While catching up on my email, I saw MSU Denver was partnering to provide a day-long TEDx event. Wouldn’t that be a cool opportunity! I had a kernel of an idea immediately. I am in my second year of serving on a state council about Open Educational Resources and regularly think about how to raise awareness of these resources. I also realized the reason the open education movement has me so hooked is it taps in to my deep interest in how learning works. I started imagining crafting a 30 second video with my proposal, a task I knew would be challenging because of the extreme time limitation.

I hadn’t actually written, or recorded, anything when I received an email from a trusted colleague, encouraging me to consider applying. This was the positive encouragement I needed! I brainstormed and started distilling my message on a flight back from Little Rock, where I had visited my 94-year-old grandmother. My family culture is reserved. We don’t try to stand out, but we also believe in working hard. I figured that if I applied and wasn’t accepted, I would still grow through the application process…and there was a chance I would get an opportunity of a lifetime.

My favorite part about being accepted is that everyone I tell is so excited. Many projects are hard for family or friends to understand, but everyone is familiar with TED talks. I do wonder about getting through the next steps; this is a very different type of public speaking than lecturing. Luckily I have amazing support from my family and colleagues. Two colleagues in particular are incredible cheerleaders. I have seen them with their students, and know how supportive they can be, but to have that positivity and encouragement directed at me has been exhilarating!

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