Recommended to me by a teacher I'd met at the Google Teaching Academy who told me it had given him the courage to change his life, Linchpin also gave me the will to decide that it was time to move on. It helped build in me the resilience to be able to say that I would not allow negative experiences to turn me into a bad person or a bad teacher or to harm my goals. In fact I learnt a lot from this experience about myself and others, and looking back now perhaps these were lessons that needed to be learned.
But now I'm in tomorrow. Now I'm with people who believe in me and who value me. I'm in a place where people don't want me to be average, and where I can do good work and share it with people. I'm surrounded by original thinkers, provocateurs and people who care, who wonder about "what ifs" and invite others to wonder with us about ideas that are not yet fully formed. Now the pencil certainly isn't "broken" anymore: it's been honed and sharpened again many times and I'm working harder and better and being more productive than ever before.
In the chapter Stand Next to the Talent, Austin Kleon writes "You're only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with". These are the people who I follow online, connect with at conferences, and they truly are the people who now surround me at ASB doing interesting work. Kleon urges us to "Find the most talented person in the room, and if it's not you go and stand next to him and try to be helpful." Of course he also cautions us that "If you ever find you are the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room." There's little danger of that here at ASB, however. I'm learning so much and moving in new directions all the time.