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.


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).


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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