When I did my doctorate at Syracuse University, Jennifer was the assistant to the Dean and one of my biggest supporters: she kept me going with her humor, her insight, her creativity and her vision.
Fast forward. When I graduated from Syracuse and returned to Manley Field House to turn my hassle, Jen ran up to me for a selfie and that is when I realized I actually completed what I set out to do. The tears began. Her hug and love at that moment (and even today) mean(t) the world to me; she was tremendously instrumental to my drive to make it through.
Fast forward more. Jen has, two years in a row, been the behind-the-scenes extraordinaire who made the NYC Writing Our Lives event possible. They've been a huge success: paper, pens, arrangements, hotels, and arrival of bagels and chicken. She does her work with grace, flare and funk, and there are not enough accolades to pour on her - just that she's simply wonderful.
Also spectacular to the Syracuse family is Dr. Marcelle Haddix. The Writing Our Lives events have occurred since 2009 and it is amazing how much fun we have running them: get your favorite presenters together and throw a party. It has become tradition, too, to reunite with Dr. Detra Price, as well, and to see their two boys grow up before our eyes.
The Fisher Center, part of Syracuse University's orange presence in the red apple, is a phenomenal location for hosting the high school students. Two years in a row I've been highly impressed by the amazing teachers and their students. This year, I was lucky to have Attallah Sheppard and Chitunga in my crew and the event became extra special.
Chitunga and I arrived back to Connecticut late last night, and settled in for pizza and the episode of This Is Us that we missed. Holy emotional and powerful hour that was - I will be thinking about that for some time, and am unsure where to take my thoughts first. Then Cynderballz texts me to state, "Next weeks is the season finale." Um, really. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it.
Ah, but I am flying high after a three day getaway for the ACC, my cousin, and the conference. I am shaking my head with the beauty of it all (and guess what? I'm on spring break and I can't wait to spend it shoveling out from the Blizzard!)
Yup, this is me, and this is us. Always. Us. And I love it.