Slice of Life Tuesday: On NOT Attending the NCTE14 Conference

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No, I wasn’t able to attend the NCTE Conference. Woe is me. (Aw, quit feeling sorry for me — I’m fine!) I am a life-long learner who loves to travel to educational conferences. “Weirdo.”  I know. But that’s what I like to do. Back in May, I asked my principal if I could attend two conferences this year. One event I really wanted to attend was the NCTE 14 Conference at the beautiful Gaylord Resort in National Harbor. I’ve never been to Washington, D.C. before. I was ready to see some new sights and take part in the best PD opportunity of the fall! She said, “You could do that one.” But when it came down to filling out the paperwork, life happened. Time, money, family obligations, just happened at the wrong time this year. (Don’t get me started on the year — 2014 will NOT be missed!)

I logged on to Facebook and Twitter and signed up for the mobile app for NCTE14, hoping that attending virtually would help me to get over the mental pain of staying home. I have to say, it was nice to stay home in my warm pajamas on Wednesday, getting up at my regular weekday time instead of 4:00 a.m. to catch a plane to D.C. It was cold and windy! However, the relief soon turned to anxiety as I heard friend after friend, author after author, role model after role model, land at the airport and start preparing for their presentations and dinners and fun! Oh, to miss out was torture!

I was home, though, attending to work and family. I did get to go out to dinner, see my nephew for his birthday, and relax for the weekend. I used social media for hours, reading about and “Tweeting” with those who were there. It was nice to hear how much learning soaked up in the minds of the participants. Everyone shared their stories and pictures. (Thank you!) Although jealously reared its ugly head, I was also excited to “see” and “hear” about the reunions of the great people I have admired from afar for many years. The “Slicer” dinner looked absolutely fabulous, and I was there in spirit. Many fellow Slicers commented to me and I felt welcome — even though I was only watching my iPad screen. “Next time,” I said.

“Story is the Landscape of Knowing.” My story starts and ends in Indiana, but stories are everywhere. My story is not new, nor is it significant in the overall scheme of things. One lesson I learned from the NCTE Conference this year is that NEXT TIME I will be a part of the landscape, paying my way if necessary. I KNOW that life is a journey, and I KNOW that my story will be told — as an insider — next year!

And since next year will NOT be 2014, nothing can stop me!

 

 

(To all those who shared with me via Facebook and Twitter, again I thank you for your generosity! I’m so glad you all had a great time at NCTE!)

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: Starting a New Club for Those Slicers NOT going to NCTE!

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I’m starting a new club — who wants to join?

Requirement for my club: You will NOT be attending the FABULOUS NCTE conference at the Gaylord Resort at National Harbor this week! (#NCTE14)

Just kidding.

I WAS going, but…you know, life. And money. And work. Well, I will definitely be logged in on Twitter and Facebook to see all the wonderful learning posts and all the reunion comments by those in attendance.  I will be working, going to the orthodontist with my daughter, grading reading and writing notebooks, and attending a parent conference. Later this weekend, I will complain of the cold, make some crock pot dinner, and watch movies with a cup of hot tea. Then, I will try to get some Christmas shopping done, pay the bills, and read more books. Finally, I will let the dog out, write some essays, and get some sleep… and dream of “next time” –when I will be able to attend the conference and meet all of my Slicer friends in person!

Have a great week everybody!

Slice of Life Tuesday: Books That Changed My Life

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I read a challenge on Facebook last week: “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard. It is not about the right book or great work of literature — just ones that have affected you in some way. The list does not need to be in order…”

I could not possibly list ten books that have stayed with me. Maybe 25 or 50, those are more realistic numbers (for my lifetime). Not more than a few minutes to think? I’m a stubborn Taurus perfectionist, and I analyze everything, so I definitely need more than a few minutes, and I will spend time thinking about it before I let others see my list on Facebook (or anywhere else). To meet this challenge, I did think about what would sound good to readers of a teacher’s blog. Then I thought, “Oh, brother…just make the list already!” My list is unusual compared to the others I’ve read in the past week. Maybe some other people think like me, and don’t want to embarrass themselves in a public forum; maybe they read more mature and publicly acceptable books than I do. Anyway…challenge accepted! Here’s my list of books that have stayed with me over the years:

1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin, Jr.

2. Nancy Drew Mysteries (series), by Carolyn Keene

3. How to Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell

4. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

6. A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute

7. Daybreak, by Belva Plain

8. When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do, by Kylene Beers

9. Zoom, by Istvan Banyai

10. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris

I have another whole list of notes, categorized by childhood, teen, and adult reads, and broken down into genres. Like I said, I could not possibly list just ten.