Tuesday, November 21, 2006

(Y)our Work is Important

At the NWP Meeting in Nashville, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Lynne Culp in a big ballroom full of fine folks. Lynne and I happened to both be in the back of the room. She told me a story that warmed my soul and made me happy. I thought you should hear it, too. I asked her if she'd write it down to share with you. She did. She writes:

Two summers ago, I began every day with an hour walk around a golf course near my house in Toluca Lake. I listened to wonderful Mp3s I had carefully playlisted on my iPod. Then, I discovered iTunes listing of podcasts. I knew David Warlick so I downloaded his podcasts which were not too regular at first,but low-and-behold...here was a podcast listing that said nothing but CSU Writing Project. California chauvinist that I am, I thought it was from a California Writing Project...maybe up north. I cheerfully downloaded it, thinking...oh, I'll listen for five minutes then go back to my cooking show. But...that was not to be. I strolled the whole perimeter of the golf course, listening to story after story. I found the and the readings completely compelling. "It's voice, I thought...and it is communicating to me even though I don't know them, don't know where they are...it holds me fast." Very shortly I told Jane Hancock, the co-director of UCLA's Writing Project a bout this amazing opportunity for our writing project people. "We could put on a show too," I cried. However, I remained a voice in the desert until last fall when the NWP requested that UCLA appoint a TL. They did. It's me, and that is how I met you last Friday morning.

If I sound a bit over the top, it is because the listening to those writing project voices was my first understanding of how powerful podcasting could be. Today, when I scroll down the ever-growing iTunes list, I remember how vivid the realization was.

Our work is important. Your voice is important. This time we spend together writing and thinking and learning and teaching is important. The trouble is, we may never know how or to whom it matters. Except today. Thanks, Lynne.
Now -- who wants to podcast? I'm always eager to record your writing, or to help you learn to do so on your own. Just let me know, either via e-mail or through the blog comments.

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