planning the revolution … and the call for papers


[by Adam]

Today I was on the radio for an hour. Previously, when I would fantasize of such a day, I would have been discussing my rock star status, sitting behind a piano. Or, more recently my images of grandeur put me and John in comfortable chairs sitting across from John Stewart on the Daily Show. This wasn’t quite as big — a public radio show that reaches out across the state, although on satellite radio you can hear it across the nation, and on the internet you can get it around the globe. So, being excited about the insides of the radio studio and the chance to feel important was tempered by a bit of terror.

Here’s what pushed me through: I was introduced as “Dr. Adam Johnston, Professor of Physics…” [blah blah] “..awarded” [blah blah] “and co-founder of Science Education at the Crossroads, a conference with a mission to reform science education.” I grinned, because if John was able to listen at that instant, I imagined him cheering for the publicity that was gained after each break and re-introduction. Moreover, this affiliation meant that I wasn’t alone. The reason I was there in the studio wasn’t because I’ve reformed science education or even because I know how. I was there because I’ve seen what others are doing, what they continue to do, and what their mission is all about. I battled a bit, politely, with the MacArthur award winner on the phone line who believed science should help us to place our elite students on trajectories to more science related jobs. I countered that we should think about reforming the culture of science within schools, educating all kids with the science ideas and attitudes that they can use throughout life, regardless of professional track. And, at the end of it all, I summarized that I know we can do these kinds of things because the people I’ve worked with and learned from at Crossroads have shown this.

When I got in my car and tried to put my head back together (I still don’t remember what exactly I said on air), I was listening to Frank Turner, and specifically these lines:

We planned the revolution from a cheap Southampton bistro
I don’t remember details, but there were English boys with Banjos

And that made me smile, because that was pretty much where this all started. Not exactly with banjos and no British accents, but the same idea. Crossroads started because we thought we could do better, and we knew that we needed to.

And so, this is all just a longwinded introduction to the announcement that the Call for Papers is out, the dates are set, and the place is ready for us. We have our poet booked. We can’t wait to hear from you. Until then, we’ll be playing these banjos, whether on the radio or not.

One thought on “planning the revolution … and the call for papers

  1. John

    “I know I’m not the one who is habitually optimistic
    But I’m the one who’s got the microphone here”

    These lines from that same Frank Turner song is especially accurate.

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