Today I met some fellow colleagues after work to talk and have some fancy coffee drinks (which i don’t do…) Being new in the district, I don’t know everyone as well, so Barbara S. and Cathy H. invited me to come gab. We shared about the normal school stuff, and I told about my initiation into the district. If found out that Barbara and I have some common interests–Macs and video editing. And Cathy H and I are connected b/c years ago we both worked in a neighboring district, and she even worked in the same school as my husband.
They were very interested in my knowledge of web 2.0 stuff, and I had to admit to them I don’t know as much as they think. But in our conversations, I talked a whole different language at times, talking about twitter, Ustream, the online conference, webcasts, and name dropping–Will Richardson, David Warlick, and Joyce Valenza. They were familiar with Joyce–what school librarian wouldn’t be? But they did not know of Richardson or Warlick. Oh break my heart!
In visiting the various live shows popping up tonight in Ustream–you folks in my Twitter are awesome–I can remember reflecting that exact sentiment I beleive to Vickie Davis. We practically speak an alien language.
So I have to ask myself–am I an overachiever? I used to think of myself as not as good as most of my colleagues. I aspired to be as good at librarianship as them, and worked hard to hone my skills. Now I am questioned about my knowledge–how do I know about this stuff and where do I have the time? I don’t feel any smarter than my colleagues, that’s for sure. We are just not necessarily speaking the same language. And I still have so much to learn compared to others in my network.
I promise folks, I do have a homelife, and family, and time is made for them. But also I must confess that my entire household is digitally connected–to each other and our networks. So we know and understand that these tools and this language we speak is understood, accepted, and a welcome part of our lives. I read an incredible amount. I feel connected to my network. I miss it when I can’t get it–which is why I am rushing in to read up on twitter since it is blocked at school. My network is educating me better than any professional development I participate in at school, conferences, workshops, or any journal I read. My network IS my professional development. And I am proud of it. But I don’t think I would enjoy it if it made my family unhappy. We all four have laptops, and yes, there are times when we are all together in the living room with a laptop in our lap or at our side. It has just become a way of life for us. It is so nice to know i can chat w/ my son in Chicago anytime I want–i’m 900 miles away, yet only a few keystrokes from connecting to him. So I don’t ask forgiveness for being in tune with my 2.0 tools. I just feel blessed that they are understood in my home.
Last– I celebrate once again this evening as Chris Lehman called me Cathy in a Ustream chat tonight. I am identified only as CNelson there. So I am in his radar in the blogosphere too. WOOT!