30 July 2006

Home...from the CiRCE/ClassEd Conference!

Well, it's not officially called the "CiRCE/Classed Conference", but it might as well have been. It was officially CiRCE's "A Celebration of Knowledge". Let me 'splain...no, there is too much, let me sum up. As I sit and simply let the memories wash over me, this is what comes to mind:
  • meeting old friends for the first time
  • the nervousness of first meeting melting away in a heartbeat, a smile, or a hug
  • finally understanding what it would have been like to have come from a large family of sisters
  • adjoining rooms ("the suite")
  • The Wild Bunch
  • being on vacation at a business conference
  • "Oh!"
  • life-changing pork chops
  • "I didn't know Elvis sold Mary Kay!"
  • asking Vigen Guroian how to pronounce "Vigen Guroian"
  • Miss Rhode Island, the Patron Saint of the ??? family
  • a 1-pound ferret named Jamie
  • finishing each other's sentences
  • throwing out a one-liner and not killing the conversation while everyone stops to think about what I meant and decide if it requires some sort of thoughtful response
  • laughing so much I now have a bit of a sore throat and my diaphragm hurts
  • discovering what being a moderator means in real life
  • chocolate raspberry brownies
  • missing my good camera (I'm taking it next year!)
  • seeing the hotel, but not being able to figure out how to actually get there and driving into a construction site instead
  • bump-bump ... bump-bump ... bump-bump ... "Oh, those are speed bumps. I should probably slow down."
  • after having met face to face only 48 hours before: "Let me have your purse." "Sure!"
  • wine-tasting
  • taking over Martin's colloquy and the look on his face when he walked into the room
  • reading each other's faces across the table
  • The Pseudo-Monthly Meditation
  • A Celebration of Chocolate
  • deep conversations with Jenny in the bathroom while putting makeup on
  • 4 to 5 hours' sleep each night
  • pajama party - hey, at least I had my jammies on!
  • shattering my Adagio mug on the bathroom floor
  • fooling everyone into thinking my felt blanket was really a shawl
  • sharing passions, not just talking at someone about my passion
  • discussing rashes, school, kids, literature, philosophy, theology, ideas, and everything under the sun - all with the same people and at the same time
  • a whole flock of odd ducks
  • amazing food
  • books, books, books!!!!
  • trying to lug all the books through two airports
  • trading my bags for sweet, 4 month old Lily and getting the much better end of the deal
  • the Andrew Kern action figure
  • several "threads" going on at the same time in the hotel lobby
  • "If a session wasn't recorded, did it happen?"
  • volunteering to be the laugh-track for Martin's re-recorded non-session
  • colloquies at the hotel: in the lobby, the hallways, the elevator, the rooms - but they weren't recorded, so did they really happen?
  • Martin's own phone ringing in the middle of his non-session (We think Andrew was calling him.)
  • what CiRCE really means
  • coaching Sheri as she birthed our arrival at the airport
  • being called "young ladies"!!!
  • actually having loved ones see me off at the gate
  • arriving at the airport here at home and gradually realizing that not only did Drew come as expected, but my whole family was there, including Gillian
  • giving Gill her mom's hug while it was still fresh
  • flowers, perfume, and a card awaiting me on my nightstand
  • burdens lifted
  • inspiration and challenge
  • refreshment: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical
  • leisure
  • joy
  • training my affections to love that which is objectively good
I can't really describe all that happened. I feel so full right now in every way. God is too good to me to give me such precious friends and these last few days with them.

It will take weeks or months or years or a whole lifetime to digest all that I heard, and I'm looking forward to many conversations over the next year about the nature of our students and how to teach to that nature, what "underwritten" in Martin's quote really means, reminders that schola means "learned leisure", and that I ate a life-changing pork chop.

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