Dr. Douglas Fisher? We Know Him!

Friday, April 4, 2014

     I was at a meeting today, and the presenter asked if we knew who Dr. Douglas Fisher is.  I happened to be sitting in the front of the room, and suddenly smiled at his name.  I think she thought I was instantly excited about her reference to him and her program.  What was really going on in my mind?

Heard of him?  We are practically friends...

     This is a story about a certain literacy celebrity stalker (Me), and a cup of coffee...

     Anne Kruder and I woke up early at 6am to go downstairs to the Starbucks to get our coffee before the rush at the Illinois Reading Council Conference.  We got our coffee, then got ready for the day.  Priorities!  We headed to our first session of the morning, and THE Doug Fisher, close reading expert, was there early in an almost empty room.  There are many ways to close read, and his method is not in my top 3, but I still pleaded with my fellow literacy coach friends to get a photo with him before the rest of the room filled.  So, here we are.  Our photo op with our first big star of the day.  You'll notice the single cup of coffee in my hand.  Where, you might ask, is Anne's cup?  She didn't want it in the photo, so she put it behind Lauren.  This also happened to be in direct line of Doug Fishers's hand.  As soon as the picture was taken, his hand swiftly knocked an entire cup of Starbuck's caffeinated goodness to the ground, spilling like oil all over the somewhat clean carpet of the conference room.  The smell of coffee wafting up to us, we all quickly looked to Doug Fisher and his response... Anger? Irritation?  Would this destroy his concentration moments before presenting to hundreds of people, eager to hear how to close read from the close reading guru?!?!?!

     Just before presenting to hundreds of people, Doug Fisher left the auditorium and found a copy of his book to autograph for Anne.  He came over and wrote it in the seat in front of her, before carrying it over to Nancy Frey to get her signature as well.  The inscription?

Thanks for all you do!
Douglas Fisher
P.S. just a tiny coffee stain!

I should have taken a picture of the coffee stain.  It is a big regret of mine.  I am a literacy nerd, but also a scrapbooker.  Oh well.   Here is an image from google to simulate the moment.

     The conference was almost a month ago, yet the coffee can be a metaphor for me now.  The spring always brings so much change...  The seasons start to change, the school year starts to wind down, and we start to wind up over the year that will start again in the fall.  For some reason, every spring brings uncertainty that tends to bring both anxiety and calm.  This year, I am going to try to use Anne's coffee as a message.  Coffee spills!  That cup that we planned so well for, getting up early and strategizing for, spilled in an instant.  In the moment, it seemed bad.  I felt terrible for Anne, and the carpet.  But, the laughter after with friends, and the replacement with the autographed book shows that sometimes the unexpected is followed by better things.  Just a tiny coffee stain. 



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