. The energy in that room…the progressive thought…I was…still am…swimming in painful desire to remember every detail and to somehow share what I learned that has layered on top of what I know and what I think.
All of these amazing thoughts are currently being bombarded by stupid over-loud comments from the group next to me on this patio, people who obviously did NOT attend this conference. Anyone who attended this conference is not making dumb comments tonight; anyone who attended this conference has been moved. To grow. To change the world. To go forth with the gems we were offered today and yesterday. I was trying to read Glennon’s blog, laughing out loud, all alone, next to the smell of cigarette (but I refuse to go back inside to the conditioned air…I’ll take the wafts of smoke instead of indoors). And I was thinking, I love Glennon. I love her. I read her blog for the first time today. I have come across its name, here and there, but I mostly tread in the written world of educational issues and can barely (ok, I really don’t effectively, but I try) keep up with Diane Ravitch’s news/posts. I was thinking how much I love Glennon after seeing her on stage today. She makes us laugh, cry, feel. She is so beautifully real and she says what she wants when she feels it and she is moving and she is beautiful in every way including those LEGS! 🙂 And I realized that what I want most is to write with reckless abandon like she does. And that I have my own words the world might need. And that I want to just start and keep going, and I have my own style and my own history that might resonate with people, and that I have ALWAYS wanted to just journal to the world (I don’t know why, and I didn’t think it was a favorable method until today), and that maybe waiting for the perfect set of posts and the perfect chapter is not where my heart is. It is in raw communication, just like momastery.com.
Oh the stupid conversation going on next to me! Focus, Jackie. So, I laugh at Glennon’s words. Out loud. It’s lovely. I have been through a hell of a summer (I can’t wait to tell you about it, I really can’t, but I have to be acquitted first). I adore Glennon’s style. I don’t know if it has been said to her…probably it has. She is a grown-up Junie B. to me. I LOVE me some Junie B. Oh, Glennon, thank you for the universal nudge to do exactly what I want to do. I want to write to you. I want to sit here in this chair at the Hotel Anatole in Dallas, TX next to people who keep distracting me, forcing me to focus, forcing me to follow that deep, primal urge to follow my own path that has forced its way into my life as of April 2015. I am fighting tears. Fighting that ugly contorting thing my face does when I’m this passionate and when pain wants to bleed out of my skin. Processing, dreaming, reaching, doing, reflecting and wishing all at the same exact time.
As a writer, I feel it necessary (and thank you again, Glennon, for the nudge to be exactly who I am) to tell you that I am aware that my style includes too many uses of (…), and ( – ) and run-on sentences that use the word and, and, and, and, and too much. I like writing like that, and I like emojis and I WANT to use them, and I might just get that tattoo that says “permission.” I have never wanted a tattoo in my life, until this very moment. I want freedom more than anything in my life. Freedom to be me. Freedom to say what I need to say and freedom to make the freaking difference in the world that I’m NUDGED to make. May this be the beginning. Oh, may this be the beginning.
The things I know lots about, and the things this blog will be about: Kids. Teaching. How kids see the world. What kids need. What kids can do. What parents could do to make their voices heard. What teachers need. What teachers and kids DON’T need. What teachers know should be, because they are nurturing, caring human beings. What we should do about this disgusting situation called ‘wtf is educational policy thinking acting this way when it doesn’t use a shred of scientific or research-based or logic-based evidence or strategy?” The current state of our classrooms and schools is nothing short of a national emergency and I am SO READY to start throwing a BIG LOUD FIT!
I have hoped and wished and labored with desire, in frustration, and in inner torture. To know that something is so wrong, to know something is causing so much damage, to know how to fix it, to know that fixing it is essential to the health of our children, our future, our country, but to be stuck in my little town, in my little self, in my little world unable to SHOUT, unable to plow, unable to share (because I am a relative nobody who knows that I should be a relative expert), to be stuck is to die with the knowledge I have been gifted. And that would be a waste. So, now I write, with reckless abandon, like I have always wanted to do. Thank you Glennon, thank you. I don’t even care if it goes nowhere at this point. It is so DAMN good to let this out through my fingers in the midst of cigarette smells and over-loud expletives as the sun sets in Dallas on the eve of a life-changing two days. Thank you Momentous Institute!
I am ready to tell the things I know about kids.
My credentials? I opened my heart to their needs and watched and studied and responded for many, many years. They have a voice in me, and so do their teachers, and their parents.
Here’s to the freedom of the future…YAY!!!