Letters to Tuvia#257:Freedom (6-30-16)

Morning T.

I began writing this letter last night but by midnight my energy finally gave way and I spent the evening sleeping to Sex and the City‘s pilot and a  cool living room breeze. After 2 1/2 days of sitting and listening passively to a trio of passionate women who have spent most of their adult lives fighting racism, I was mentally exhausted and couldn’t wait to get home a spend the afternoon back home at my very own beauty salon, getting pampered.

 As you might expect, I was hoping to learn something more about how we take up the fight against racism and then bring something back to teachers at our HVWP but I think I came back almost empty handed.

Each of the three  facilitators came to the table with  many years of experience and commitment under their belts.  Bonnie  from New Jersey, Barbara, a woman of color from New Orleans, and  Latina Maria from Puerto Rico-all  authentic voices to inspire a circle of local educators, social workers, representatives from social services and three of my favorite HVWP teachers.  As we found our seats, I was psyched. Little did I know that I would stay rooted in that seat for the next two days.

I wondered if I had made the right decision after the introduction on Monday night. We left  with just basic introductions  completed and all agreed to a contract detailing how we would work together for the span of the workshop, but we got nothing to read or think about for the next day-nothing to chew on with Christine as we rode back to her place.  It was more fun to just chill with Ian, eat pizza and watch the Bachelorette.  But I was still hopeful when  we were up sipping coffee and then racing to dress and arrive almost on time.

Each trainer took a turn presenting an a aspect of their agenda. We began with a challenge,with boxes and lines on a page. Christine figured it out in seconds and we began with the notion that it’s best not to stay within the box. And then  the talking at us began… I took some notes, the atmosphere felt comfortable and open.  We were free to jump in , ask questions, share opinions. I liked each of the facilitators, but I’m spoiled and demanding.  I expect more from my PD.  I expect that there’s a give and take but  we needed to read something, write, get pushed out of our comfort zone with hands-on activities.

Two days of passivity!  It was telling that as the training team wrapped up yesterday, throwing out their work as community organizers in the last hour, when  they asked us if we were ready to become organizers, no one responded.  If that was their aim, to create a new group ready to move into our  respective communities with a new spirit, a new determination to work against our racism, they needed to get us actively engaged first.

Chances are that I would not have been back for day #2 if you were here.  I would be racing back to you, determining that my time away was just not worthwhile. I missed that, why bother conversation with you that we would have enjoyed on my way back to you.

It’s today is  last day of June and I’m bubbling over with good energy.

The  sun’s shining, Sharon and I walked Rockland Lake this morning,  Elyse created a fresh look for me,, Kristen and I began our own Open planning for  July with a flurry of emails sailing back and forth.  No sage in center stage for us. Emails began sailing back and forth.

Eliana and her family are already settled in for the 4th waiting to share time with me, there will beJ jazz and Japanese food tomorrow night, Tara’s up at the farm, Ami and Maggie arrive tomorrow with the rest of the family following the next day.

After two days of prison I’m feeling free, off to dinner at LaFontana with Hilda.

Miss you Tuv R.  First 4th of July barbecue without you.

Bonnie S.

 

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6 thoughts

  1. Too bad your PD did not stimulate your thinking. That’s always disappointing but at least you were in good company and not on your own. Sounds like you have a busy weekend ahead. I’m busy prepping for August because I leave in a week to take care of my granddaughter in CA. Fun times ahead!

  2. Because you are a facilitator yourself, I imagine you expected some things that are good in your writing project, always “doing”. We had a staff facilitator a number of years ago & we did so much, so I know how you feel. I would have not enjoyed the sitting. Your time this weekend sounds full, except for one person, I know. But, you’re taking him along with you always, Bonnie. Have a good time with all those friends and family.

  3. I don’t like workshops on either end of the spectrum–all passive or all fun & games. I like a healthy mix. That said, if it’s not to my liking, I leave.

    These facilitators sound as if they need training. I remember those workshops of yesteryear called train the trainer. I went to a couple and thought, this is craziness, I know how to do this better than the trainer. But, I found out that many did not. They really did need to be trained how to lead groups. Sigh.

    But, it sounds like you are doing some good stuff. I noticed you aren’t writing as often so figure you must be taking spirit and body off to do other pursuits. Good for you.

    • I agree Delaine. As an HVWP facilitator I expect to be engaged on the other side of the experience as well and it wasn’t happening here. I wasn’t going to come back for the second day but the first ended powerfully, the only time it was powerful but we were right back in those passive seats for the last day, UGH!!!!!
      I have a busy summer ahead 🙂 but I always want to write. Seems though that I don’t always have something to say, sometimes I’m away and sometime I’m just too tried to put something together. It’s been a challenging year, that’s for sure.
      Thanks for reading me…

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