There never seems to be a shortage of things to celebrate when you’re looking for them, but this past week is so jam-packed with goodness that I cannot possibly get everything in there.
1. This time last week I was in Boston at NCTE feeling a lucky and more than a little overwhelmed at everything I’d experienced so far. To be honest, I still feel that way. I have pages and pages and pages of notes from sessions and ideas sparked by what I heard. There are just as many notes that came out of conversations with friends and colleagues. I promise that there will be a post about the experience soon.
2. On a related note, I remember being at my first NCTE in Philadelphia and feeling overwhelmed for completely different reasons: it felt HUGE and I only knew two other people at the conference. Fast forward to this year where I felt like I ran into friends at every turn. (What a wonderful feeling that is!) Going back feels as much like a reunion as it does a professional development event.
3. My whole household missed me. My husband came to get me in the middle of the night at the train station and listened to my excited babbling the whole way home. My son gave me an enormous hug when he saw me – and that was even before he saw the books I’d brought home for him. The pets have stuck close by me since I returned. (Jason said that Smacky seemed depressed – all our usually-animated tomcat did in my days away was sleep.) It is nice to know you’re missed.
4. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing my students eagerly checking out the books I brought back with me. I decided to take the advice that someone gave me to do a drawing to see who gets the book first, second, third, etc. I now have a huge stack of tickets so that I can fairly share these books. Of course, I did pull rank on some of them. I already know I won’t see Grasshopper Jungle for months if I don’t read it first. Same with The Killing Woods.
5. Celebrating Thanksgiving with my family is always a joy. The cumulative effect of the smells (and later the tastes) of the feast in the kitchen. The laughs and sound effects of the kids playing together. The warmth from the coals in my parents’ fireplace.
6. The quiet time to reflect and regroup on my goals from the beginning-of-the-school-year is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving break. This year I also stumbled on the conversation about #nerdlution (after the fact) and invited myself along for this 50 day streak of twibe-supported rededication to my resolutions.