Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reverb10 :: Defining Moment

I've decided to be a part of Reverb10. It's a 31-day blogging challenge where you reply to the daily writing prompts that are designed to get you to reflect on this past year as well as provide some insight for the upcoming year. I'm going to give myself 5-7 minutes for each post.

Day 29 :: December 29, 2010 :: Defining Moment
  • Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)
This is not an easy prompt. Actually this question has taken way more than my allocated 5-7 minutes and I'm still coming up short, but I'll give it a go (and I'll try to make it brief).

Last Fall, I decided to stand up for something that I believed in. I teach at a university and there was a situation that was a 'teachable moment'. I wanted to seize the opportunity, but doing that meant that I had to act fast. I was told to slow down and that there could be some repercussions for doing things willy nilly. Ha. I wasn't insulted, but obviously folks don't know me at all because I've NEVER been known to do anything willy nilly.

Some of the students who attended the 'controversial' panel discussion (Oct., 2010)

The point is that I intentionally went against the grain and basically stood on an island to put together a panel discussion for our journalism majors. It created a good amount of tension in my department - there was only one other full time faculty member who publicly supported me. But in the end over 60 students showed up for the panel (even after the initial room that it was scheduled to be in was cancelled and we had to book another room at the last minute that was extremely hard to find). The students did not know the back story, but they were grateful for an opportunity to discuss the 'controversial' topic.

Now that everything has died down, I've been appointed to take care of the scheduling and the planning of an official campus-wide series on the topic ... and to think, just weeks ago folks made it seem as if I was putting my job on the line.

It just goes to show that you have to 'stand up for what you believe in'.

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