Yesterday was a day full of speakers. I started out Tedx Connecticut College, an independent TED event planned by our students that featured a wide variety of speakers. The theme of the day was Rethinking Progress and the speakers during the first section, “Ignite!” were awesome. They included one of my favorite professors at Conn, Gene Gallagher; an amazing feminist professor, Afshan Jafar, that I made sure I connected with over lunch; and Conn alum David Barber, founder and owner of Blue Hill restaurant, a leader in the sustainable food movement.
It was a beautiful day, so they served lunch in the courtyard and I got to connect with both students and admins. As I was eating lunch with my students, I started thinking out loud about what my own TED talk would be. Which I think is really the point of TED talks…getting you think about what you know and how you can share it.
I know I’d be talking about feminism…maybe my journey, maybe why it is still important, maybe how it’s changing. And reproductive justice. On your nametag for TED, they ask you what you’d like to talk about and I put “student affairs” and “reproductive justice.” It’s amazing how I have gone from the teenager who was winning regional competitions for Pro-Life speeches to being an impassioned advocate for a woman’s right to choose and have control over her own body. I think that needs to be owned and shared so that other women who are still searching for their own beliefs can know that there is a journey and that it’s not black and white.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend the whole day at TEDx, but my journey of listening to speakers wasn’t ending! I headed over to Cro to see my students give their presentations for their Programs in Community Action (PICA) Senior Integrated Projects. The first panel I went to focused on education and I was really impressed with the work these students were doing in their student teaching classrooms already. Their passion was contagious. Darcie and I met up after the session and we made a plan for the last session since there were multiple people we wanted to see and they were in separate rooms. We did lots of running around, but we managed to see everyone!
By the time the banquet rolled around, I was intellectually sated. And verging on physically exhausted…believe me, it was good to sleep in today. It was one of those days when I am so grateful I work on a college campus.