Over the weekend I went to the Winter Wheat Literary Festival, where I had the great pleasure of reading with Anna Leahy. It was so nice seeing Karen, and many other folks. I also attended some sessions. It's been a while since I've done that. I'm such a book fair slug that usually I spend the whole time "exhibiting" and drinking coffee and doing nothing else.
I am so glad that I wasn't a slug this time. I went to M.J. Iuppa's panel on persona and was completely transported. I was a student again. I did the writing exercises, and liked what I wrote enough to read them out loud. I took notes. I learned new ways to articulate things that I've thought about, but never discussed with anyone.
In short, it was a transformative experience. I realized why people need continuing education. It wasn't like a refresher course on power point. The whole time I was thinking of how I'd use the ideas in my own teaching. I still feel invigorated. I want to do it again. It's so different from passively listening to a panel at AWP.
What do you think of "continuing education"? Should this be a greater part of the writing world? Where else can we continue to learn in this way? What would you like to talk about, or learn about? Can you ever stop needing new ideas?