A Day of InspirationPosted: February 8, 2012
On Saturday, I had the privilege of attending the Deaf Education Mid-Winter Conference here in Tulsa. The conference was hosted by the University of Tulsa (where I was an instructor for the past 2 years). I wasn’t able to attend the workshops on Friday, but was thrilled to attend on Saturday because Dr. Kristin DiPerri was the keynote speaker. Dr. DiPerri has been a major inspiration to me for several years since I first heard her speak in 2004. I used her reading curriculum and writing assessment as an elementary teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students and also used it in my research for my master’s thesis. Dr. DiPerri has always been very approachable and helpful when I’ve had any questions along the way, so I was really looking forward to hearing her again and meeting her in person. I was also just excited to use the academic part of my brain and sit in one place for longer than two minutes at a time 😉 Nick did a great job holding down the fort at home with both kids, and I’m very thankful!
I managed to snap these two (terrible!) pics while Dr. DiPerri was presenting.
I also had the honor of going to dinner with Dr. DiPerri after the conference. Gabriella joined us and she was a perfect angel! Kristin and I were able to enjoy a wonderful conversation over delicious Mexican food at El Tequila. *Yes, after our dinner, I feel that we are on a first name basis ;)* I don’t believe either of us were expecting what came of our dinner. Our hearts connected, we shared our recent journeys of trusting God, and Kristin was able to encourage, affirm, and inspire me even further. I was able to share with Kristin a dream I have of a project related to deaf education. The project has been on my heart for awhile, but has honestly felt out of my reach and impossible to do without any credibility besides being a school teacher for 5 years and teaching at the university for 2 years. Not only did Kristin like my idea, she encouraged me to go for it! My journey in the field of deaf education has been one of many successes and failures. I know that God gave me a passion and a giftedness to work with deaf children, but it has not been without many trials, obstacles, resistance, frustration, and disappointments. As a stay-at-home-mom, I’ve wondered what my contribution to this field can be now. I often feel guilty for not doing something because there is such a desperate need in this field and so few people qualified to fulfill the needs. Kristin heard my heart, encouraged me to be present as a mom, but to also pursue my passions in creative ways…such as the project that’s been tucked away in my mind for a couple of years now. I’m so thankful to God for this divine appointment. It was an honor to get to know and talk with Kristin on that level. Thank you, Dr. DiPerri, for being such an inspiration and asset to our field of deaf education AND me…plain ‘ol Amy Agimudie from Tulsa, OK.