Friday, August 03, 2007

Reflections from MWPN Leadership Retreat


After three days in Columbia, it feels great to be home with my own pillow, my own bed, and my own shower curtain.

Alter Ego: You're just saying that because you're a hotel snob.

Laura: Stop interupting. I want to tell the group about the MWPN Leadership Retreat that several of us attended. And I am not a "hotel snob."

Alter Ego: You are too. But if you're going to tell them about it, you'd better start with defining that MWPN anacronym.

Laura: Missouri Writing Project Network. It's a time when all of the sites.

Alter Ego: How many sites?

Laura: (irritated) Five. Missouri will have five sites once we receive funding. Can I finish now?

Alter Ego: By all means.

Laura: It's a time when the five Writing Project sites across the state get together to discuss the future of the state writing projects, Literacy Academies and other programs held by individual sites.

Alter Ego: Why not just say "it's a sharing of ideas"? Five words instead of the thirty words that it took you to say it.

Laura: (ignoring Alter Ego)There were a couple of things said by other sites that I wanted to share.

Alter Ego: I think they'd rather hear about how Liz and Julie totally stomped you in the card game Golf, little miss competitive.

Laura: I won. Once. . . Anyway, the first thing that struck me was a conversation about recruiting and diversity. I thought to myself that we have begun with diversity at OWP. You know what Imean.

Alter Ego: If they know what you mean, then why not just end this post and let the people check their facebook messages.

Laura: (eyes closed, deep breath, maintain composure) I mean rural and urban schools, advanced and academically challenged students, secondary and elementary teachers...

Alter Ego: You counting yourself as elementary?

Laura: Yeah. New and tenured teachers.

Alter Ego: I noticed that you didn't say "old." Are you going to post the embarrassing photo of you and Casey riding in the back of the van.

Laura: Definitely not. Anyway. We have the chance as a new site to expand our diversity from he beginning. I know that I'm going to make a conscious effort to talk teachers about OWP and NWP and not just the teachers who are like me.

Alter Ego: Like you? Almost forty, still trying to lose baby weight. Can you call it baby weight if the youngest kid is seven?

Laura: It counts as baby weight until you die.

Alter Ego: Hurry up with the second thing you wanted to say because Moses led the Hebrews to freedom faster than you're getting to the point?

Laura: Well, without these "interuptions," this post would be over by now.

Alter Ego:

Laura: Don't even say it. The second thing mentioned at the Retreat that struck me.

Alter Ego: Like a boat oar upside the head.

Laura: Not exactly. But it was about how the best ideas for sites come from the participants. "The best ideas," said one site leader, "bubble up from the TC's and don't trickle down from leadership."

Alter Ego: That's pretty cool.

Laura: I know. Liz is researching about the possibility of beginning an elementary youth writing camp.

Alter Ego: And you're still working on the Writing Retreat, right?

Laura: Yes.

Alter Ego: You forgot something.

Laura: Are you referring to Kelly wearing an apron and reading her writing barefoot in front of the entire group on Thursday evening? Oh. Are you talking about Liz's demo that she presented while we were there.

Alter Ego: No. You still need to write your Site Support Letter before you go to bed and send a copy to CK.

Laura: CK?

Alter Ego: Casey and Keri.