By Dana Tottenhamdtotten@emory.edu
Director, League Lasso Writer’s Circle
Ed.D. Student, The University of Texas at Austin On Educational Leave, Emory University
One of the rituals when I fly from my home in Atlanta to my hometown of Austin is heading straight to El Arroyo (translated the Ditch). This Tex-Mex restaurant, built over a limestone ravine, has an infamous billboard out front. Over the decades, these billboard signs have become folklore in Austin: witty sayings, political statements, and signs of the times.
El Arroyo always says it best, “It’s OK if you fall apart. Sometimes tacos fall apart, and we still love them."
The field of international education has fallen apart. But here in the League, we love things that fall apart, because through the harness of leadership, we can join forces and put something even more magical back together. Whether you are asking Sophia something confidential or meeting new people in a Mentoring Circle, the League is like a taco bar. There is something for everyone.
I had to make an incredibly difficult decision in early spring 2021 to leave my beloved position in the field. As a working mom amidst a global pandemic, it simply was unsustainable to keep going, and I literally fell apart. I am grateful that I was already a League member. Although I had left my day job and sense of identity as an international educator, I still had an anchor in the field. The League became my comfort food- the biggest bowl of Queso that you can imagine drinking from.
During this year, I had the honor of launching the inaugural League Lasso Writer’s Circle. League members from across the globe- from the United States to Spain to India- zoomed together to share their stories. Late in the evenings, we read out loud a piece of our souls, from personal essays of pandemic trauma to book chapters waiting to be published to professional bio statements edited for university websites.
The Taco Bar of 2022 is officially open. The League is on the Rise. Grab a tortilla (or a rita), strap your vaccines in, and let’s enjoy the masked-up ride.
The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.