Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Writing Project

Dear Writing Project (Yes, I mean you, UNCC WP SIers),

If Where I'm From poems hadn't gotten outdated, I would tell you that Writing Project is where I'm from. I am from people who care intensely about learning and teaching. I am from digging deep, hard discussions that crinkle my forehead, let down my tears and pull my thoughts out there toward yours. I would be from a Writing Retreat in 2006 in Bernsville in a curtained, doilied living room where other writers listen to my story, nod along and get me thinking beyond or behind Monday morning. I am from years now of heads huddled from across town on Skype, and the first time I read Hotel Nights with National Writing Project teachers in Portland. All those moments I couldn't tell you in five words or five paragraphs why they are Writing Project. Or why these two weeks of Summer Institute have swept in, through me, over me, dripping from my eyes in a wave of familiarity.

A little unexpectedly I am from Fretwell this summer. And Fretwell this summer could be, and well is, all those other stories that mean Writing Project for me. People who riff and rant and flock and tweet together. I am from people who write (and sing) of revolution and don't stop short. From people who tell our stories even when it is hard. From people who want the rest of us to ask questions about our ideas. Even when it is hard. From people who trust the rest of us to notice what works in our ideas. Even when it is hard. I am from a history of the Writing Project that has somehow gracefully, fully collided with the Writing Project that is right now.



  1. Lacy,
    I cannot thank you enough for scaffolding my thinking process as I try to understand myself as a writer and inquirer. You have inspired me in so many ways...
    The "where i'm from poem" is never outdated to me :) I will love it forever!!
    Thanks for your insights...

  2. Lacy,

    I love that you've emphasized how hard trusting and writing in a community can be. I've done a lot of stepping out during SI, taking chances I normally won't have, because of the community we've created. I hope that I can continue to build communities like this around myself so that the hard, scary stuff (though still hard and scary) is the stuff I'm willing to try.

    You've helped me start thinking about how negotiation will really look in my studio, how I interpret "expertise" and how workshops will look and be run in my studio. I also greatly appreciate your help in getting me thinking about real steps to take toward a revolution.

  3. I love how unafraid you are to ask questions. I want to make my students feel that same drive to inquire :)

  4. Sometimes writing affects us - and it is difficult to find words to express how we feel...This is where I am after reading your blog---but then I remember what I gleaned from my two weeks here---just write from the heart---Lacy, thank you so much for your powerful wordly presence. You weave words in ways I have never imagined - beautiful!

    TTFN (ta ta for now)...can't wait til September!

  5. Lacy I am so thankful that I met you and Cindy last summer during the UNCCWP Summer workshop. You all have given me a space to infuse a very intimate part of who I am with my pedagogy, and for that I will be forever grateful. I never imagined embracing the writer within publicly but thanks to you Sally, and Lil I can proudly say "I am Writer!" I look forward to our collaboration at KIPP. Yaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!

  6. :) Honestly, I didn't apply for SI last year because after school, all I wanted to do was go home. My student teaching environment was a perfect fit for me, and my first year was not. I was ready for a change my second year, and in many ways I got that change. New grade level, new students...but I still didn't feel like it was where I needed to be. I know now that I still don't have all the answers that I need, but I do have a start. While I really wish we had all the time we thought we would in the beginning, I am excited to meet with UNCCWP again in August, and the see everyone from the summer in September. I have some exciting/crazy ideas for my classroom that I (hopefully) cannot wait to share.

    Thank you to you, Sally, and Lil for facilitating us this summer!

  7. Lacy,
    Thank you so much for your vulnerability during SI. I appreciated so much your willingness to push back, to ask us to examine our preconceptions, and to really get fired up about what we were working on. Your passion shows through in everything you do and say. Thank you so much for the opportunity to work together, develop, and feel the spark of a revolution begin. You rock!

  8. The SI has been a life-altering experience for me. I love teaching students to write and have always wanted to be a writer, but have been held back by fear. Some of that fear has begun to dissapate becuase of SI. This can only help me become a better teacher of writing for my middle schoolers. You have been a great support and place to bounce off ideas. Thank you for teaching me to "flock" and "rif". Those are things that I had never done before. I am so full of ideas, inspiration and hope from this time with everyone. Thank you for making this possible. I look forward to continuing to work with the writing project as a tc and active participant. Lastly, thank you for helping me to begin to claim my identity as a writer.