Saturday, November 11, 2017

AASL17 Day 3

My final day of conference was wonderful! I got a decent night of rest and woke up refreshed instead of headachey. The day started with Scholastic's Breakfast with Mr. Schu. I've heard John Schu speak many times and each time am amazed at his energy, stamina and message of positivity. I love my job, truly, but I always walk a little lighter after hearing John speak.


I dashed out of that a bit early to attend Jason Reynold's keynote. Another person I admire greatly. Jason is articulate, humble and slightly provocative. Some quotes I illegibly scrawled in my conference notebook were:

"At the end of the day, I'm sifting through the digital web and figuring out which threads I want to tug on..."

"I get to come to schools, make a mess of things, then vanish."

"Secret space of a book," said while reminding us that we never know where our students are coming from, what they are dealing with.

"My books are thank you notes."

"The elevator (in Long Way Down) is nothing but a metaphor for trauma - it's cold, small and hanging by a thread."


Next up was a signing by Jack Gantos. The line was long and moved slowly because this gracious gentleman takes his time! His autographs are works of art and he likes to engage. Totally worth the wait even if I arrived at my session a bit late.

Mirror, Mirror panel moderated by Carole Boston Weatherford, who asked great questions of Bill Konigsberg, Irene Latham, Charles Waters, Ellen Oh and Icy Smith.

Brown Bookshelf hosted a distinguished panel. I have their blog in my feed and always appreciate their special spotlight each February for African-American History Month.

Had to sneak out of that panel a tad early to attend a luncheon hosted by Ebsco, where I learned of some new features coming our way.

Took an hour to drop my books off at my hotel, grabbed my audiobook and plugged in and sat in the sun in the garden courtyard. (I am returning home tomorrow to 17 degrees. Need to soak up this warmth and sun!)

I totally forgot that I had bookmarked a session on Mindfulness in the school library. Sigh. Missed it.

My last session was quite thought-provoking and challenging and dovetailed nicely with Jason Reynolds' keynote. Addressing White Privilege and Unconscious Bias in the Classroom: Becoming an Ally.

After that, I got on a lo-ng-g-g-g line for a "Meet the Author" book signing. We got six tickets and got to choose to get on lines for books by a variety of authors - from picture books to YA. I am a tad worried about packing my suitcase. I check a half-packed large bag figuring the $25 checked bag fee is close to the amount I'd pay to ship the books home. Besides, my carry-on nearly always ends up getting checked because folks hog the overhead bins. By the time my cheap-ass boarding group gets on, there's no room.

So, now I am waiting for my appetite to bounce back because I have a reservation for one at the roof top restaurant here at the Hyatt. Yeah, I know. Lame.

Tomorrow, I have an afternoon flight, which leaves the morning for some Phoenix exploring. What to do? Walk the neighborhoods? Trek to the Zoo? Can't go to the mountain to climb because it'll probably be too crowded on the weekend. Next time. That and a Grand Canyon helicopter tour.

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