There must be something magical about the freezing temperatures of long Iowan winters - they seem to make the hardy people who live in Iowa warmer and more friendly than is typical. The Two Million Minutes team could not have felt more welcome or received more sincere hospitality for our screening at the Varsity Theater in Des Moines. From my cab driver Bob, to the great staff at the 98.3 WOW-FM radio
station, to "BC" the owner of the theater - we were treated like family.
This was our first foray into the Primary States and it was exhilarating. I can tell you from first-hand experience now with nearly 200 audience members, Iowans are smart, knowledgeable on the issues and they really enjoyed Two Million Minutes.
The Q&A period ran well over an hour and the audience was great -- inquisitive and thoughtful about what they had just seen in the film, and eager to have an engaged discussion about policy and leadership for American education.
The exception was one education Professor from a local college - who "held forth" at some length in the Q&A session, called my film "a lie" and insisted that I become "au courant" in what he reverently called "THE LITERATURE". He then turned on his heel and stormed, dramatically, out of the theater - his mind as open as it was when he came in.
I reflected on the literature I know and I just assume he was intending to cite Shakespeare's Julius Caesar - "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves..." - our colleges of education, I guess he means. I don't know, maybe he had different quote in mind from the LITERATURE.
The Iowa screening was our very first major event with ED in '08 - capably led by Holly Zardus from the headquarters office in DC, and supported by a terrific ED in '08 field team in Des Moines, we were able to get the word out about this first public SNEAK preview of Two Million Minutes in only 2 full days.