My Final DENsi2014 Reflection: Living in the Moment

It’s true, as that they, that you never really know how much you loved something until it’s gone. You also never realize how much you needed something until you no longer have it.

I had to take a moment of pause this week as I was trying to explain what the DEN summer institute was. Yes, it’s sponsored by Discovery Education, an “edtech conglomerate” of sorts but to even classify this under “edtech” is almost insulting. It’s so much more than that…much like DE is much more than video.

DENsi is really the week that we all needed at the moment that it happens. Year after year, many of use come to this realization during the moments of “unclosing” while generally bypassing these thoughts while we live it…such an odd thought.

Earlier in the week, before the full event occurred, an admin “pre-attendee” commented that we were very much like a cult. I laughed at that statement because she really had no idea what this community was about because when you don’t know…that’s what you think.

Imagine being in a place, surrounded by people who are just as weird as you in their passions for what they do. Imagine being in a place where in the face of so much negativity, there are smiles…hugs…laughter…tears.

Imagine being in a place, where for a week, you get to leave all the problems of the world behind. You get to “not think” about the burdens of life that get you down. You get to lift up others. You get to build even stronger bonds of support. You get to share. You get to learn.

This is what being at DENsi is like. It is the single most inspiring week of your entire life…if you are lucky enough to be there.

Personally, this week was tough. So many things are occurring behind the scenes of my life and as much as I tried to live in the moments, there were times that I could not. I tried. I really did.

As I settle upon my last few hours in Nashville, the digital story of the last week is playing steadily in my head and heart. It brings me great joy thinking about it. It brings me greater joy feeling it.

Thank you to the entire Discovery Education team for bringing us all together. Thank you for being more that “suits in a company” but true ambassadors of learning. Thank you for loving and honoring teachers the way that you do day after day.

And Dear Porter Palmer,

I watched as you greeted each and every person by name. It didn’t matter if each person was newbie or a vet. You KNEW every face and I admire you even more for those moments as they meant the world to the person on the other side of your hugs. This is why you are THE DEN Princess.

Gosh, I needed this week.

PS…

If you are reading this and you have a Discovery Education account and have NOT joined the DEN community, please do go fix that NOW. You’re missing out on connecting with thousands of passionate, innovative teachers. You’re also missing out on some of the greatest learning moments of your life that may just occur at the moment when you need it most.

Until Next Time!

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