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.