Powerful Hours At Duzene: Conversations with Eileen

Morning Friend,

I know I complain a lot about being up early, but I’m really a lover of  writing in the darkness especially when the guy in the other room is snoring away.  I know he is sleeping and with a day of work ahead of him, he needs another precious hour. Me, I have nap opportunities coming up before a trip up north for some of my favorite work-documenting today a group of elementary teachers learning and sharing together. Ahhh Hudson Valley Writing Project, I love you!

It’s a big day today and somehow I just can’t go on right now. Maybe I can get an extra hour of sleep right now…

24 hours later…

Sorry, I just couldn’t get back to my blog yesterday but I’m fired up this morning 🙂

So, I had a great workout with Anthony at the gym, maybe  I was working on GIG power now that my computer is living life with a lift!  In seconds I went from 8GBS of storage on Tuesday, to 330. Can you believe that? Video is a serious issue for hard drive storage.  Kudos to my new Apple geek, Maersk who gently helped me through a necessary computer spring cleaning before it was too late 🙂  I love my Apple store 🙂

I got home from the gym, from ShopRite, sat down on my couch and wondered if I had the energy to get moving, to get to my guitar, to get back into my car and make my way up the Thruway to New Paltz for a visit to Rebecca’s Elementary Study Group.  Honestly, I did want to get up and for an hour, I didn’t.

But then… yes, I did grab up my guitar and play for  almost an hour.  I did change, collect my digital documenting toys, dress up for the winter outside and shut the house down.

The trip up was not fun… somewhere between the tollbooth and the Newburgh exit, I lost my energy and fought hard to stay awake, but as I got closer, in the last stretch of the hour, I found my mojo and I opened my eyes wide, with a bit of help from some active Stones tunes.

I took the backroad close to the Thurway entrance, stopping only for some oddly placed stop signs,until route 218?and a right turn on Sunset Ridge. (How did I remember that?)  Out of the car, in control of my digital bundles and I was welcomed into the school’s library.  Rebecca was setting up and I was already happy to be there.  We caught up, I set up, and smiled, no I grinned at being back in this sweet school.

The principal, stopped by (very funky haircut) and we shared my new YWP teaser.  Pleasant surprise 🙂

The teachers arrived in small groups…no one was dragging in.  I thought about those after school activities that I had been required to attend when I was still teaching.  There was a lot of dragging then. No always of course.  I did get to work and know Nancy Letts. And these teachers came out of their own desire to rejoin their HVWP study group community.  Some have been with the group for 2 years or more.

Not everyone would be there today, but soon the clumped grouping of desks was comfortably filled with a dozen teachers and Rebecca introduced me warmly, reflecting our strong history of professional and personal friendship.  Yes, I was present to document the session but Rebecca was so gracious and smart to invite me to share something, something that I loved doing… “Prompt Queen” Yes, I remembered.  Rebecca had suggested “My Name” using Sandra Cisneros as a mentor text to anchor the writing. Surprisingly, maybe because the teachers were elementary, they didn’t know House of Mango Street.  That made the share even more exciting: a fresh group opened to meet Sandra Cisneros. And we wrote together for a good 15 minutes… a bit more… and most everyone shared… and I closed my eyes and listened, took in the power of their voices, the commitment to their heartfelt stories. And conditions were absolutely perfect to capture the moments with my camera.

Everyone shared something within the few hours we were together.  One teacher shared student work using the HVWP Protocols…we ate dinner together and I was sooo good- just plates of salad. No PIZZA!

And I have so much video to edit for Rebecca to return to this session and relive the power of a community of passionate teachers.  How lucky we still are to have the HVWP!

No video piece ready but here’s a few photos to make yesterday more real:

I’m over my 750 today!

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Categories: 750 words, Conversations with Eileen, Hudson Valley Writing Project | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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