I was delighted with how packed the room was for the session I organized on education with Diane Ravitch and John Jackson. Both Diane and John enjoyed themselves. While I am aware of a diary that was critical of the session, I was honored by the number of people who came up to me and thanked me for the session, who got value from it.
I found the part of Providence in which we were located to be delightfully walkable. I enjoyed many of the events and parties outside of the convention center.
For me one of the most important parts of each convention is the chance to connect with people. There were many whose screen names I knew but whom I had never met, and I was delighted to be able to have a face to go with the name. I was honored by the kind words about my writing, and good wishes for whatever may come next now that I will be retired - tomorrow will be my last day in the school building, and officially as of July 1 I will no longer be employed.
A brief explanation, something some people knew. I did not get to see as many people as I wanted to, in part because I did not go to the Daily Kos party. I was helping set up for another event, but I was also dealing with a loss. My wife's mother passed peacefully on Saturday morning. While it was not unexpected - she had been moved into hospice early in the week - this was a woman who had been part of my life for 37 years. I found myself unable to stay through the two caucuses I was attending that afternoon - the parents' caucus and the education caucus - because there were things that reminded me and I was afraid i was going to lose it. I need some time to mourn, even as my wife had insisted that I stay at the conference because she knows my being with others from the electronic progressive universe is an important part of who I am.
At the gathering last night with friends, I began to formulate a vision, if you will, of how we might be able to present the progressive approach in a powerful way. Several people encouraged me to try it. Unlike many of my posts, which are written in one draft, this cannot be. I will need to struggle with it, share it offline with others for their comments and feedback. Perhaps it will not work. But the fact that I am willing to try it is perhaps the most important thing I got from this year's conference. It, like my retirement, is somewhat like jumping off a bridge with a bungee cord whose length you have not yet measured. IT is a little scary. Perhaps it will come to nothing. Perhaps the pushback from others if I do succeed in drafting and posting something will be what really matters.
THis came about because of the interchange with others, people like you who are reading these words, as we seek to find ways to make a better world, a better American. For that I thank you.
And now I have to return to my cats, who are very demanding of attention after my being away from them for more than 100 hours.