|A beautiful campus, even with a slight chill.|
After participating in the Institute last year, I admired it not just for its intimate feel and ability to draw marquee talent, but for its ability to engage and assist graduate students in their development. Major elements of the conference are planned by graduate students in FSU's HESA program, and they are also featured prominently as presenters. Special thanks and major props go out to the first and second years of the program- you do amazing work, and deserve to be recognized for it.
|Fuel for the day, courtesy of the wonderful Carolyn Barringer :)|
As much as this conference was a chance for me to connect with old friends, it was also a great chance to make connections with new ones. After so many months of following their thought-provoking posts and conversations, I had the long-awaited pleasure of getting to meet both Eric Stoller and Laura Pasquini. In them, I was happy to find kindred spirits in thoughtful inquiry and occasional silliness. I also got to make friends with first year graduate students at FSU, and some staff members from Baylor and University of Dubuque (a fellow Ghanaian in Iowa...lord bless him, we're not great with snow!). As I met people both old and new, I was surprised at how many people were familiar with my social media presence. I heard myself referred to a few times as "the queen of social media", which frankly feels like an overstatement of the issue.
I value the connections I've been able to make over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like. They've made my life fuller, and have given me a way to ease connections that this anxious introvert otherwise has tremendous difficulty building. But the public element of that, the idea that others can see that and are interested in what I have to say, still escapes me at times. I was reminded by a student the other day of it, and was sincerely humbled by it. All I can say is, to those who appreciate what I bring to the airwaves (as it were), thank you. And if you were here with me, I'd say what I always do: "Happy to help!" with a smile and a giggle.
|This is why I do this work. Happy to help :)|