Educators. Students. Community members. Much more unites us than divides us, particularly knowing we all wear multiple hats. Building relationships. Thinking BIG.
Challenging and supporting one another. Developing engaged, empathetic citizens. Please join me in pondering how best to nurture these common ground connections.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Down Time @ NECC 2008

While in San Antonio attending NECC 2008, my husband and I intermittently ventured off the beaten path in search of quiet respite from the highly populated convention center hub. We landed in one area called Market Square. It had the token tourist shops, to be certain. But there were local musicians playing as we ate tacos and fajitas from two street vendors. Delicious! We then visited the Museo Alameda, the first formal affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute and, as stated on their website, considered “an important national icon symbolizing the contributions of Latinos to the cultural heritage of our country.” I highly recommend it; gorgeous and informative!

We had a few more amazing meals during our stay. We ate dinner at
Boudros on the Riverwalk. Lovely meal. Another evening we went to Rosario’s for some fabulous fajitas. We also found a quaint spot for breakfast called the Guenther House, the 1859 home of the founder of the Pioneer Flour. The mill is next door and is the oldest running family-owned mill in the country. We had homemade biscuits and gravy, pancakes and fresh fruit. We then walked back to the conference through beautiful neighborhoods. In that walk, we happened upon a spot called La Vallita, a quiet nest of art galleries exhibiting local artists’ work.

As my purpose for this trip was to bring back curricular technology ideas to share with my colleagues, I found these moments of adventure through San Antonio quite beneficial, and even necessary. Firstly, we were fortunate enough to have dinner with colleagues for two of the nights—from
New Trier High School and Glenbrook North High School. It is too rare an occasion that we get to connect and learn each other’s stories outside the work setting. It was such a treat to meet/socialize with these wonderful people.

Secondly, the down time between conference sessions gave my husband and I the chance to process the information that we had just experienced. As the
cognitive load theory suggests, there’s only so much my brain can handle at once. I feel I constructed some useful ideas during these moments away, and I developed better curricular implementation goals having used my husband as a sounding board.

I guess time will tell. In the mean time, it was a wonderful trip! My sincere thanks to
Ryan Bretag and the Glenbrook High Schools Board of Education for allowing me this growth.
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