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What I learned this summer

October 6, 2008 am31 7:13 am

Five weeks late, but with two days off last week, one this week, one next… I am finally catching my breath, deep breath, and reflecting.

Summer vacation is important. I didn’t take one. And I am suffering.

I am no longer 20. I am no longer 25…

It is possible to reach new teachers – but it takes an organizer’s mindset and an organizer’s tactics. Over 100 this summer, with a little help, it could be ten times that next summer. And I already have been approached by 5 people (non-partisan) who would like to help.

New teachers, at least Fellows, can be opened to a pro-union message. I don’t know how true this is for TFA. And I don’t think the message carried in the NY Teacher is effective.

I am no longer 20. When I speak to 20 and 25 year olds, it’s not the same as when I was 20. And not the same as speaking with people older than me. I can lecture. Which means, I need to be careful. IRL I am a rabble-rouser, a crank, a careful (and rather annoying) critic. But a 20 year old sees an older guy speaking with authority. It sounds different. Careful, careful.

I also learned that I REALLY like going far away once or twice a year, and New Orleans and Edinburgh (April) didn’t come close t making up for missing Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, Germany, or wherever my strange summer plans to foreign lands should have taken me.

Summer is for reading. Not enough reading = a gap in summer.

I’ll try to make some of this up through this year, taking it a little easy here and there, maybe a real trip (or two) and some serious planning so I can get both volunteer work and vacation in next summer, both well-organized, both in serious quantities.

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