The conference I'm at, formally known as Dropout Prevention, has been renamed Positive Youth Development (turns out youth who stop attending school don't really like being referred to as dropouts, and honestly, I can't say as I blame them). This year specifically is titled R3, which stands for Relationships, Relationships, Relationships. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I, the self-proclaimed QUEEN of relationships, am here. I have heard so much over the past two days that has affirmed what I do and given me ideas for where to go from here. (For those of you who attended two years ago, fear not: it's a whole new gig. The organizers took all our suggestions to heart and you really should come back with me next summer. Seriously.)
Anyhow, that's not the point of this post. The point, in my typically wordy manner (Strunk and White would be SOOO mad at me!) is that (madder still...) the organizers have taken relationships research to heart. As I was checking in (listed by first names, not last, as a way to be more personal) the woman in front of me had a lot of questions and held up the line. As I waited patiently, the administrative assistant for the college department that sponsors this event had my folder ready for me. Yes, she remembered me, out of a sea of hundreds of people and having talked to me face to face maybe 5 times? Wow. That is impressive. She is good, no doubt about it, and yes, one of her friends is the mom of my childhood best friends, but still.... that's darned impressive. Practicing what you preach.... yea, beyond impressive.
Over the last 2 days I've run into other organizers who remember me, both from state government and other alternative educators and administrators. Me! So much of this is because all of us in this field believe in the power of relationships, and know that no real work happens without it. No matter the reason, it feels pretty good to know I am making a name for myself in my chosen field. (Let's just hope they remember me for good reasons and not because I'm someone they're trying to avoid...)