Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Back to Life, Back to Reality-Reflecting on the Last Three Days

On my drive home yesterday from Austin, I kept thinking about all that I had experienced during my time at the TCTELA 2016 Conference. There was so much to take in and process.

My head was throbbing due to a migraine that appeared in the afternoon. I know it was due to stress and lack of sleep. I had no down time and there was hardly anytime for sleep. I was up very late on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, working on my presentation. I wasn't able to work on it during the week because of migraines. I then came to work on 3 hours of sleep or so. I worked all day, coached a boys school basketball after school class until 5 pm. Then I had time to tidy up my classroom, make plans and copies for my class for Friday, pack up, pick up a colleague and be on my way. I had to stop at my house to pack my things. My colleagues and I were on our way to Austin at 7 pm.

I had a really great time traveling to Austin with my two colleagues. We had some great conversations and laughs along the way. We stopped over at Giddings at a Whataburger around 9ish. That was the time we actually ate dinner. We arrived at our hotel around 10 pm. We stayed up a little to work on the presentation and went to bed after 12 midnight.

It was up and Adam at 6 pm. We had a great breakfast in the hotel with lots of coffee!  Our first session was with Jeff Anderson and two other middle school authors. Each presenter had us go through a writing exercise involving tone. I really enjoyed experiencing each person's take on writing and crafting tone. They were very engaging.

Then we were to the author luncheon. We waited in line for 25 minutes for the doors to open. Sonia Nazario, the featured author, was awesome. I read her book Enrique's Journey earlier in the Summer. She described her journey in writing the book and going along with Enrique on his 3 trips from Honduras to the US.

I then had the honor to introduce two speakers from HEBISD. I met one of them before from a TABE Session I had done in McAllen the previous year. That was really neat seeing her. She attended one of my poetry session. The two presenters did a really great job presenting reading strategies. They recommended a book by Jennifer Serravallo called The Reading Strategies Book. I had previewed the book during Gretchen Bernabei's sessions. It looked really interesting. I ordered it from the QEP ladies, along with three other books.

I got to go out to dinner with my daughter and my friends. We went to Chuys. It took us a long time to get there. Austin traffic is worse than Houston traffic. The food and the company was very nice.

Later on in the evening, my colleagues and I worked and reworked our presentation. Before I went to sleep, I felt extremely pumped about our presentation.

We were able to attend the morning session with Varian Johnson. He shared some really great advice about writing. He also shared his journey and the backstory behind the publication of his books. What I gathered from his experience was that writing is work. There are peaks and valleys. I learned that you have to be determined and persistent. He is an engineer and a published author. He showed me that you don't have to be locked into one interest or even career. It makes sense that each person has their passions for different things in live. It is okay to have more than one career. I liked that idea.

I was nervous. The nervousness that I felt was not from being unprepared. I was prepared. My nervousness was an anxiousness. I wanted to get the presentation started immediately. I always feel this way before I present. It reminds me of how I felt before a volleyball or basketball game. It was an excited nervousness.

The presentation went well. I was worried about the acoustics in my videos that I used in my Powerpoint. The speakers worked okay, but the size of the room was so big, that the sound wasn't as crisp that I would have liked. Overall, I think the presentation went well. I only wish I was able to show the second to last video of my student's writing. There wasn't enough time. The time went so fast!

After the presentation, a few people came up and asked me some questions. They really liked the presentation. They thought that the information was very helpful.  When we left the venue, a few more people came up to us and congratulated us on a very smooth and informative session. Later on, I ran into another participant that I knew through some friends. I asked him what he thought and he said that he really liked it. He told me tweeted the whole session. He also told me that he got a lot of good information to share with his team. A few minutes later, I looked up his tweets and they were very positive. It was nice reading the tweets. After speaking with these people, I felt really good about the session.

I attended another session on portfolios and then a migraine started pounding above my right eye. I knew why. I couldn't wait to get some rest at home later and not have to get up early on a Sunday morning.

I woke up this morning migraine free! I hope the rest of my day goes this way.

From Thursday to Sunday, I felt as if I was in a learning vortex. This day I will try to chill out and take in all the wonderful learning and memories of TCTELA Austin 2016. It did not disappoint!

No comments:

Post a Comment