Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

TESOL Int’l Convention — Layers of Ideas, Friendship, and Love


The famed Andy Warhol yellow bridges of Pittsburgh

I had not attended a conference in four years and I attended two in the past few months. They were simply glorious! I set conferences aside when I started the doctoral work, as I needed every single weekend to keep one nostril above the water of coursework. Then, came the pandemic. So, to attend conferences after such a long lull was a feast for all senses! I hope to share the spirit of the time, as well as some ideas that I took away from all.

First, TESOL: TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) International Convention, Pittsburgh, PA

TESOL has been a big part of my life for many, many years and in multiple ways. I believe my first TESOL was in Salt Lake City, 2002. Throughout the intervening years, TESOL serves as a foundational stone in my own professional understandings about all-things-multiple-language-acquisition.

Mom and me, TESOL 2018, Chicago

Ever since my first meeting with the Bilingual-Multilingual Education Interest Section that segued from the meeting to salsa dancing in New York City, I knew I met my people. Professional colleagues became dear friends.

Another layer of professional colleagues to dear friends happened when I studied at the School for International Training and became a member of the incredible SIT global educator community.

TESOL always happens at the end of March—it is so wonderful for the organization to plan such a grand shared birthday party for Mom and me with our birthdays on March 20th and March 28th. TESOL also means slumber parties and birthday celebrations with Mom in whatever state the convention takes place that year.

As with learning and language, all begins with relationships. I treasured the reunions with dear friends. Sandra Mercuri, Sandra’s husband, Alfredo, Andrés Ramírez and I talked, laughed, and shared stories in that beautiful way that happens when you’ve been too-long apart. Oh, did we laugh. Especially after the pandemic, it felt so good to laugh with dear friends from the depths of your soul.

Alfredo Mercuri, Sandra Mercuri, Andrés Ramírez, me

On my walk to the Convention Center:

Sandra Mercuri shared her creation and work with CLIFF (Content Language and Literacy Integration Framework):

Me, Sandra Mercuri, Andrés Ramírez

After Sandra’s presentation, Andrés proclaimed, “I’ve been CLIFFed.” Me, too!

A highly engaged conversation is happening around Academic Language. I attended a dynamic panel presentation on these ideas with Luciana C. de Oliveira, Ruslana Westerlund, Andrés Ramírez, and their colleagues. Luciana and Ruslana wore yellow in honor of Ruslana’s native Ukraine.

Luciana C. de Oliveira, Andrés Ramírez, Ruslana Westerlund

Memories of other TESOL Conferences lifted as I sat in sessions, including this time with my dear friend and mentor, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, when she gave me the author’s socks that she knitted for me. Yes, I still wear. Amazing what they do for one’s writing!

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, TESOL Salt Lake City, 2002

More time to connect with colleagues and friends from around the world, including Jorge Torres Almazán of MEXTESOL, of the incredible team from World Learning:

Jorge Torres Almazán, MEXTESOL
Evening light over downtown Pittsburgh
The World Learning Team, including Erik Tancorov, Danielle Mistretta, Kara McBride, Aziza ElKolei, Germán Gómez

When not absorbing the ideas of the presentations or connecting with friends old and new, I was taking-in the beauty of the daffodils, which bloomed throughout the city.

Daffodils of downtown Pittsburgh

Next, AERA


Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

8 thoughts on “TESOL Int’l Convention — Layers of Ideas, Friendship, and Love

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year 2023 and Deep Gratitude! | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Hello Ms.Wink, I am Oznur yanar. I applied my maiden name Oznur Colak. I started to Alternative Teacher License program in 2016. I took two lessons, and I didn’t pass the praxis test. That’s why I didn’t continue this program. Now I took the Math praxis test, and I got 182. I am thinking of taking reading and writing tests in the summer. PED removed the praxis test until 2023. That’s why can I continue this program? And can I get the two lessons transcripts I took in 2016? I got two classes (EDUC 2105 and 2350). I passed A and B. can I get these lessons’ transcripts? PED removed the praxis test. To start this program, do I need to get a praxis writing and writing test?

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Dear Dawn ,I know this is to be used to comment ,I’m going to use it to say HI ! As a laborer from Pitttsburgh still enjoying your post.This is stanley and as a laborer in the field I worked on a lot of what saw when you were here.I have retired from the training center.You were instrumental in my instructor certification. Retirement is great ,I have a new boss now and she keeps me busy.Of course there is always beer pickles and kettlebells. Stanley P Plutnicki

    • Oh, Stanley! How wonderful to hear from you!! Thanks ever so much for taking the time to connect. I love that I can now visualize your home of Pittsburgh. It probably comes through that i thought it was a marvelous city and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. So grateful to know that retirement is great, though I do miss you at AIC! I’m sure your new boss DOES keep you busy. 🙂 The kettlebells and beer pickles—so good to know those still bring you joy!
      So very grateful and glad that you wrote.
      Please do keep in touch!
      Big hugs,

  4. Dear Dawn, I am so happy for you. It was an excellent experience for you. I guess that you enjoyed your time over there. You were meeting people, developing your knowledge, and sharing ideas with each other during the conferences.

    • Dear Dora,
      Oh, thanks ever so much for connecting. Yes, an excellent experience and I am very grateful to share with you.
      I love that we can now share our journeys through our course and here, as well.
      ¡Muchísimos saludos!

  5. Thank you Dawn! Thank you for being there to listen my story.

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