I stepped back and looked at my thinking spread across the whiteboard, and panicked. "Where do I begin?"
A local community college recently approached the organization I work for with a request to develop and facilitate a collaboration with local high schools around writing. Writing? Sure! I live for working with writers.
So, I started thinking and brainstorming. And thinking. And brainstorming. And, very quickly realizing the depth of this work. Not only would the participants -- ranging from 11th and 12th grade high school English teachers, to district administrators, to college writing instructors -- need to have a common language around writing, but they would need to not blame each other for any gaps they think are in their students' skills as writers. They would all need open minds, ears, and hearts.
As this realization hit me, I immediately recognized the theme that has been threading itself through my posts on Slice of Life, the recent headlines, my own life, my kids' lives, and now my professional life. It's the ability to argue. Argue to be listened to, and argue to hear. Argue with open-minded inquiry, considering that one's mind can be changed. Argue to get to the core of an issue, to find the question both sides are really trying to answer. Argue to solve meaningful issues, not to be right.
I've got some planning to do.