The things that matter.

For me TMC is two very distinct things: a great place to engage in new ideas with dedicated people and a chance to be myself with my friends and people who really get me.  This post isn’t going to do a good job recapping my talk.  It is not going to tell you the one thousand things I learned (posts soon on both those fronts, I hope) instead it’s going to talk about me because let’s be clear, I am the most important.

I am having a bad summer.  I know that people hate it when teachers complain at all during the summer but, sorry not sorry, this summer has been rough.  A combination of lack of routines and structure, living in an old new place, and brain chemistry has led to a fair amount of the sad.

I almost didn’t come to TMC. I told myself several times, “This is not mandatory, you do not have to go.” I told Michelle I didn’t think I could give a talk.  The idea of four days of being social made me feel slightly (very very) ill. I’m not going to tell you it was magically okay when I showed up, that I felt amazing and happy the whole time.  That there weren’t I few times I left places I was supposed to be to hide or that I introduced myself to all the new people the way I know I should of.  I didn’t do a great job showing my mom around and I wore my name tag low and sat in corners. I found TMC hard.

The flipside to that is that it was, of course, exactly what I needed.  From the first moment of seeing Lisa and Hedge to saying goodbye to Michelle I do not regret I went.  I needed to see Fawn speak and to remember that she is not that far away.  I needed to talk to Lani about Nashville and Vanderbilt and remember how fascinating I find graduate work.  I needed to sit at dinner with Christopher Danielson (who is a two-name person I just realized) and hear him say “well you solved a different problem” to someone doing origami.  I needed to see Max’s wedding pictures, Dave’s baby slide show, and find out that Maaatttttt named his tiny person Linus.   I needed some of Eli’s, Matt’s, and Micheal’s unending energy and positivity. I needed to hear stories of life from Tina, Michelle, Rachel, Brian, Jasmine, James, Lisa, and Hedge.  I absolutely needed Heather’s amazing story about her inability to switch lunchroom seats ever.  I needed to be reminded that everyone loves my mom.  I needed Dan to mock me for being offended at the piano bar but to still leave with me.  I needed to meet new people like Eric and Andrew and Daryl and Laurie. Or people I talked to all the time but never met like Megan and Elisa.  I needed to remember that I could give a presentation because actually I know stuff and am good at it.  I could probably fill a thousand words with this stuff.

Mostly, I needed to be reminded that I do not teach in a bubble.  Mostly, I needed to be reminded that I do not live in a bubble.  I am part of something.  I am so lucky to have found this community and to be a member of it.  Even when everything else is less than stellar the MTBoS and it’s terrible sounding acronym is still there and they don’t care if you hide in a corner or stand in the front.  They just want you to show up.

Because as Lisa would say, “It’s about community, stupid.”


8 thoughts on “The things that matter.

  1. And I loved that you claimed someone else’s tweet as your own. Admit it, you’re just one of us. Only more you and hence, okay, more amazing.


  2. We didn’t speak much, but you were friendly when we did. What really stands out to me, though, is that I felt kind of tired and awkward and out of place Wed night till you stood on a chair and ordered us all into position and made us laugh by yelling out, “You people are LITERALLY the WORST” when we didn’t move efficiently enough. Suddenly I felt like part of a group and that feeling never left.

    Also, that other song and video I mentioned (The Light, hollysiz) is (I may have linked to it on Twitter before but it’s too good to risk your not seeing it… be sure to watch all the way through). Not quite as great as Laura Mvula but very close.

    Thanks for being you, online and off.


  3. My daughter pointed MTBoS out to me. She told me great stories about her connections, both mathematical and personal. And I was not disappointed at #TMC15
    There is no doubt that parents learn from their children. And, Anne, I’ve learned a lot from you.
    Soon we’ll be back at work and you will attack it with the positive mindset, enthusiasm, and the love for students that characterizes your work ethic.
    Love you, the mom


  4. On the 2nd morning, you asked a friend “how are you?” and I gave you a generic answer. Later that day I was wishing I had said more, but I wanted to thank you for being so kind to me and making me feel welcome in this community even though we just met.

    I hope that your school year is better than your summer!


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