GTA for Admin - Ineffable

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Ok, I'm going to come right out and be wide open about this. Some of you are going to read this and think, "Miguel, come on, you have got to be kidding!" But the truth is far simpler than that.

In fact, I'm reminded of a conversation a colleague grown famous and I had long ago before her work carried her to distant shores and other priorities claimed our time. She said something along the lines of, "You know, Miguel, this is my time...a time for people who can speak well, but maybe aren't such eloquent writers. Your time is past...."  The impression of what she said is what remains in my mind, like an ineffable sketch on wet sand by the seashore.

The challenge of trying to create a video rises up in my head like an unassailable rockface. I stand at the foot of the mountain, hoping for inspiration and realizing that nothing, nothing is coming. I am a writer, a wordsmith who delights in the play of light among invisible words, not a master of an art, merely someone who enjoys simple delights of words cast like bones to foretell the unknowable. Yet, the task of crafting a video is beyond me. I not only find myself empty-handed, but rejected at the task required of the Google Teacher Academy for Admin. I'd paint a mural, but art and video are linked, mathematical constructs that leave me tongue-tied, blind to what might be, could be.

In short, I will not apply for the GTA for Admins to be held in San Antonio, Tx. My graceless video will not find its way, much like my feet never found their way on a modern dance floor, into the halls of the GTA. I am unworthy to join those teachers who work with multimedia, whose voices never grow still in when called upon, who embrace silence at their peril.

Silence cloaks my work, my words a simple garment, quiet, inaudible, perhaps even without value in this environment of media and sound. Like a mute beggar in the dark, I cannot spare the coin required for entry, a simple video that asks for a display of creativity. I cannot "give away what I do not own," as my colleague said so succinctly, only weep that I shall not cross the threshold of imagination.

Go, my friends, apply for the GTA for Admin in San Antonio and know that if I cannot be with you, I am here in the silent night, lost in the spaces of your noisy creativity.

Update: Thanks to Clif Mims video comment. Ah, empathy. Thank goodness.

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Tamra said…
Honestly, I don't know if I have a creative bone in my body. However, I have let GTA applications pass me by twice now because of the video requirement. I have watched many submissions on youtube to try to get inspired, but to no avail. This time, though, I think I'm going for it. I'm going to take the plunge and just give it a shot. You never know...stranger things have happened!
Clif Mims said…
During my workshops/presentations about multiple representations of knowledge I frequently...Never mind. Scratch that!!!

I've left my reply at because it was more natural for my learning and communication style. :)
Kevin Jarrett said…

I completely understand your decision.

I had similar trepidations about the GTA video requirement and in fact decided not to apply because of it - until nearly the last hour of the last day - I vividly recall starting - and finishing - my video around on the day it was due, around 10pm. Here it is, BTW:

I support your decision not to apply, but would ask you to reconsider. I did not have a concept for my video until that last day, pulled everything together in a couple of hours, and produced it, never having made any sort of video before, in a few hours. And that was in early 2007, way, way, waaaaaaay before we had tools like we do today.

You still have more than two weeks to think it over.

I've also heard someone say that the admin's we NEED in the GTA are not necessarily the ones who can produce a video. Take that for what it's worth!

I'll be in touch............. :)

Mr. Byrne said…
I'm going to echo Kevin's comments. I too waited until the last day to submit my video. I envy people like Marco Torres who can create dynamic, entertaining and informative videos because I'm not good at it. I'm also (as I learned by watching my video interviews at NECC 2009) very stiff on camera. That said, I figured that the strength of my written content would carry the day in spite of a lack-luster video. You can see my video for the GTA app here

I respect your choice, but I would ask you to watch my video and reconsider. Someone with your recognition and reach in the edublogging community is an excellent candidate for GTA.

Hey, Miguel. I hope you reconsider!

Personally I think you're just the sort of administrator that would be ideal for this event - and would be a great addition to the GCT community. Of course, that's not to say the review committee would be as impressed as I am. ;)

And I like to think you'd get something out of both the day and the community... and lots of writing happens in the online group. ;)

We knew we might limit the number of applicants by keeping the video element as part of the application... but we're counting on innovative administrators to take a few risks - and to delegate things that aren't their strength. ;)

So I hope you'll consider going out on a limb with this application - and I hope you'll tap your own colleagues and learning network to get help where you need it.

And of course, I hope that others who are in the same boat as you (but are perhaps less eloquent or less likely to share their thoughts with the world) will also read this and reconsider.

Thanks for starting the conversation in any case. :)
carolyn said…
I am a recent GTADC participant, and feel compelled to respond to the comments, especially as I did not make a high end video and have no blog, twitter or smart phone to my name. I do not feel I am the candidate many would have thought Google would be interested in accepting. I feel the one-minute video component is brilliant on Google's part as it does separate those who are willing to take a chance, perhaps even make themselves look foolish, from those who may balk at finishing what ends up truly being the most simple task. How do I know? Mine was a single shot, one minute, flip video created by holding the flip in my right hand while I moved a group of Fisher Price Little People around a block of wood. I was the princess, my administration were played by random other figures, and my fellow staff members consisted of farmers, zoo animals and even a clown. No music, no editing, just my voice over and my hand moving figures. Ridiculous? Definitely. Embarrassing? Absolutely. Did it work? Obviously. When I got there, the other videos were being shown and I kept hoping mine would not loop through as it was clearly not as sophisticated as some of the others. But I was in that room just like the other videos creators. My advice to those who don't complete the application because of the video it. Your video has GOT to be better than mine, so do not overthink it.
Cindy said…
The video was the biggest challenge I faced when I applied for GTA in Washington, DC. I went through four different plans before making my final video.

My video wasn't the best or the most insightful compared to my fellow GTCs, but it was different and reflected my personality.

Let the video reflect who you are. Your gift is the written word. That should be your guide.

I think Richard said it best.
"I respect your choice, but I would ask you to watch my video and reconsider. Someone with your recognition and reach in the edublogging community is an excellent candidate for GTA."

Best of luck!
Cindy Phthisic
Honor Moorman said…
Hi, Miguel
We haven't met, but we have mutual colleagues-I'm in San Antonio, too. I'd like to echo the others who've encouraged you to reconsider applying for GTASA. Like Kevin and Richard, I threw my video for GTADC together at the last minute. It was the first video I'd ever made, and I'm not proud of its quality. The process of creating it showed me just how much I have to learn about movie-making. But this is one of those situations where substance outweighs style. And if you could just put those eloquent words of yours onto the screen somehow, I think you'd have an excellent shot at getting selected. GTASA would be fortunate to have you, in my opinion :)
Yours, Honor

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