Last night, I dreamt that a bald eagle picked up a llama and flew away with it, and then proceeded to eat it in mid-air.

I think this is a sign. We will know that the bald eagle has made it’s terrific comeback when llama farmers begin to hide their livestock in a barn, the same way I did with my goats when I was eleven and read about the chupacabra. The National Geographic channel is not for the faint of heart.

Over my twenty years I have had the opportunity to spend many a week inside a residence hall with other peers. Never before have I seen a group come together as quickly and cohesively as this one has. In fact, right now, they have commandeered the living room to watch a movie on environmental lawn care. I am expecting slumber parties any day now.

This is fortuitous, given the theme of today’s special session with Chip Blake, the Director of the Orion Society and editor of Orion Magazine. Many times Blake circled back to the theme of communication and connection. Without a way for people to create a personal connection to the event they are individually experiencing, there is no way for us to move forward as a whole.

When I joined the conference planning stage, I remember how the need for individuals to connect through their experiences and to provide a forum for them to communicate these moments was a central focus. The desire to provide a time and place for participants to form bonds was prevalent in nearly every discussion that took place over the course of three months.

The field of education is a spectacular stage for all those involved to express their feelings, frustrations, experiences. It is, as stated earlier tonight, the common denominator in everything. Education provides us a way to connect, a way for us all to discover a personal reason for being.

“That,” to quote Chip Blake. “is why we’re all here.”