Friday, June 9, 2017

Superfecta & Shouting Out To the Great Whatever! @shelbiewitte @writingproject

During the week of the Kentucky Derby, I posted about winning a trifecta: the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Award, the Impact Fairfield grant, and the George E. Lang Award. That night, I received a text saying that this trifecta was actually a SUPERFECTA. The text put me in a tailspin, especially as I learned more about the award and what it stands for.

The Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literatures is for individuals who "diverge from traditional pedagogies and research approaches and embrace the spirit of following a road less traveled" It is an award established in 2016 by the Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research to recognize the indelible contributions of educators and scholars who have dedicated their careers to the theoretical and practical study of 21st Century Literacies.

I wrote back to say that surely the nomination was a huge mistake. I was told it was not. I then stated that my basement flooded and took out my hot water heater because of the other three awards, and a  nomination like this might mean that an anvil will fall on my head from the sky or my refrigerator will die. Dr. Shelbie Witte quickly responded, "Yes, surely your appliances will die now." (After that text, I spent several weeks rereading them wondering what it all could mean). Then I received notification I was chosen as a finalist and needed to send a CV and "message" I would give if selected to address a conference in Oklahoma next February. I sent what I would say,

...and then...

...and then...

mid-tenure dossier process hell and pre-CWP summer bonanza, I received the following,
Dear Dr. Crandall,

It is with great pleasure that I notify you of your selection as a 2018 winner of the Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies Research, given by the Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research,

Through a nomination and vetting process, you were selected by the committee for your innovation in research in the field of 21st century literacies and your dedication to both the theoretical and practical study of literacies in the 21st century.

With this award comes a speaking engagement at our host university, the Oklahoma State University-Stillwater on February 22, 2018, with additional speaking opportunities at area schools, etc. during your visit.

We look forward to working with you to schedule your visit to Stillwater as well as publicizing your award to celebrate your tremendous work.

As Chitunga would say...Phew! And my refrigerator, washer, dryer, and dishwasher are still running (wipes sweat from brow). Here's the rub, though...last week, my laptop crashed! Seriously! Amidst all the digital work I need to take care of, the system sizzled. Lucky for me, though, ITS at Fairfield University retrieved my files and I've been able to grab those I need for the loaner I've been working on (one episode of Seinfeld after another). Now I know why it crashed...divergence!

I am extremely grateful to Dr. Shelbie Witte and my NWP daughter, Dr. Susan James, for mischievously putting my name into this mix. "I am a minnow amongst big fish." I'm nobody, without the power of everyone together. That is Ubuntu, and I can't wait to meet Dr. Sean Connors and editors of Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures who are recipients of Divergent awards, as well.

I am shouting out to the Great Whatever, too, for finding a way to resurrect my Blogger post from 2008. It's taken a lot of brainwork to make this happen (because it was from my first year of blogging). Stressed about doctoral work and without any money to my name, I decided to accompany my sisters and their children for Halloween as an out-of-the-box-thinker.  (cough cough) of the reasons I'm receiving a Divergent Award, perhaps.

Feeling, so grateful.

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