Monday, April 21, 2008

The Letter

I forgot to tell one tidbit from the training:

At the end of the session, we were each given a cream-colored piece of paper and a blank envelope. Our instructions went something like this: "Write a letter to yourself in 8 weeks to remind yourself and congratulate yourself on the goals you set for diversity tolerance. We will mail you the letter in 8 weeks so you can remind yourself of what you've learned here."

I tried. I promise, I tried. My mood was awful by then and my tolerance zilch, but I honestly could not think of a single thing I wanted to read on a piece of paper delivered by the district in eight weeks. Kelley, Vicky, Carol, and Mark all wound up writing themselves To-Do lists (I liked Kelley's idea - she wrote her current To-Do list so she could remind herself of all that she will have accomplished by then), but I couldn't even do that. I'm very self-reflective and constantly analyzing, but not in this forced way. The presenters hovered, letting us know by their presence and their New Age-y music that we would not be allowed to leave until we gave them a sealed envelope.

I realize I could have sealed it empty or with a blank piece of paper, but I knew that in 8 weeks I would not want to get an envelope that represented the things I hate about this district. Then, wonderfully, Vicky and Carol rescued me - they demanded that I hand over my paper, and they each wrote something on it. Carol then asked for my envelope and they sealed it up and turned it in for me.

To be accurate, then, I should say that there were some great things at this training - it reminded me how lucky I have been to get to work with such kind, thoughtful, funny colleagues. And, I'm actually looking forward to getting a letter in June.

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