Conference Reflection–Ode to TYCA

tyca-keepcalmSo, maybe there’s a reason I leave TYCA-MW last, when I do attend. Maybe I am meant to be the non-elected, unofficial reflector of the event. Maybe I’ve become that person because I travel the farthest, typically, to TYCA-MW, being the North Dakota rep and all. Maybe it’s because I love to write journal entries about my life anyhow. No matter the reason, here’s my Ode to TYCA (post Midwest conference in St. Louis, 2016).

Submitted by Sybil Priebe, North Dakota State College of Science
Ode to TYCA
To the nerdy family that exists within TYCA-MW, who welcomed me with open arms in 2009 at the Madison, WI conference.
To the long-lost “sisters” I’ve found in Jen Richrath, Mary Gruis, Kathy Steffens, Sara Jones, Carrie Finn, Connie Miller, and Michelle Byrne.
To the long-lost “brothers” I’ve found in Rich Peraud, Paul Resnick, Alan Hutchinson, and Brian Harrell.
To the conversations I’ve had with anyone at a TYCA-MW who listened and possibly reframed advice I’d already gotten from my favorite colleagues back home.
To the ideas that congregate collectively in our minds when we are all together, and how they come out of us in articulate, silly, or blasphemous ways.
To the laughter that pours from liquor-lined mouths when we tell stories about past TYCA’s, about students, and about ourselves.
To the joy I feel when I am around people who are like-minded, yet come in all shapes and colors and backgrounds.
To the happy exhaustion after the conference, trying to figure out what the hell to try in class – what ideas will work in 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, or maybe in 3 years?
To the nerd love.
To the cocktails, and toasts to those who’ve come before us and reminded us to remain true to who we are: teachers of writing and lovers of thinking.
To the “small, practical, hands-on conference” this is and will continue to be (Byrne).

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