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"Traveling within ourselves is just as important and valuable as traveling by plane or ship" 

-O'Donnell

TRAVELOGUE #10: Estes Park, Colorado 2010

Colorado is red
Violets are blue
Conference 4 of 4
I’m through, I’m through

I won’t tell you about falling down the escalator at the Detroit Metro Airport.
I won’t tell you about walking in the men’s restroom twice.
I won’t tell you about dropping my camera in the toilet as I took off my jacket in a stall for stick figure people.
I won’t tell you about standing 10 feet from a bear.
But I will tell you the rest.
Okay, the bear sighting isn’t true (though a few people at the conference saw them). The other three events nearly happened so they are, well, half true. I was up at 3am when I left so the falling down part is probably 2/3rds true. Trundling can always lead to falling. Praise rubber soles.

This conference started off with a laugh. The flight attendant (hereafter FL) on Frontier flight 628 from Detroit to Denver was downright hilarious. Waiting for two people to board the plane, he asks me if I want to hear some industry gag stories while we wait. Of course! So doesn’t he tell me that nearly all senior FLs ask junior FLs to do “an air quality control test,” one that requires them to move around the cabin with an open garbage bag, secure it, label it, and store it so that it can be delivered at their destination city for testing. I can’t believe anyone would fall for that but he says they nearly always do. His favourite, he shares, is when the pilot and co-pilot are in cahoots with the senior FLs who tell the junior FLs to get urine samples from the pilots. Mini cups filled with, you guessed it pineapple juice, the junior FL comes back with the cups and the senior FL asks, “whose is whose?” and the junior FL is embarrassed to not have thought to ask. “No matter,” he says, and promptly drinks one of the cups in front of the junior FLs saying, “I’ll taste it to find out.” Apparently, one time a senior female FL, a real skinny minny, hoisted herself up in the overhead bin compartment to freak out a stuffy pilot with no sense of humour.

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TRAVELOGUE #9: Baltimore, Maryland 2010

On Wednesday, I flew to Baltimore, MD for the NAEA conference. It is the largest North American conference on art education. I only attend one art conference a year so I try to make it a worthwhile one (I use literacy dollars to fund this trip so a national convention is easier to justify to those who question it – and there are those who do). I flew home yesterday and as I type this I’m trying not to think about my sightseeing feet, their heels hot, fiery, and very much skinless.

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TRAVELOGUE #8: Detroit, Michigan 2010

Roses are red
Still no snow
Conference 2 of 4
Only two more to go...

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TRAVELOGUE #7: Waterford, Michigan 2010

Roses are red
Good-bye snow
Conference 1 of 4
I’m ready to go

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TRAVELOGUE #6: Nassau, Bahamas 2010

I’ve just returned from the Bahamas and thought I would share with you some highlights of that trip. As some of you know, we used to live there (Kindergarten and First Grade) but that was in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island; mum and I just came back from Nassau which is on Paradise Island.

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TRAVELOGUE #5: Waterford, Michigan 2009

Roses are blue
Violets are red
After conference 5 of 6...
I feel perfectly dead

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TRAVELOGUE #4: Minneapolis, Minnesota 2009

I really need to get a Nimbus 2000. It would help getting around conferences that’s for darn sure.

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TRAVELOGUE #3: San Diego, California 2009

On Tuesday, I gave a presentation on how daily access to art (i.e. drawing) and language (writing) can help children (in this study, second graders) develop agency and voice. I presented at AERA (American Educational Research Association). This particular conference is quite something; AERA is a prominent professional organization in the field. It also draws a huge international crowd. It's inquiry driven, research driven, etc. Not that the other conferences are not - they are - but at this one I could feel the intellectual spirit, the kind that reminds you why you do what you do, the kind that makes you want to read more, write more, the kind that makes you feel supported by fellow inquirers. It was my first time attending and admittedly, I was nervous about presenting. I had heard it draws a crowd of 50,000. I was told later in the week that the crowd is more like 60-70,000. Clearly, I needed a valium when I heard that.

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TRAVELOGUE #2: Grand Rapids, Michigan 2009

Last Sunday, I gave a presentation on writing strategies in Grand Rapids, MI (an annual, local conference for Michigan teachers). GR is NW of Detroit. 

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