Creating and Strengthening Our Connections to Our Purposes and Each Other Through Poetry




  • Scott Marshall, Associate Director for Instructional Technology and Accessibility, University of Minnesota

Session Details

  • Length of Session: .5-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


If our work is to be sustainable, we need to be intentional about the connections we create. Our connections to our purposes for this work and our connections to each other are critical. We will gather from 7:30-7:50 each morning, Wednesday through Friday, to create and strengthen those connections.


To the proposal review committee: I proposed this out-of-the-ordinary proposal for AHG 2017. I'm proposing 20 minutes, W-F before official conference sessions kick-off each day. A warm-up if you will - a more reflective time to encourage intentionality around our work and our relationships. Abstract below. No idea whether you're willing to consider something "off-schedule" but thank you for giving it some thought - I appreciate it. --Scott Marshall

I don’t think any one of us thinks compliance is our goal. Complaints and lawsuits often hijack our attention, thus our intention, and they steer us down an easy path that ends prematurely and is difficult to sustain. Instead, let’s go down the much more difficult path of commitment and accessibility. This path requires connections to clear purposes and to each other. We'll use poetry to expand and clarify our thinking about our purposes and in the process, we’ll intentionally practice creating and strengthening our relationships.


  1. Purpose should drive our work.
  2. Progress toward purpose is easier to make together.
  3. Powerful connections require intentionality.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Scott Marshall

Dad, husband, disc-thrower, reader, woodworker: Scott is practicing using his privilege and gifts to make higher ed digitalia more accessible to more people.


There was a time I would reject those The Way It Is Cuttings (later) AHG 2018 Connections Through Poetry Text of attachment pasted here:

An Invitation: Creating and Strengthening Our Connections to Our Purposes and Each Other

Howdy, and thank you for your curiosity. (insubordination in its purest form, according to Vladimir Nabokov, the author of Lolita.) I’m interested in moving away from accommodation and toward accessibility. I’m interested in moving away from compliance and toward commitment. I’m interested in moving away from answers and toward questions. I’m interested in moving away from fitting-in and toward belonging. Reminding ourselves what matters in a culture that (over)values what works is an urgent undertaking. Acting from a What Matters orientation is nothing short of insubordinate. As a relative newcomer to poetry, I recognize the power and spaciousness of its language and am practicing using poetry to create and strengthen connections in pursuit of more What Matters in my work life. Please join us. Each conference morning  – Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – we’ll gather from 7:30 – 7:50am to share a poem and reflect on ways it connects us to our purposes, our work, and each other. I’ll provide a poem and a couple of reflection questions each day and I invite you to bring your own if you’d like. Hope to see you - Scott Marshall University of Minnesota