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.
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).
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.