Friday, July 24, 2015

Of What I Am Most Proud
By Dr. Roxanne Henkin
July 23, 2015
Haridwar, India

Today our writing prompt was, “What are you most proud of that you have achieved?”  That’s a hard question for someone who has lived so long.  The most personal achievements--to love my spouse and my children and grandchildren and my extended family and friends and pets are most meaningful.  To help and support my students at all levels is another accomplishment I try to do. Also, I try to be a good person, although I have to admit there are days when I don’t do that so well.  But outside of my personal life, what is it that I am most proud that I have achieved?

Sitting here at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya University in Haridwar, India it is so clear to me that I am proud of the work of the San Antonio Writing Project and our international connections across the globe.  The teacher consultants in SAWP are doing such good work even this week and throughout the summer, with our writing camps and inservice in area schools.  I am so grateful to be able to learn along with these talented professionals. I am thankful for the many opportunities that opened up for us since we created the San Antonio Writing Project in 2006.  I am also grateful for the support of our ILT Department Chair, Dr. Mari Cortez and our Dean, Dr. Betty Merchant.

It’s also clear to me that rather than talking about achievements, this is a vehicle for me to be thankful for all the gifts in my life.  Last night on Facebook, there were posts about the international work that I am proud of.  The first is an article on Thandiwe Dlodlo, who came from Limpopo, South Africa and attended the SAWP 2015 Summer Institute.  She stayed at our house and we had a wonderful time showing her the sights in San Antonio. But more importantly, the article about her shows all that she has learned and is taking back to South Africa with her.

And then there is India.  I feel so moved to be able to be here, writing with wonderful and talented professionals from so many disciplines.  I am learning so much more that just content as we write and discuss with our hearts and listen with an intensity that does not always happen.  Each person’s unique insights change my world outlook.

Kalpana said that you couldn’t know India unless you come here.  You can’t really know India through Bollywood or the movies or even documentaries.  You have to meet the people and fall in love with them and their beauty and their intellect and creativity and their insights.  You have to listen to the people and learn from them, and be changed.  That is what I am proud of and that is what I am grateful for: the opportunity for knowing all of you.

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