As I wandered the bowels of the Denver Coliseum last May waiting for MSU Denver’s commencement ceremony to begin, it felt as though I had next to no bandwidth left with which to operate. I was feverishly trying to get my final grading finished before I hopped on a plane later that evening bound for Denmark, where I was scheduled to do a week’s worth of teaching. Despite the fact I was feeling preoccupied, I caught the eyes of my friend and MSU Denver Director of Media Relations, Tim Carroll. After we greeted one another he queried, “Hey, have you sent in a proposal for a Ted Talk yet? I think you would be really great.”
My crooked gaze tipped him off pretty quickly that I hadn’t the faintest idea what he was talking about.
He quickly brought me up to speed on the event. I told him it sounded interesting, but I wasn’t sure I had time to get a proposal in. However, he was persistent. Upon arriving in Denmark, I found an email in my inbox with a link to the event and a gentle prodding to apply. Some free time opened up a few days later, and I completed the application while overlooking the sea in Snekkersten, Denmark with a little video help from my new friend Nis Harvith at DISPUK where I was teaching.
After I sent the application off into the ether, I didn’t give it too much thought assuming my proposal likely wouldn’t draw much interest, anyway. I still have this sense, no matter how much speaking or teaching I do, that no one is really all that interested in what I have to say.
Upon getting the acceptance letter, I felt a rush of adrenaline and also uncertainty. Interestingly, I’ve been somewhat critical of the way in which a decent number of people have come to look at Ted Talks as absolute truth. Well, perhaps it’s only fair that now people will have their opportunity to be critical of mine. Also, how in the world will I distill a topic that I’ve written extensively and frequently talk about as part of week-long workshops to 15 minutes or less?!? The journey begins…
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