I haven't had the time nor the inclination to write much these days. From the end of January until last week, life has been rather hectic. Starting with a trip to Apple in Austin on January, I raced from event to event just try to catch my breath. In between Saturday sessions of a digital storytelling workshop, my neck went out on me and then I had to contend with the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators. Why on earth I agreed to coordinate volunteers, co-present an all day workshop, conduct a general session and then do a preso in the Apple booth is beyond me.... but I have to admit I really enjoyed every minute. Now that I am on spring break, it's time focus on the home front a bit more.
Over the weekend, my family and I visited my husband's last living uncle in Michigan. Uncle Gerry is pretty ill with cancer, and my husband decided that we needed to pay his family a visit. Gerry is so lucky in the fact that his family is completely rallying around him... various relatives are flying in from all over the country and even Japan to visit. His immediate family is lovingly caring for him and making sure that he is comfortable. And what struck me the most was how happy Gerry was to be sitting and swapping family stories with the group of us that assembled over the weekend. He did not need anything special other than the companionship of those he loved most. I was also impressed with his wife's scrapbooking skills. Carolyn has made many albums apparently, and she showed us one that she made in tribute to Gerry's WWII experiences. She typed up his recollections, and included pictures, letters, certificates etc in this book. It was a great resource for this family. His son in law, Dan, also made a tribute video using Roxio and it was simply amazing. I think everyone in the room was in tears after watching this video commerating Gerry's life and in particular, the friendship between Dan and Gerry. How many men count their fathers in law as their best friend? It was so special, and I amazed by the bonds within this part of my husband's family. Our own small nucleus within this clan is nothing like this, and we learned a great deal from their example.
Anyway, seeing this video also provided me with an ed tech revelation. Rarely do I see people outside of my teaching world documenting things like family history in a digital storytelling fashion. Here was Dan, who is not a teacher or involved in the field of educational technology, coming up with this beautifully scored and organized video for his father in law. I was glad to see the transfer of such skills outside of the field of educational technology.... perhaps the general public is catching on to the power of digital media more than I first thought. I sent Dan some pictures tonight and I also included a link to Helen Barrett's site which has a lot of good info on preserving family history.
So..... My spring and summer look to be quite busy, but hopefully in a less frenetic way than this winter. I have a few exciting things appearing on my horizon of which I will blog about when the time comes!