Sunday, August 17, 2008
The summer of 2008 was a really good one. I have been staring at this blank post all day, dreading the second day of in-service tomorrow. I decided while talking to the Julie Everett (@j_everett http://iteach2create.blogspot.com/ ) that I would spend a few minutes reflecting about the summer and the great things that happened.
Of course the highlight of the summer was attending NECC in San Antonio. So many great things happened.
Beginning on Friday night, my wife and I were fortunate enough to go out with Jane Reynolds and Peter Wright, the UK contingent of FableVision. The two of them are great fun to hang out with and we had a lovely meal very near the River Walk. While we were walking the River Walk, Peter W. was telling me about his trip to Australia and seeing someone he had went to school with. He described the feeling of 'picking up where they left off' as being "Like seeing someone on Monday after a long weekend." It thought that was one of the most beautiful expressions I had heard (though paraphrased from my memory).
Saturday I had the opportunity to just hang out with my wife. We did some sightseeing and shopping. We had a great time. She bought 'the' shoes which have been mentioned on Twitter and Plurk. She actually took one of them in her purse to the Ambassador dinner to show our dear friend, Peggy Stearns.
Sunday was the Constructivist Celebration. It is always fun to be with creative people and I had the good fortune of working with Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns, Gary Goldberger, and Cristine Goldberg. Super software designer, Peggy Stearns, and I came up with activities for the attendees to accomplish if they wanted some ideas. Gary Goldberger was the Animation-Ish expert and was able to show off the program. Cristine Goldberg is the most energetic person I know and she is a fellow FableVision Ambassador. I got to meet Twitter friend, @dmcordell in person!
On Monday, the actual conference got under way and it was a great time getting to meet a lot of new people and meet people I had 'met' online. There were many highlights that day, but the amazing thing I think back on was that I got to eat a wrap with the wonderful Dr. Stearns out in the hallway and we were joined by Peter H. Reynolds. Peter showed us a book that he had the publisher's proof of. I am not sure if I am allowed to say the title, but it is a remake of a book that I loved (and my wife loved as a child). It was a very important book in its time and the re-release is amazing! It was amazing to me to see something before it was published. I felt very honored.
Monday night was the annual Ambassador get-together. Always a fun time! I was able to meet Julie and Jason Everett and hang out with the wonderful FableVision gang. All are truly great people who are creative and love education. Crazy loud and crazy fun, it is not a night I will forget soon.
Tuesday was the presentation with Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns. Let me tell you it was a wonderful moment when I got to present with one of my heroes! I love the software that Peggy has designed, but more than that, I love the person that she is. Very kind, incredibly supportive and most of all....very humble. It was very kind of her to allow me some time in her presentation to show the things my students have created.
Tuesday night was another great dining experience with my FableFriends! I was lucky to be at the end of the table with Bill and Paul at the beginning of the meal and Peter and Paul at the end. Wow, that is another pile of inspiration! All the FableVision crew have been very supportive of my mission and work, but having the chance to sit and chat with Peter Reynolds, another hero, it doesn't get better than that. Again, Peter is a hero because of the person he is and not only because of the acclaim he as amassed. Truly kind and inspirational.
One truly funny moment at NECC was when I signed my first autograph! Two educators came to talk about Animation-Ish. They asked me a question about the system requirements of Animation-Ish and when I turned the box over, I laughingly said, "Oh, that is me" because the box features a quote by me. As they were leaving, they laughingly asked me to sign an autograph on their catalog. I am pretending that they were really impressed with my vast knowledge of all things Animation-Ish, though.
Since NECC, there was a golf round with a friend from school and a little bike riding...but a lot of relaxing and dreaming. I have been teaching a night class called, "Computers and Instructional Technology" which has been a lot of fun and a learning experience. Adding in Skyped experts has really added a lot of meaning to the class.
All in all a great summer. Now must survive three days of inservice and then the kids come back!!! Can't wait to see them again.
Please share one of your great summer memories!