Friday, March 16, 2012

Tales of a Successful Conference

Another very successful day. I have simply been energized beyond what I thought possible during these two days. There were several highlights today dispute the slow start with the "lowlight" of the day/conference. The first session I chose to attend was cultural diplomacy. I am not quite sure what I had envisioned for this, but it did not grab my attention as there was not the interactiveness of other sessions to keep me engaged. I was unable to stay through to the end.

The second session was much more engaging and relevant: Meaning and Spirituality in Resilience Across Cultures, with Ray Leki. Having recently lost two siblings, one in November and one a couple weeks ago, I was a little unprepared for the challenging work of finding the relationship between meaning, spirituality and and culture. However, with the wonderful support of my three group mates Valli, Jody, and Duncan, as well as the support received by Ray, I was able to work through the exercise with a strength I did not know I had.

The luncheon keynote speaker and the next session I attended were with Milton Bennett. What a true treasure he is to have at this conference. He continues to refine and adapt his work, including the the DMIS, and is willing to share thoughts, insights, and whatever else might come up in the classroom or out! He is a very generous individual.

The last session of the day turned out to be a reaffirmation to me that mediation is a field that greatly interests me and I need to further explore this field. Jared Ordway was passionate, entertaining, and very good at presenting the material. The mediation activity was extremely well done ~ although I wish we had more time to each have the opportunity to mediate. I am also very excited to learn of the courses offered at Champlain College as it is much closer to my home in Northeastern New York.

The out of class exchanges have been engaging and full of the vibrancy I have recently lacked. I would like to thank the IMI for their generous EDF Scholarship that enabled me to attend this year. I plan on returning next year!

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