I attended the morning session of the Writing Project Summer Institute today. One of the many cool things about the program is that once you go through, you're considered a "Teacher Consultant" and are forever after invited to any presentation that appeals to you. This morning was the first time that I'd been back in the three years since I'd done the SI. A friend of mine was presenting, and she invited me in.
I was a few minutes late and the first open seat at the familiar horseshoe-shaped set of tables was right next to the director, so I tried to slide quietly into it. I was a bit embarrassed, then, when my friend interrupted her talk to introduce me, but it wasn't long before I slipped back under the spell of the summer institute, and three hours of listening and writing and sharing vanished like silk hankies at a magic show. When it was all over, I had written a journal entry in the voice of a new immigrant, a list of everything in my refrigerator, and helped the director set up a blog and post to it. I also had a bunch of new resources and several ideas for using them with my students. Multiply that by twenty, throw in a ready-made writing group that meets twice a week, an all-day presentation by Barry Lane, a writing marathon, and a Progoff journal workshop, and you may get a glimpse of the Summer Institute.
I could do it again and again.