The word of the week is community.
It’s a word I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, as I’ve been doing a lot of leaning on my own community over the past few weeks. I’ve also been thinking about how new technologies and changes in society affect our idea of community.
Today is Wednesday. Since last Wednesday, I…
- attended a Bris for my cousin’s son.
- ended my 30-day mourning period for my mother.
- participated in a live reading of The Comedy of Errors with a group I found online.
- reconnected via e-mail with a close childhood friend I lost touch with 15 years ago.
- participated in a learning community seminar about 21rst century schools with my work colleagues.
- was called for an aliyah at the Bar Mitzvah of another cousin’s son.
- visited my sister in the hospital and held my 10-hour-old niece.
- conducted a day-long data workshop that helped a school identify a pervasive student learning problem.
- began teaching The Merchant of Venice to an 8th-grade class who will be creating a video project based on the play.
- joined Facebook.
- was invited to present at a conference at the Folger on teaching Shakespeare in the elementary school.
- participated in a webinar, cosponsored by the Folger and PBS, that brought together 176 Shakespeare teachers from across the country.
Traditional community structures such as family, school, religion, and professional networks are supplemented and even augmented (though never replaced) by technology and an increased focus on interconnectivity and collaboration. What I learned this week, though, is that there’s no substitute for being there in person.
Welcome to the world, Elena. You have big shoes to fill.