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Sunday, March 18, 2012

My cage has been rattled... again

Photo courtesy of SXSW
Bruce Springsteen - SXSW Keynote Address

For me, the sign of a great keynote or lecture is if I'm still thinking about it later. If I'm making connections, thinking deeply, and wanting to watch it again, then I usually enjoyed it. I'm not a musician, I can't play the guitar, (I desperately want to learn) but I can relate to holding parallel and polarizing ideas about something and I find deliberate and explicit connections to my work in education. I've been trying to do a lot more self-reflection and improvement the past six months or so, and when he says,
"The purity of human expression and experience is not confined to guitars, to tubes, to turntables, to microchips," said Springsteen. "There is no right way, no pure way, of doing. There is just doing." 
I stopped and reflected on my impact in my small world of education.  I need to reconnect my passion of education with my passion for people, community, and humanity. I think I have been somewhat disconnected from the humanness of my passion for kids, learning, and educators the last twelve months or so and that has to change. I may need a change, a shift if you will, and exploring these options may take me down a new path. I'm cool with change.

We only have one life, one chance to make an impact. Being asleep at the wheel or content just doesn't jive with me. I need and want more. I'm going to bring the noise. I love what Bruce closed with in his keynote.
"Rumble young musicians (educators) rumble.
Open your ears and open your hearts,
Dont take yourself too seriously, and take yourself as seriously as death itself.
Don't worry, worry your ass off
Have iron-clad confidence, but doubt; it keeps you awake, and alert.
Believe you are the baddest ass in town and, you suck.
It keeps you honest, it keeps you honest to be able to keep two completely contradictory ideas alive and well inside of your heart and head at all times.
If it doesn't drive you crazy, it will make you stronger.
Stay Hard stay Hungry, and stay Alive.
When you walk on stage tonight to bring the noise, treat it like it's all we have and remember it's only rock n' roll."  
Two completely contradictory ideas alive and well brought me back to something Chris Lehman has said many times, Dealing With The Worst Consequences of Your Best Ideas
"There is no panacea in education and every great idea has a dark side, so what are the worst consequences of your best ideas?"  
This is so simple yet, so difficult. But, I think it reconnects us to the human element in a way that is is transparent, reflective, and vulnerable. The key for me is to not be paralyzed with the weight of these polarized concepts and visions.
Learn, teach
Create, co-create
Build own ideas, stand on shoulders of giants
Respond and Share, spend time in thought
Never settle for status quo, celebrate small victories
Move slowly, but move deliberately
Own it, share your vision
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