Friday, August 1, 2008

Lee Baber

We often have conversations about how close we really are when we know each other only online. If all we know of each other is what we teach or what we plurk or tweet, then how much do we know of each other at all?

Two nights ago, I found out that Lee Baber had been hospitalized due to lung cancer. What I didn't know was that she had been battling cancer for four months. And this morning, I heard that she passed away last night. Quite soon after the news of her passing, the EdTechTalk community moved into action. News spread quickly throughout the community. People who were offline were notified, a collection was taken for her family, a memorial page was put up on the front page of the EdTechTalk site, a memorial broadcast was scheduled, and her family was contacted to participate.

The broadcast was wonderful. It occurred tonight and many people stopped by to listen, participate, pay their respects. I heard stories about Lee that taught me things about her I never knew. I didn't know she played the banjo. I didn't know she lived in the south. I didn't know she had a sister. I didn't know she wanted to act. I didn't know she took some time after high school before attending more than a community college.

So how well did I actually know Lee? I knew that she cared a great deal about people. I knew that, if I ever needed assistance with broadcasting (and this was quite often), that she was available, willing, and most knowledgeable to help. I knew that she was the go-to technical person in the EdTech community, if Jeff wasn't available. I knew that she had a soft, calming voice when talking me through a particularly tricky situation. I knew she loved her Mac but knew so much about how to get my PC working.

This isn't a lot of personal information. And, I guess, I never really got to know Lee as a friend or companion. But I am really glad I got to know her at all. She was a huge part of EdTechTalk. She cared about making it successful. She will be missed.


Graham Wegner said...

Lisa, I didn't have much of a connection to Lee but I am saddened by her passing. I have heard her on podcasts, listened to her K12 Online Conference presentation and shared chatroom banter during one of the 2006 K12 Fireside Chats. Looking at her website, she was certainly an awesomely talented educator and thanks to the internet, her influence will still resonate as we all continue to make sense of what this all means for education. Your tribute here makes me glad for even a small connection to Lee. She will be missed.

Mee-Schaa said...

I would love to link you so that the rest of my friends in Brunei Darussalam learn somethings from you :)