Morning my Friend,
Missed you on Wednesday and Thursday. As I drove up to Ellenville, passed our walking spot and the left turn to Fish Hatchery Road, I remembered. I was missing you and my mom. Sneaking away from the large and noisy living room at Jeff and Marla’s to your peaceful home with Andy and any kids there sharing the day. A glass of wine, cheese and crackers, wonderful conversation, friendship. Missing you. Good though, that Andy was away sharing the day with Jenny, Jimmy and the newly arrived, Max. Andy’s turkey traveled well .
And Thanksgiving(loved it) came at the end of a long, exciting, exhausting week. Rochester, NYSCATE, keynote with Troy and Kevin, workshop with Andrea. It was a big conference that I need to digest. Patience please:
From Saturday- Tuesday I was away at
NYSCATE: New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education. Tuvia dropped me off at Newark airport with my over-packed suitcases and I speedily moved through the usual lines and checkpoints. A very small plane to Rochester: rows with three seats, two rows and the trip in the air offered us just enough time to listen to the stewardess explain how to click into the seat belt ,prepare the complimentary drinks, walk her cart through the isle once and back again for clean up, prepare for landing and we were up and back down in 43 minutes. Too bad that will not be the case when I’m back at Newark for our trip to Israel next week.
I’m not a member of NYSCATE, but my buddy Andrea at Highland Falls is deeply rooted in the organization and as Keynote Chair this year, invited me to collaborate two of my favorite buds Troy Hicks and Kevin Hodgson from the National Writing Project. Honored Using email and Google Hangout we met comfortably to plan our one hour interactive session. Kevin has already shared a reflection on his virtual experience, paving the way for mine and that’s been true of the whole experience. From the planning to the presentation, it’s been easy to join in with K and T, easy to contribute what I had to offer to the discussion on how writing is changing in the digital age for teachers and their students. Troy, with his comfort and expertise using web tools Troy could create the atmosphere allowing us to share our work, comment on each other’s work and then open it up a larger conversations with the participants.
As much as I love communicating in the virtual world, it was a pleasure to spend time with Troy, face-to-face. Hours before our session we waited in the empty conference ballroom to welcome virtual Kevin for a dry run to make sure we could have hear and see him. Yes, he arrived on time, the team of professional techies had Kevin up on the screen comfortably talking with us. Then Kevin left us to teach his 6th graders and Troy and I returned to our spots on the side of the stage in the large room watching the staff set up for lunch as we talked beyond our scheduled Keynote: families, his new book, my upcoming trip to Israel.
It was the last event of the conference as many people were ready to wind down and head back to their lives, leaving conference reality behind. At noon the lights came up, the doors opened and soon the tables filled with tried participants. Troy and I sat with Andrea and I sat in a state of suspension. No lunch for me. Was Troy nervous? I’d say no, given the fact that conference presentation have become part of his life routine, but for me this conference Keynote was new and I was happy to break into the experience with two very skilled tech educators.
It did help though to have an early morning session with Andrea with a smaller crowd, just letting me warm up with a fun workshop of Andrea’s creation.
And at the end of the action-packed experience I had Tuvia waiting to grab my bags and take me off for a hot bowl of chicken soup at the Suburban Diner on Route 17, Paramus, NJ.
With two peaceful days back home and two powerful films: Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook I’m ready for a big week ahead.
Bring it on,