I just returned home and opened the refrigerator and began eating a beet with salt over the sink. I was staring out the window when it occurred to me. Again. I am never “Going back to work.” And I’ll tell you why.
About three hours earlier, standing in the streets of Jerome, Arizona with Alan Levine and Giulia Forsythe staring at the one remaining wall of some really old building. I can see myself standing there. I start to speak. The words are, “I better be getting back to work.”
— melinda (@melindakumi) July 24, 2013
I could have stayed there and talked about the building. Or the amazing view of Sedona and the beautiful thunderheads letting loose thin strands of rain. I could have continued an earlier conversation about our office space and how we train teachers. Or made a comment about the coffee we had just purchased. But I didn’t. I said, “I’d better be getting back to work.”
Here is what had just happened. I sat and had lunch with Alan Levine and Giulia Forsythe. Alan is a pretty well know educational technologist. Well known enough that we asked him to share his ideas with our faculty as a keynote at our last summer institutes. Like how many times does the average instructional designer guy like me get to just have lunch with someone like Alan?
Guilia is Special Projects Facilitator for the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation at Brock University in Ontario Canada. The words “pedagogy” and “innovation” are very relevant words in my work as guy who helps faculty at a small community college. She is smart. She can help me.
So we have lunch and as we are eating, you know what? We talk about the cool old town of Jerome. And the good food. And the local beer. And the bear Alan and I had seen on a bike ride. But you know what else we talked about? Teaching teachers. What works, what does not. Projects we are working on. Challenges we face. Technical issues with WordPress. We talked a good deal about our worlds that are pretty wrapped up in teaching and learning. I guess, if you had to, you could call it a working lunch. But &%#$ that. I am going to call it what I love to do. And I am one lucky guy.
Could I have stayed a bit longer and shared some other ideas with them? Made some comment about how nice the weather was recently? Shared some moments on this amazing planet with two amazing people? Yes. Yes I could. But instead I blurt out, “I’d better get back to work.”
Shame on me is all I have to offer at this point of the story. I should have learned my lesson a couple years ago when this happened. And given what experience I do have with stuff that happens at lunches and bars, I should know better.
Well, no matter. I am feeling better now. The beets were good and the afternoon spent with friends learning from each other even better. Next time I am lucky enough to have such a rich opportunity, I may just hang out a little longer and talk about the weather. I hope I am smart enough to recognize that the next time.