To any eye not connected to my brain, the whiteboard wall in my writing office looks a bit odd right now. It is covered in black, red, green, purple and orange marker. Most of it is code — words, names, phrases and symbols to jog my memory of an idea later, when it’s writing time. I’ll run to the whiteboard during Simon’s naps or in the middle of washing dishes to capture a mind light bulb. I feel so lucky that my brain is awake and ignited, thinking about some of my favorite topics: power in education, educating girls in extreme poverty, sexuality, affirming rituals and bodies. That’s what I have been thinking about. Here’s why:
1. On Thursday, August 13th, Peter Kirwin and I will be representing Nudge Education and presenting at the 2015 MISF STEM Education Conference. I’m so excited to sit with teachers who are interested in shifting more power to students,allowing them to take more ownership of their education. We’ll help master teachers identify what they want to accomplish with technology in their classroom this coming year. If you’re going to the conference, come work with us at 10:45!
2. On Saturday, August 29, I am honored to tell the story of KGSA at the 2015 TEAA Conference titled African Connections: Then and Now. Kibera Girls Soccer Academy is one of the most exciting things happening now in East Africa. The book version of the KGSA story is at the point where I am line editing and making micro decisions, so I’m thrilled to be able to meet with people passionate about education in East Africa and present the story live.
3. In September, Bethlehem Lutheran Church is hosting a fall speaker series geared to high school youth and their parents. Speakers will be addressing four pressing topics for our young folks: college, money, social media and sexuality! It is so rewarding to be offering a venue where our young people can hear from experts, ask big questions, speak honestly and find a voice of their own. The series is open to the community, so feel free to come by at 10:15am on Sunday, October 11 to talk about sexuality with me!
4. Also at Bethlehem, I’m touched to be asked to preach to our amazing 9th graders as they affirm their baptisms on October 25th! I’ve started honing in on a text, and let’s just say I’ve already teared up a few times while writing sentences in my head. I dig these rituals, where we stand up and say something with the community we love as a witness. It’s just too cool that I get to play the role of preacher after walking with these talented, joyful, wicked cool young people for the last couple of years.
5. And to round it out at five, Adam J. Copeland has invited me to write a chapter for Westminster John Knox Press’ book Stewardship Made Whole. I get to write the chapter on “Stewardship of the Body.” Yep. I’m so excited! As an athlete, mother and woman, I pride myself on living a tuned in, embodied life. I have worked hard to love my body, celebrate it, and invite others to do the same. Both my country and my church has a tendency to promote disembodiment, so this chapter is going to be a fascinating and enriching challenge.