In our “what have we learned?” session, one of the groups came up with the simple statement: “We underestimate our capabilities.” It came to me that it might even be true of you, who taught them that. (Sometimes we seem to teach what we need to learn.) I wondered if it was possible that you thought their tears at the end were simply sentiment, just full hearts running over. When you lightly said, “I’ll meet you in the freezer section,” it seemed like you may think they were just touched, just like at the beginning of your morning with them. If so, I want to tell you that I think something else was going on, that some of those people were weeping because of deep tectonic shifts inside themselves, shifts that you catalyzed. In the context of the week, the community they’d built together, and the lessons they’d already learned, it was a life-changing experience, a BIG DEAL.
So, if there is the even the tiniest bit of trivializing the depth of the work you do, chase it out of town, cuz what I see with my laser-sharp eyes is deep and real and meaningful. The bounty of your gift kept bringing tears to my eyes throughout the morning. I wish you could have been a fly on the wall at the “what have we learned?” session or the closing circle; then you’d know.
Thank you for all the work you’ve done over the years to polish your gift and for the energy to be here to deliver it.
North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching