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Dear Friends and Fellows,

As we approach the holiday, it's a good time to acknowledge the terrific work
that our group has been doing. American Memory Fellows have given local,
regional and national workshops (including at the Coalition Fall Forum and NCSS,
and some that have happened electronically!).  Fellows have revised and expanded
extraordinarily promising Teaching Units, and some have started to implement
them with students. We've had interesting exchanges about the nature of primary
source materials, and the possibility of creating archives of students' oral
histories.

It's also a good time to acknowledge the challenge of working on these 'outside'
projects on top of our regular duties.  For folks who have managed to push
ahead, the result can be stress and exhaustion.  For people whose workload has
precluded them from doing all they hoped to, there may also be stress, and a
worry that they will be unable to 'catch up.' But remember that there is no set
goal or timetable for your work;  and that with these complex challenges every
step, no matter how large or small, is an opportunity to learn, and to share
what we've learned. I want to thank everyone for their efforts, whether you've
been doing workshops and lesson revisions, or simply following the online
discussion and thinking about how you might do with American Memory next term.

With this in mind, I am inviting you to use the holiday break -- through Jan.
5th or later -- to reconnect with your fellow American Memory Fellows, and get
energized for the coming term.

We are forming 'Email Roundtables,' each consisting of five Fellows, to simulate
what we'd do if we could magically get together in Washington:  sit around a
table in a small group and get caught up on what people have been doing, and are
planning to do, in a relaxed, informal way.

I've asked a handful of people to kick off each of the discussions, starting
sometime next week.  So look for an email from one of your Fellows.   (If you
want to send me the name of one or two people you'd like to sit with in your
roundtable, email me their names soon!)

Til then, best of luck with the last week of school.

Bill