Gathering

November Gratitude Shorts, Day 14

(I’ll write a make-up post for yesterday.)

“I’m always grateful when we gather to educate one another.” –Mark Silver, MD

The last two days held a gathering that filled my mind and my heart. The annual meeting of the American College of Physicians Illinois Chapter brought together almost 200 internists from across the state.  National leaders in cardiology, adult vaccination, physician well-being and numerous other fields spoke with passion and inspiration.  We learned, discussed, and communed.  I reconnected with friends from college, residency, teaching, and practice, and made several new friends. 

In this era when we can look up any information on the internet, the chance to meet in person to share ideas and learnings feels exceptional.  We humans require connection to thrive. Too often we allow the daily grind to interfere with this, and we slowly wither away inside. 

My most sincere thanks to all of my creative, dedicated, and generous colleagues who made this meeting possible!  May we keep our flames lit and hold one another in the light of purpose and caring. 

10 thoughts on “Gathering

  1. I’m writing this from my hotel room at a conference for college educators, where I had the opportunity to take part in a wonderful forum–a group of instructors and administrators reflecting on the core of what we do. So nice to get back to our mission. So I really appreciate this post, Cathy–we all need this kind of renewal and reconnection!

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Pam!
      Can you share a little from your conference? What moves you the most? What burning ember will you keep alight in your pocket as you return to the next workday?
      Thank you for your comment. It reminds me that no matter what we do, we share many basic needs and rewards in common. 😊
      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cathy! The work I do involves supporting adjunct faculty, and I attended a conference sponsored by the University of Indiana specifically for adjunct faculty–a wonderful idea in the first place. (Sadly, I was scheduled to present with one of our adjunct faculty, who was too ill too attend; I am sorry she missed the presenting and the whole supportive experience.)

        The attendees were either adjunct faculty members or professionals who support them. And what I took away from the conference was this: Adjuncts want to be connected to the institution in which they teach. They want the respect their position teaching at the college level should afford them, but mostly they want that feeling of being an essential part of the mission of providing the best possible teaching students could receive.

        The sessions I attended/presented dealt with connections and creating learning communities, and I met an amazing array of folks. Their dedication to their teaching is deep, and their desire to be woven into the fabric of the colleges in which they teach is just as immense.

        It was a wonderful luxury to sit in small groups and talk about the goal of providing outstanding education to students from all walks of life, and from all ages–the colleges we represented ranged from small, open-access two year community colleges to large university centers, so the students touched really range all over in terms of age, background, economic status, readiness, goals…
        I was inspired by the passion with which instructors spoke of their teaching and their innovative ways of reaching students. I was inspired by their desire to be firmly woven into the fabric of their institutions!

        We get so caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day in our jobs that conferences afford a welcome oasis–a time to revisit our goals and our methods and our connections. This was a lovely, well-planned, far-reaching event; I hope next year, a larger group of my adjunct colleagues can go, maybe to present and share what they’ve learned and what they hope to learn…and I apologize for a long and rambling response to your thoughtful question!

        Like

      • Oh OH this is wonderful!! I am also sorry your faculty member missed it, I bet it would have lifted her.
        I can relate to this, as I serve as clinical faculty where I am. I do no research and am not tracked for tenure. But I am passionate about teaching, about leading our students and trainees in the direction of their best selves and the highest ideals of our profession. I started out with an inferiority complex until I gained enough experience to know that I’m good enough and I have something important to contribute. And yes, all I want is to be folded into the community of educators as an equal, part if the family.
        Thank you for the work you do!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful conference. Cathy the blogosphere should know that much of its success was due to your drive and passion as the program director (and, of course, the amazing work of our chapter support staff). For me the highlights of the two days were the hugs–the many embraces and Hearing Unusually Good Stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Larry!
      Thank you so much… It really was a raging success, and I just had the privilege of sitting at the front if the bus, that’s all. The planning committee and staff (WOO HOOOOO Colleen and Donna!!!) did most of the navigating and mechanical work. 😉
      And YES, the hugs!!! That really was the best part! No wonder I feel so great–my brain was practically *swimming* in oxytocin both days!! That and serotonin, from the huge sense of accomplishment and making our governor Marie proud. 😊
      Thanks for reading and sharing, Larry, so happy to know you! 😊

      Like

  3. I’m reading Paulo Coelho’s novel, _The Alchemist_ and there’s a wonderful passage in which the hero (a Spanish shepherd boy, maybe 18, 19 yrs old) begins to realize there’s a “language in the world that everyone understood….It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.” You definitely speak the language of enthusiasm! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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