This week my eyes have started to hurt from the amount of BlogHer’13 recaps popping up in my Facebook, Twitter, etc etc feeds. I already told you about my experiences in the BlogHer’13 Fashion Show, how my heart was full on the last day of BlogHer, and ya’ll saw my tweets and Facebook posts if you’re any sort of dedicated follower/ stalker.
The truth is I didn’t really take away much from the sessions this year. I think this has a large part to do with this being my 2nd BlogHer, as I was an over-eager child on Christmas morning last year, but it also has to do with the fact that a lot of the sessions were similar and reflective of one another. This is what happens when not as many people don’t apply for session or panel ideas, and I appreciate the ones who took the time (and effort) to put together the panels and sessions. (You can read all of the transcripts of all of the sessions here.)
Last year I attended a session called “Blogging: the Fine Line Between Your Identity and the Issues.” (Read the transcription here.) Afterwards, I briefly spoke to Faiqa and Kelly about my intersecting identities as a lesbian student leader at Rutgers University (this was when the Tyler Clementi trial was very much in the media) and my pending identity as an urban educator/ student teacher. Both women really gave me a lot of courage to stand strong with my various identities, but it was the discovery of Kelly’s blog that truly made me believe in myself as an urban educator.
Hearing Kelly speak again at “Fixing Education,” albeit shortly, really reminded me of why I want to be in urban ed in the first place. I want to make a difference. I want to find ways to change– and save– lives in my future, and teaching in an urban district is exactly how I can do that.
BlogHer ’13 didn’t leave me with a lot of swag. It didn’t leave me with a massive hangover (much), and it certainly didn’t leave me with the giddy teenage feeling I had last year. I didn’t leave with the desire to blog about BlogHer like there was no tomorrow. I left with a newfound respect and satisfaction for the friendships and relationships I have gained as a result of my blog. I left with a desire to use my voice– my strongest tool– to make a difference in everything that I do from this day forward.
As Kelly said during the panel, “When you find that one thing, take it and blog the hell out of it.”
The day before I left for BlogHer, I both interviewed for and found out I had gotten a teaching job in a district that fulfilled all of my teaching dreams. I didn’t have time to process this until I got stranded in Chicago for an extra day (Thanks __ Airlines!). My experiences at BlogHer’13 may not have left me with the same feeling of wanting to dive head first into my blog, but they left me wanting to dive head first into using my voice and making a difference in the world. I am so grateful to have gone to Chicago this year, even if it wasn’t what I had anticipated. I’m going to blog the Hell out of my experiences as a new teacher, just like I’m going to be the best educator that I can be.
For some recommended BlogHer’13 recaps, I suggest you read Jenna Hatfield’s list of 10 BlogHer experiences, specifically focusing on Mona Darling’s post at Dead Cow Girl. It talks a lot about the petty high school women judging women that happened at this year’s BlogHer. It’s a must read for…well, everyone.