My Big Vegas Winnings


This post has been intimidating from the start since I have no idea how to distill a week’s worth of Vegas-sized conference memories into one blog post.

So I’m not going to.

I’m not going to tell you about how starstruck I was at meeting author and publishing rock stars at ALAN or in the exhibit hall or at the Nerdy Book Club party.

I’m not going to tell you about the stacks of books that are currently being shipped home or how lucky I am to have friends who could help me get them shipped.

I’m not going to go on and on about the awesome sessions I attended on research and writing and using mentor texts and using digital tools for writing.

I’ll save all of that for other posts.

I will tell you that the most awesome things I came home with didn’t even require shipping or an extra suitcase.

The most influential things I came home with were memories of a thousand conversations.

Some were about books and what I should read next.

Some were about pushing my thinking as a teacher, a student,  a reader, and a writer.

Some were about pushing others’ thinking.

(So many were excited to talk about taking the plunge into Twitter and other online professional development communities. I couldn’t have been more happy to introduce them to resources to get them started.)

Some were just about catching up between friends who don’t get to see each other nearly enough.

Wherever I was, I felt like I had a conversation waiting for me. And every single one left its mark.

I think that’s why I have had such a hard time processing all of this.

This conference was less about presentations and more about connections with friends and colleagues and the conversations I had.

I think this – and the ability to continue those conversations in the digital spaces that make the geography between us less relevant – is what will fuel my thinking as I go forward.

Thank you to all of you who spent time with me.  You made these conferences more valuable than words can express.


4 thoughts on “My Big Vegas Winnings

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Because of all our connections and cross-connections, we are part of a large, supportive community. When we bump into each other in person–even when it’s late at night in a busy hallway connected to a casino!–we know we’re in friendly company. We can talk about English stuff or life stuff or whatever else is on our minds because we’re already always in a collaborative flow. Still, it would be nice to see other in person more often.

    • Isn’t that the truth! I loved that, even in a place that huge, we managed to find each other by accident!
      I do wish we all could see each other in person more often. Truly.

  2. I couldn’t distill it into one post either. I’ve not even gotten to processing Ka! But I’m glad you were there to share the experience. :)

    I think it is impossible to feel anything other than gratitude for the connections I have made and continue to make. Until Poolcon or the next best excuse….

  3. “This conference was less about presentations and more about connections with friends and colleagues and the conversations I had.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I told my principal this very thing when I met with her this afternoon about my trip.

    I’m so glad we finally met and got to hang out. :)

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