Stupid Beth Mossholder
. Not five minutes ago, I had finished eating dinner with Randy Kolset
, one of my roommates from the Google Teacher Academy at Washington (GTAWA) and was now sitting with my back against a pillar so I could have my phone plugged in while sending out last minute texts and Tweets before the flight home. Randy was the last member of my GTAWA cohort I would see before returning home from the unbelievable two day conference. After letting go of that final handshake and turning away towards Gate A-5, the conference was at last over. Being a Google Certified Teacher herself, stupid Beth Mossholder wanted to relive her experiences vicariously through me, so as requested I had been sending her updates throughout the conference and now that it was done I sent my final one: “Starting to decompress now that I’m ‘alone’.” Yes, even though I was surrounded by people at the airport, I was finally/unfortunately/seemingly alone. To which she replied: oh good. blog it out if you have to.
Blog it out. Blog It Out? BLOG IT OUT?!?!?!? How does one blog about what is probably the most amazing professional experience I’ve had a mere 5 minutes after it ended? How does one sum up 72 hours of being around amazingly innovative and passionate educators? Stupid Beth Mossholder has no idea what she’s talking about or what she’s asked me to do. Didn’t she go through one of these herself? Isn’t she supposed to KNOW? Didn’t she say herself how drained she was at the end of it? It was at that moment that I decided stupid Beth Mossholder was indeed stupid and that I was going to follow my original plan which was to sleep on the plane.
But while stupid Beth Mossholder is indeed stupid, she is, lamentably, not completely ignorant of how my brain functions. Whether selfishness to read about my GTAWA experience or actual compassion to help her friend get some perspective drove her to suggest blogging it out, I’ll never know. What I suspect, however, is she knew the idea of writing would be the proverbial pea under the mattress of my airplane seat. Because the plane was full, however, my laptop was 6 rows ahead of me in an overhead compartment and that would require way too much energy and I wasn’t about to give in so easily to stupid Beth Mossholder.
So what could I do? I needed something that was low on cognitive load. BTW, thank you Ramsay Musallam, the REAL guru of flipped teaching, who was also in my GTAWA cohort for that wonderful phrase. It’s not like I have seemingly endless energy reserves like Alice Keeler, the spunky math teacher and my constant companion from Fresno. It’s not like I could review my notes with no connection to G-docs, and even if I could there’s no way they could match the thoroughness of Julie Crozier’s whose notes were unbelievably inclusive of everyone’s ideas.
As my head kind of lulled on the airplane, it made me jealous of Jayme Johnson, the refreshing, outgoing and humorous ed. tech specialist at a charter school just outside of Los Angeles. Jayme had to leave before the un-conference, but not before we had a nice walk to and from the Space Needle the night before the actual conference. I’m sure she already had a good night’s sleep under her belt. Of course my current state of exhaustion was my fault for staying out so late the night before and partaking of Mark Wagner’s excellent hospitality and Dave Childer’s, Wendy Gorton’s, and Sean Williams’ fun and energetic company. Greg Renaldo (great guy who I needed to talk to more) and Aaron Svboda, although a bit quieter, were also there joining in our late night festivities with humorous jabs of their own. After all of that, though, it was really nice to sit down that next morning for a quiet breakfast with Aaron. Totally different type of exhaustion than when Karen McMillan and I sat down for lunch after our walking tour of Pike’s Market, the first Starbucks, and Olympic Statue Park (I really am sorry Karen, thought you were a walker like me). Also different from the exuberance of having just finished the GTA and eating dinner and having a great conversation about technology coaching with Mike Lawrence from CUE.
Speaking of exuberance and exhaustion, how is Patrick Green not exhausted after coming from Prague? That guy knows how to light up a room and while he’s so talented, he’s so giving as an educator. Kind of reminds me of Jon Corippo in a way. I imagine Jon is one of the few people who is able to have a meaningful conversation about Columbine in a hotel room with someone he just met after 5 hours of sleep. Then again, Rich Colosi, my other roommate was able to give me some great insight into what happened mere minutes after the YouTube Teacher academy. What is Rich’s profile pic in Twitter? Huh, can’t remember. But Kyle Pace’s, however, no doubt I can recall that. How could I not? While some people LOOK like their profile pic, Kyle IS his profile pic. Always smiling; very warm and open.
Speaking of warm, I was really grateful to Dana Nguyen for having her session on becoming a Google Certified Trainer outside. We needed to be outside, and Dana always seemed to be very in tune with her audience and the glowing sun just seems to suit her so well. Which reminds me, I didn’t really get to know Allison Merrick at all. Or did I? Although, Allison wasn’t in the spotlight, she always seemed to be in tune with Dana and Mark and the consummate teammate. In fact, all the lead learners seemed to work well as a team and none of them came off as thinking they were above anyone else, even us newbies. In fact, I really enjoyed talking with all of them. Especially when I was trying to sell my team’s lead learner, Erica Hartman, on the idea of taking her family to Yellowstone on vacation. Silly Erica, stuck on the idea of going in an RV instead of camping in a tent. I’m sure Ken Shelton would appreciate camping at Yellowstone Or at the very least he’d appreciate the idea of getting up really really early to get the best wildlife and landscape shots.
That makes me think about the river just outside of the Google office. I remember watching the boats on it while eating lunch and singing 50 nifty United States with Kristi Berry (yes, I really am that sarcastic, except when I’m totally sincere), Joan Brown (love how you ask questions and want to soak up as much as possible), and Wendy Gorton (you get mentioned twice because I want to take this opportunity to plug Gilmore Girls Season One to you. Again.). Of course singing makes me think of Chris Walsh showing off his karaoke-fu. Or was that Chris Walsh up there? He seems like a fun enough guy to do it, but it’s all blurring together now.
I need to write it down.
I have my phone.
But no signal.
No signal=no Google docs.
Ah! Note taking app.
Colette Cassinelli=eye candy
Adam Bellow=no nonsense, passionate; says what he means because he believes it and believes it needs to be said
Molly Schroeder=love her enthusiasm and the toys she showed us. WONDER WOMAN
Gwyneth Jones=more like Caring Librarian, am I right?
Jen Roberts=really sweet and loved having dinner with her and her husband at Laredo
Will Kimbley=is this guy ever not smiling? Every time he makes eye contact he smiles at you
Jim Sill=Tons of know-how, loved his YouTube stuff and showing additional calendars. A master of self-deprecation
Cory Pavicich=HAVE to use his google docs idea on building a story to show it off to my teachers
Lisa Highfill=Love her insights on Twitter
Andrew Schwab=Nice to have simple conversation at end of un-conference with him and Patrick Corbin
Robert Miller = Glad to connect with someone from back in FL
Stacey Behmer=awesome chrome extensions and very upbeat personality
But there’s more. There’s more memories, there’s more people. The people. UGH! Why did I take notes on the sessions and NOT the people? I didn’t get to know all of them, and the ones I did get to know I didn’t have enough time. Stupid Beth Mossholder even warned me of this. All I can do is write and hope I remember as much as I want.
After 30 minutes of flashing faces and furious swyping, I finally turned my phone off. And as my head once again lulled to the side so I could finally go to sleep, I remembered stupid Beth Mossholder’s last words of advice four days earlier when I said I was getting a bit nervous about going to GTAWA: Don’t be. Always remember, these are your people. She was right. Beth was right about everything. These are my people. And I will remember them. Always.