Oh my gosh! As I sit here, leisurely I might add, at 4:08 am on Wednesday morning...I am awestruck at what took place yesterday at the Spring Communication Conference at SCC!!! What a HUGE undertaking and what miraculous results!
Here are a few of the highlights and details:
1) The "conference crew" (25 AMAZING STUDENTS and their teacher :)) have been preparing for months and we stayed late at SCC the evening of May 5th, the night before the conference! We had to decorate a giant foyer in the Lair, several large teaching rooms, the Lair auditorium, the foyers into the building, set up and decorate 25 large tables. We had huge signs, mum plants, large trees, spring butterflys, spring banners hung from the ceiling (100 sewn spring banners). We waited until 5:30 am on Tuesday to blow up the over 1500 helium balloons!
2) At 5:30 am on Tuesday morning we were back at it! There were HUGE butterfly ballons set in gigantic ballon bouquets that were over 10 feet high! There was a"balloon parade" leading into the Lair at every entrance! The reader boards shouted out the message, and the over 1000 posters were going to bring out over 1000 people to this event.
3) The food tables were brimming over with thousands of muffins (baked by students and their families), coffee, cookies, and fruit trays. Not a small job to feed over 1000 folks!
4) The music was playing and the students were dressed in suits (and ties), dresses and "goin' someplace special attire"..had on amazing nametags...and the crowds started to appear!!
5) Over 1000 people attended and 950 went to more than one workshop!
6) The DVD I made to start the conference...with scenes from movies of bridges blowing up and bridges being built (plus pictures of people communicating) with Sheryl Crow singing her song "Peace Be Upon Us All" was a huge hit and the technology worked! Hurrah!
7) I was the MC, introduced distinguished guests, and then Scott Finnie, an amazing African American teacher and our keynote speaker! Before Scott's talk he and I had prayer time together and dedicated the conference to the Lord! We asked that we would both be a vehicle for God's love and grace to flow to all who came! What a difference that made in my heart!
8) There are no words...Scott's talk on Servant Leadership was beyond fabulous as he talked about discrimination and servant leadership! We were all spell bound!
9) After Scott's talk ...we had three workshops. I stayed in the auditorium, which was full, and did a workshop on "Don't Blow Up That Bridge: 10 Conflict Management Tips to Save Your Personal and Professional Life! It went great and the DVD clip from the movie "Must Love Dogs" was hilarious! I was amazed at how many of my former students, now out in the work world, came back and were there! What a HUGE blessing to my heart to see their faces!
10) At the 10:30 hour Scott and I did a workshop called "Building A Bridge To Racial Reconciliation: A Conversation Between An African American Brother and a Caucasian Sister". Talk about gutsy! It brought many of us to tears! It was one of the most rewarding moments in my academic life! The auditorium was packed...a sea of many colored faces! We each told about our "racial footprint"..our racial story ... got to ask each other racial questions that we had not prepared for (I was asked about my take as a caucasian with the OJ Simpson trial and the celebration in the black community and upheaval in the white community when he got off ...and had really committed the crime) ...now there's an impromptu question for you:)! Scott and I both shared that our heart for others and our bridge building journey came from our faith and love of God!
How often does that happen publically at school! Praise God!
11) Bert cancelled work and came to the entire conference! At the third session there were many members from my church, Bethel AME, primarily an African American congregation.
12) After the conference, we went to Orlandos, a restaurant on campus that is student run, for a celebration luncheon for Scott! Ah yes, another planned and decorated event!
13) This was all done on NO BUDGET and donations (and a little help from the teacher!:)
As Scott and I walked back to our cars we prayed together and thanked God for all He did at the conference! What a miraculous day!
Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive about this major event! Your phone messages and love have meant so much to me!
What a miraculous day of bridge building!
Love and hugs to all!
PS. I had a consulting meeting and dinner at my home last night (5-8pm) for three consulting clients and after they left at 8pm I fell into bed!!! Yikes! What a glorious and hard working day!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
"We are all just walking each other home." ...