Monday, March 12, 2007

I went to a conference (that conference) last week.
The presentation went well enough. (I'd hoped for more people, and a little glitch in the scheduling system did not help any). But I got to talk to people, eat a lotta food and even learn a litte. I came home exhausted - but it was good.

Highlights . . .
* Question - what if instead of the Pledge of Alligence, we had students recite the Preamble to the Constitution. (I think it's a great idea - much more democratic!)

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

* Interesting Factoid - Teens who watched Sesame Steet as children have better grades in high school, read more books, placed higher value on academic achievement, and are less aggressive than those who didn't watch Sesame Street! (Because I was the oldest of a small horde of offspring, and because my parents had strict television rules - Sesame Street was my "afterschool television" until I started high school).

* Crazy Idea - I should re-work the presenation into a journal article and submit it for publication. (This idea has come up before with other projects, but writing is HARD WORK and I was too lazy to follow through). Further consideration/research is necessary.

* Free Stuff - Books, catalogs, maps, journals, magnets, pens, cards, buttons, cds, dvds, passes to the science museum and more! (Most of it is junk - but it's fun to sort through my loot!) As a thank you gift, I also got two pint glasses from the group that sponsored the conference!

* Deep Discussions - Who should create educational standards? How specific/flexible should they be? (Private schools can ignore standards to take advantage of opportunities that public schools can't because standards get in the way). What about racial/gender inequality? Everything you ever wanted to know about the Middle East conflict. Presidential Signing Statements. And more.

The hotel was excessively smokey, which starting bugging me towards the end (and made me a little bit cranky). But overall I'd say it was a good experience. (And best of all, I can now add "Presenter" to my resume!)