I had the opportunity to speak with Gail McKay and Qwo-li Driskill, two colleagues who I very much respect. My work with ledger drawings was very well-situated with the topics that they discussed. The course of CCCC 2016 was one of productivity, discussion, and development. This particular blog is to note experiences of that conference.
the corn husk dolls
The “Telling Stories, Writing Cultures” workshop was wonderful. The atmosphere was open and generative. As we worked through subjects and conversations, we created corn husk dolls while Joyce Rain Anderson explained the process. Keeping my hands occupied while theories of making and creating were discussed created a very visceral experience and a kinetic learning experience that I had not considered before. There is potential that I could incorporate this into future learning modules for courses.
— Chelsea J. Murdock (@ChelseaJMurdock) April 6, 2016
caucus after the caucus
After the American Indian Caucus released, we were encouraged to attend the caucus after the caucus. Members of the major caucuses spoke, encouraging discussion and intersectional conversations. Though I was not able to stay as long as I would have liked (ran off to the translingual get-together as they were gracious enough to have me), I was able to hear the speakers and watch as several caucuses came together. It had a major impact and I hope to attend in future years for the duration.
guidance and lessons
One of the greatest benefits of CCCC is the time to speak with colleagues from other institutions and to spend time with mentors. I was able to discuss issues that I have been encountering regarding several subjects with people far more knowledgeable and experienced. I listened. I learned.
In what was a very humbling moment, I learned a very valuable lesson.
“One of my mentors did something for me and told me to pass it along to the next person. You pass it to the next person,” she said.
I am going to pass it to the next person. I am still growing, still learning, but I am lightyears from where I was years ago. As I continue to grow, I want to pass it (kindness, knowledge, etc.) to the next person.
That’s what we do, isn’t it? We find the best ways to pass it along.
I had the opportunity to attend some events and panels outside of my areas– translingual, transnational, visual rhetoric–and came away much better informed than I have ever been before. These scholars…There is so much wonderful work being done by so many people from such vastly different experiences, carrying such different stories, with similar goals: the betterment of writers worldwide. The goal of so many is to provide their students with the best learning experiences possible and to give them the tools they need to succeed as writers and composers, to value and honor their knowledges from their personal experiences.
Even in that push and all of the forward motion of the conference, there are always those calm voices that remind us (me?) to calm. Rest is an essential part that we all forget. Unlike years past, I aimed for moderation. Instead of my usual four or five panels per day: I went to less. I rested when I needed to. And that made the experience all the more productive. Perhaps in the future, as I enter the job market next year and form even closer bonds with people, I will be out and about even more — forging ahead.