Fresh Air: NCTM Reflections

I’ve been reflecting on the NCTM Annual conference in San Francisco all over the place…in my head, with my spouse, with mathy friends etc and so I almost didn’t write a blog post.  San Francisco and the conference were fabulous:  Inspiring, motivating and fullfilling in so many ways, but I didn’t think I needed to process it in writing.   Then Sunday morning I got up and decided to attend the Sunday Celebration at Glide Memorial Church.   I haven’t felt the need to step foot in a church since my daughter was baptized, but the positive energy and love radiating from this place drew me in Sunday at 9 am.

As it turns out, the hour and a half at Glide was one of the most inspirational of the a weekend jam-packed with pockets of profound moments and inspirational experiences.  The guest poet was Chinaka Hodge .  She completely blew my mind in a way that makes me want to scour the internet and devour everything she’s ever created.  Another woman read a poem titled “It Began with Verbal Abuse” where she detailed an abusive relationship that left her with a missing tooth and an addiction to drugs.  Glide became her salvation.  The pastor read a poem about her mother’s experience as an Japanese-American in the 1940’s.  She founded Glide to help others like her.

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View from my hotel room of Glide Memorial Church

So what is it about Glide or NCTM or the Math-Twitter-Blog-o-Sphere (MTBoS) that makes spending time together so special?  Echoing Lisa Henry’s closing remarks from TMC 15:  It’s the community (stupid).  But there’s more.  It’s our opportunity to tell people in 3-dimensions how much we have appreciate their work in 2-dimensions. In my world, this was captured quite perfectly while meeting Henri Picciotto.  After Anna (Blinstein) was gracious enough to introduce me, I asked him if he would mind getting a picture with me.  I think his exact words were “that’s kind of weird but ok”  (which made me adore him even more).

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I’m not a regular part of Glide Memorial Church like I am the MTBoS, but the invitation is the same:  Come join our community.  We accept you as you are and we want to help you become a better version of yourself.  

Thank you everyone who helped fill my heart with such joy this weekend in San Francisco.

 

 

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