Slice of Life: Face to Face at NCTE14

I must start this slice by apologizing to anyone who did not go to NCTE14, you have my permission to be extremely jealous, to stop reading, and to start making plans for NCTE15 in Minneapolis.  I you won’t regret it.  I promise.

Sadly, I am suffering from NCTE14 withdrawals. I thought, if I can only get to that conference, then I’ll be satisfied. Nope. Doesn’t work that way. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of this kind of learning, I just want more.You just don’t want to it to end.


Someone said, not sure who, that reading slices won’t be the same after this weekend. #true  Seeing slicers face to face, and actually hearing their voices made it real.

Interestingly, anticipating that “real” I had this worry. This what if… What if my thoughts, when they aren’t being re read and revised, aren’t so interesting or worthy.  When I write, I can measure my words. Think about them. Change. Delete.  What if, in person, without the re read, and editing mechanisms, I’m not what I appear to be, what people expect.

It sounds a bit crazy, but at the same time a bit interesting. Something I never would have anticipated.

As it turned out the dinner was wonderful. Worries were unfounded. I had that feeling of being with best friends that I just met. Being surrounded by people that you feel such a kinship toward is just a little bit of heaven.

After the dinner, unsure I would see people again, I started saying good bye. Hugs all around.

Then Sunday morning. Not so coincidentally, I run into slicers. Seems we are attracted to similar kinds of things. More hugs. And good byes.

Thinking back to moments in the conference, in sessions, at the dinner, in passing, I feel this overpowering connection. These are my people. You have accepted and supported me and all the things that come with me. And when I think about it, that is a pretty big deal.  While I’d like to have you all in my town, at my school, or at least a train ride away, I feel honored to have you here every Tuesday.

My thanks to all of the Two Writing Teachers. More than ever. Thank you Dana (love the notebook and surprises within), Tara (my go-to grown up for assurances in my blogging classroom), Betsy (for your calm poetry-self making it all seem so doable), Anna (smart words for my writing workshop struggles), Stacey (for putting it all together – stressful, but so appreciated) and Beth (wish you were there).

For more of this week’s slices or to contribute your own, click here.





13 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Face to Face at NCTE14

  1. You bring up such an interesting twist to what it means when we write and share in digital spaces, and how we construct our own “voices” of others (I wonder how you hear me now?). That does change when we meet face to face, and so does our reading of their writing, right? Whether that is good (now the voice of the writer is in our ear) or bad (I no longer use my imagination to construct the writer) is up for debate. It’s still an interesting aspect of what it means to be writing in the digital age.
    I could not stay for NCTE this year … loved all the tweets and posts, though.

  2. Your thoughts and reactions are so interesting. I had never thought about the difference of who I am without the revisions and rewrites. 🙂 Although I didn’t get to go to the Slicer dinner, I was able to meet many friends that I’ve only known through blogging and Twitter. It was such a wonderful experience. I’m with you, I can’t wait for NCTE15. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I’m just happy hearing that you had such an exhilarating time, Julieanne. I loved being there last year, and sorry I missed meeting you–another time. There’s nothing like having a group that “gets” you, & NCTE provides that many fold. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I understand your withdrawal symptoms. What a joy to be surrounded by people you know because of the words and thoughts that they share! Once you know this feeling, it is hard to let it go and return to daily life. I knew your session would be amazing. What great people you collaborated with!

  5. Your emotions leap off the page. It seems unlikely that I will ever attend NCTE but I may dream about it. I may also dream that a group of slicers will take a field trip to Estonia. 🙂

  6. Julieanne, it was such a pleasure to meet you this weekend. Thank you for the pen. I love it, and Maddie & Katie have taken such a liking to it as well! This community made my first NCTE experience so wonderful. You’re right, though, now I just want more, more, more!

    Thank you, too, for your presentation. It was so thought-provoking and smart. Well done.

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