Well, after another hectic start locating rooms, navigating one-ways, and lugging laptop equipment, my individual experience is finally taking shape. The opening ceremonies still brought a few tears to my eyes–especially during Liz’s and Rodney’s portion where they individualized the myriad of stories certain to take shape among the one thousand young people attending this year’s SDLC–let’s say that again, over 1,000 students. Students who will return to their homes, their families, sit at dinner tables with parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles, and they will begin. Begin that after-conference journey that is initiated with dialogue and hopefully leads to some kind of action within their larger campus communities.
What I appreciate most about opening ceremonies is the way it sets the tone for the conference at large. It reaffirms, humors, encourages, and reminds us. And, as has been true of past Keynote Speakers, John Quinones allowed us to both laugh and shake our heads in dismay–he also left us with a charge–and it is one I had occasion to recall later this evening . . . but you’ll have to read on to find out why.