Sunday, January 20, 2008

Santa, Fe, NM: Know-it-all

I came to Santa Fe to take a week-long course, "Strategic Bargaining and Organizing Campaigns," at the Southwest Organizing School of the National Labor College. My boss is sending us staff folk here as part of the educational benefit that we won in our staff union contract. The class is meeting every day this week from 9-5 at the office of the CWA local in Santa Fe. The class convened tonight for an hour to go over the coursework and collect reading assignments.

I was chatting with the instructor and mentioned that I had gone to ILR - he asked me if I had head of Kate Bronfenbrenner - of-course-ive-heard-of-kate-bronfenbrenner-she-was-my-advisor-employer-mentor-sheesh! He takes out the curriculum for the week and its loaded with her articles, many of which I had already read, including one piece from Lowell's revitalizing labor book. It turns out that he was also at the Global Unions Conference in Jan. 06 and we are reading a chapter of Kate's book from the conference (Wes and Nischit, you got big fat shout outs on the second page). It also turns out that he used to to policy with the international branch of the AFL and worked with Brian Finnegan (Dine! Jordan!). Small world. Oh man.

I left for the day feeling totally confident about the week to come. I know it will challenge my ADD sensibility - 9-5, come on! - and despite having covered much of the material during undergrad, there is a lot I can stand to benefit from now that I am in the real world and can tangibly apply this skill set. I am also looking forward to getting to know some of the other students: they are coming from locals all around the country. We've got a reading assignment for tonight - time to hit the books!

PS: The CWA office is next door to a food co-op (major Green Star vibes). I got cheap kombucha and dried figs.

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