Tag Archives: keynote

It’s Labour Day and I’m not going back to school tomorrow!

HappyLaborDay2 Labour Day.  This has always been a momentous day for me because it marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the school year.  It was always the day before something new began, the day before I became something that I hadn’t been before.   Let me go back a few years to the first Labour Day ever, to the first ones I remember, and to what it has come to symbolize in my life even now that I’ve retired.

Since I am, in the end, a teacher, I’ll start with a bit of history about Labour Day.

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Our first blogiversary

Well, I cWithdrawnan hardly believe that it’s been a year since I started ruminating on what the transition from feminist professional career woman to retiree would be like.  I keep trying to think of a word that describes this experience but I’m stymied.   I did a little searching on definitions of retired (again) and here’s what I came up with: Withdrawn from one’s occupation, business, or office; having finished one’s active working life.”

 Well, here I am 8 months “in”and I have definitely not withdrawn.  Not from my occupation (which I found at my favorite source for understanding words online (www.visualthesaurus.com ) defined as “the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money”) because I’m as devoted to, and involved in, working towards making the world a more caring place as I’ve ever been.

Have I withdrawn from my business?   Back to the thesaurus:  Business“a commercial enterprise and the people who constitute it; the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money (again), and … a rightful concern or responsibility.”  Ah – well, I have certainly not left my sense of rightful concern or responsibility behind; in fact I now have so much more opportunity to focus on that.  I have also clearly not finished my active working life.

I’m not yet finished with anything and – in fact – today my life feels filled with beginnings.   Continue reading

A 2-keynote day: Change is happening

I had an amazing – if exhausting – day last week that I’d like to share with you.  It was a day (or couple of days really) that just resonated with “this fits”.  It involved my children, grandchildren, two keynote addresses and two workshops.  All of that and some sunshine too.  Who could ask for more?

My third and fourth keynotes were both in Ottawa on the same day last week.  Knowing that I’d have a very full working day (not used to that so much anymore) I flew up a day ahead so that I could hang out with Nili and her family.  It was a wonderful day filled with walking in the sunshine, hours and hours of the kind of talk that mothers and daughters can share, and so many moments just gazing into Freida’s smiling face. IMG_1379She gets more and more beautiful every day it seems.  In this time which seems to be filled with so much uncertainty for me (and I’m guessing for lots of us given all of the rapid changes in the world around us) one of the things that keeps me attached to reality – and to what’s important – is a smile from my granddaughter.  I’ve been feeling pretty tired (can’t shake my California cold/cough) and the best tonic I’ve found is holding Freida; that sweet face always reminds me that at some level all is well with the world.

Okay – grandmother gabfest done for today! Continue reading

How much can you put into 24 hours?

The last time I sat down to “publish” a posting was a little more than 24 hours ago.  So much has happened since then that it’s hard – even for me – to believe it’s been such a short length of time.   Okay, a confession.  I like to watch the TV show 24.  Yes, I know it’s geared to adrenalin junkies and that it goes way way over the line with torture.  Nonetheless, a confession’s a confession, right.  So let me share this past day with you.

The following events happened between 1 P.M. on February 12th and 9 P.M. on February 13th.

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Keynote Tomorrow: Will it be my last?

freedom1I am giving a keynote address at a conference tomorrow.  I was first approached by the conference organizers last summer when I was called – at work, in my office – and asked if I’d  do a presentation at their conference in February on some of the gains we’d made in ESL.  It was the first time that I said: “Sorry, I’ll have retired and be gone by next February but I’m sure someone else from the team would be happy to present“.  I can still remember the feeling that I had when I said that:  gone from the day-t0-day pressures, gone from having to say and do things that I didn’t really believe in, gone from meetings and more meetings and more meetings.  There was also a moment of  “Oh my God; I’ll never speak publically again” which was significant because, if you know me, you know that I love to speak.   Continue reading

Big day in the OK corral

I’ll start right off by admitting that I’m not sure why I chose the title for this posting but it somehow fits with how I’m feeling.  I’m writing this sitting in a cafe on the outskirts of Toronto where the Family Supports Institute of Ontario (FSIO) is holding it’s 2008 conference “The Communities We Grow; The People Who Make it Happen.”    This is a wonderful conference for all professionals who support families and children.  That’s a lot of people.  I’m sitting here writing because in all of the confusion of closing down my work-office and trying to set up my working space at home – and therein lies a topic for another day – I keep on losing things and overlooking things.  So, when I got up this morning I knew that I’d be presenting this afternoon, but I couldn’t remember at what time in the afternoon and couldn’t locate a conference brochure.  My solution?  I drove out to the conference centre around 11 a.m. so I could deliver my handouts, have a look at the room I’d be presenting in, and find out – without giving myself away – what time I’m “on”.  It’s about 11:30 now and I’ll be speaking at 2, so I’ve got lots of time to sit and write.  Great plan!!

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