Thursday, March 3, 2016

Conference Season

It is the beginning of March, which means that I am in the midst of conference season. For the past 3 weeks or so, I have been presenting on Comprehensible Input at a number of conferences, and I still have one more presentation to give this weekend. 

A few weeks ago, I attended the 2-day Living Latin in New York City (LLiNYC) event sponsored by the Paideia Institute. This event drew the top Latin speakers from all over the country (and from parts of the world) in an effort to promote Latin as a living language. Around 150 people attended this event. The Paideia Institute had invited Bob Patrick and me to present on Comprehensible Input in the Latin Classroom at the event, so Bob and I flew up for the event (thanks to Paideia Institute for paying for our travel and hotel!). Both Bob and I were given two slots each, so we decided to give a two-part presentation on CI theory on the first day (with him going first in the early afternoon and then me later that afternoon) and then to give a two-part demo on the second day.

Now leading up to my first presentation at LLinYC, I was feeling like a fish out of water. By no means am I a master Latin speaker at all - even after attending six Rusticationes, I am only an Intermediate Mid/High speaker at best. Prior to my presentation, I kept thinking, "What the heck am I doing here? What is my name doing on this list of expert Latin speakers? I do not belong to be here. Even if I am here to present on Comprehensible Input, what do I really know about it? I can understand why Bob was invited, but me? I write a blog on CI, and suddenly now folks think that I am an expert on the topic. If folks only knew..." I was dreading my presentation, because I felt like a complete and total impostor.       

But then I began to speak and to give my presentation. Immediately, the doubt completely disappeared, and I was 100% comfortable speaking to the group. I began to speak from my heart on the topic, and quite honestly, it was like another person was talking through me, because this person seemed to really understand CI theory (that couldn't be me, could it?) and to speak with authority on the matter. An excitement was surging through me as I was speaking. In short, I was having so much fun presenting on the topic.

I do not write this to brag, because quite honestly, I still do not recognize who that person was who gave that presentation. I write this to say thank you to all of the CI teachers, whose blogs I have read and have showed me that I am not alone in my CI journey; to all of the CI presenters whose presentations have taught me so much and of whose audience I have enjoyed being a part; and to all those CI users, who have encouraged me and motivated me to want to become a better teacher. It was all of your voices which were speaking through me at LLiNYC. Maybe one day, I will be able to add my own voice.

P.S. That weekend was my first trip to New York City. For the record, it was SO cold! The wind chill was in the negatives! In spite of the freezing weather, I absolutely loved the feel of the city. I hope to return again!

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