I had dinner with Kenna a month earlier where he told me about his dream to become a civil rights lawyer to fight for gay rights. He was a black gay man who was the arts and entertainment editor on his school newspaper and he was active on his college campus in his quest for LGBTQ rights on campus.
|Kenna's Memorial at CU|
|Kenna...We Still Miss You|
And I don't think he ever even realized the reach and the impact he had on others...that is the true heartbreak.
But will we ever know the impact we have on others? Those things that stand out to us are probably things that we needed and were ready to learn at that point in our lives, so the people who taught us most likely won't have the same reaction we have. It really is a beautiful circle of teaching.
Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Gates Foundation to talk about networks. The idea goes that we can solve the problems of education if we get a group of people together who do great thinking about solving problems. There are some amazing groups out there that are gathering these groups of people, one of which I was privileged to represent at this meeting, The National Writing Project.
I can't even tell you how many times the writing project has inspired me and touched me and helped me push my thinking. I'm not sure the people who push my thinking even realize how much they have impacted me. I mean, really, why would they? After all, in their minds I would imagine they think they are just doing their job. But to me...to me, their thoughtfulness and willingness to work with me has kept me in teaching. It has added inspiration to my teaching.
I feel like I'm at a point in my career where I want to begin to give back because I have been given so much.