I am so enjoying my memories of the All Write Conference and my two weeks of transition before I plunge back into my wild riding up and down the NYS Thruway for our annual Hudson Valley Writing Project’s Summer Institute 2013. After two summers off, I’m back in as lead co-facilitator with my buddy Christine and a great team of Returning Fellows. We are a smaller group this summer. Seems like teachers are more exhausted than ever after tough battles with the ed “reforms” that are kicking in. Some great applicants had to bow out, but we continue on.
We always begin after the 4th and just like Labor Day determines the start of school in our area, when the 4th lands in mid week, we get to enjoy a longer summer start before our SI Day One officially begins on Monday the 8th. Of course we do end in early August, but tomorrow we meet with our leadership at Christine’s for a planning meeting. Thanks to Google and their docs, Christine and I have been sharing the crafting of our agenda for the day.
So these weeks of break offered me time to read, to meet up with family, ( my 92-year-old aunt, Sally, a family favorite, is arriving on the 5th to see my dad, visit my mom’s grave(her sister, she’s the only remaining sister from the 4) and in her honor, we are dining on Friday night with lots of family who are joining us to see her. I got to be a learner yesterday in a photo workshop led by one of my best buds, Sharon who collaborated with me regularly when we both taught at Pearl River High School. She taught art, I taught English and together we met on the stage for at least on play a year. But yesterday it was her show and probably I am best as a learner, when it’s something I want to learn. How about that, I realized that I do love abstract photography even though I usually capture humans. And yes, I can move off the automatic settings to the challenges of manual, easier than I once could. I loved yesterday even though we couldn’t shoot outside :)
And last but not least, on Friday I met up with a Slicer who was missing from All Write 2013. Tara Smith and I were back at our original meet-up spot in Ridgewood, New Jersey, drinking coffee and tea and not breaking down to scarf down my absolute favorite Crumbs Red Velvet cupcakes. We were caught in talk: catching up, sharing and planning a project that will take more shape next Tuesday when she joins me for a day at our SI. I am SURE she will love it and the group will love her. Too bad New Paltz in an impossible trek for her on a regular basis, but for one day, I can’t wait to have her with us.
So, even with more rain on the way, I refuse to be held back from the fun of downtime: books, movies, video work, planning, family, friends and Tuvia.
Happy 4th of July, everyone!
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