I presented. I learned. I ate sandwiches. | #edtech #njasl13

My head hurts.

I’ve been putting more effort this year into my professional activities which has turned out to be a great way to meet other amazing professionals in education and libraries. On the other hand, my head is pounding from all the learning, new ideas, and new experiences wrapped into one tight weekend.

On Friday, I had been invited to present at the Montgomery County College 19th Annual Technology Learning Conference. Chris and I both applied with separate programs; his on Social Networking, and mine on Collaborative Online Tools. We were excited to attend and present at the same conference, which I conjured up some future team-up ideas for us to do on the way there…

My presentation went well, most of my learners took away something they could start using that night or the next day. I never want anyone to leave empty-handed. I also went into Chris’ presentation toward the end and helped his learners get setup with Twitter and other social media.

I snapped a few images of this technology wiz team during the day.

He’s one handsome fella. I’m glad I got to take him home.

We had a nice lunch out in the courtyard between presentations.

I asked Chris to take a photo of me, and as usual he takes “pictures” not photos as he tells me. Yep. I’m married to a man who cuts my head off in every photo he can.

I’ll just have to take my own photos. Aren’t we cute?

During lunch the college students were having a Panic at the Disco listening party and were giving out cupcakes and tomato pie. Of course, Chris never missing free food, introduced himself to the girls.

I passed on the extra junk. Ugh, conference food leaves much to be desired (sandwiches and chips) and my body is crying on the inside for a kabocha squash.

And then… on Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the NJASL Conference at Rider University.

I’m so glad I attended NJASL as a learner, and not a presenter this year. I originally wrote the NJASL Conference Chair to find out about presenting, but then had decided to hold off until next year. I think my mind would have been wiped out having to focus on two presentations in the same 24 hours. I love presenting and teaching, but students are A LOT easier to teach than adults, and educators no less. Educators are hardcore critical of presenters, of which I try to always be polite to the presenters I listen to (even if they scare the bejeezus out of me).

Presenting isn’t for the faint of heart and with every opportunity I’ll improve. I also know when Chris and I team-up for future conferences… we’ll rock it and support each other well.

Once my mind calmed down, I spent the rest of the weekend with my guys. On Saturday we went to Panera for dinner and received two compliments on how cute or well behaved Monkey was. An older Marine just loved Monkey and enjoyed talking with him. After dinner, a mom with her family nearby asked how we manage to have such a well behaved child who sits, eats well, and listens. I was speechless, said thank you, and just that we try every chance we can to teach him.

Really, I just bribe him with pretzels every chance I get. She obviously didn’t see our baby guy jump out and over the seat in the Target cart just an hour later, ha. He was definitely a Ninja Turtle in that moment.

And, we totally left Target without spending a dime. That’s my kind of shopping experience.

For the first time in life, I feel so committed to fully living and not sweating the small stuff. I believe last year’s experience really brought a lot to the surface and helped me realize how truly blessed I am in every aspect of my life. This school year is so different for me, maybe it’s tenure, maybe it’s not.

I’ve accepted life and given myself a focus. I’m happy to be alive, learning and teaching always.

kate