We were three veterans and a conference virgin... attending the national convention in Minneapolis, MN this past weekend. (right: Kristi, Diane, Ronda and Kassi) Art teachers ranging with Kassi and her 3 years of experience to my 28 years of being an art teacher. We left Denver around 6 am. on Friday heading north. (Ronda and Kassi left Grundy Center around 5 am.) We experienced many things, saw all kinds of people, schmoozed our way to a record collection of free products from the vendors and came back exhausted yet energized with new ideas and confidence in what we're doing in our classroom.
The following starters can get us all relating a story or experience as many memories were made: Ronda's driving and parking aptitude, driving through construction, sunny skies to cloudy and rain, temps in the 70's when we left and 40's on our return, needing a key card to use the bathroom at the hotel, name tags flipping, conference pins, handing out Iowa pins, helping the Crayola reps and getting Crayola aprons and a Walmart gift card, the absence of places to sit all weekend, excellent speakers and those with egos or those who read their powerpoints word for word, walking the skywalk to the conference hall "17" blocks and finally realizing it was only 3 blocks going outside on a direct walk, cell phone connections - Diane's inability to use her cell phone, phone calls from home - "Where are the tenderloins at Fareway?" the boys eating fish all weekend, texts from the principal, Kristie getting a call from her son while we were in Hell's Kitchen eating saying he needed a Nun's costume for school the next morning, attending a twistee party in the reps suite and making wire birds, sore feet and knees, rolling carts and suitcases for those freebies, "flying or driving?" you got more products if you were driving, Wiki Wiki, hairstyles - the Cardinal - party on one side business on the other, no cherry on the spoon bridge - Kassi's first trip there to see it, chasing down art history on a van for a photos for Ronda's thesis, all the different conference bookbags (I got 9 different styles of tote bags, probably 16 total), free posters, who got the best loot, the man who was getting coffee refills with a McDonald's cup at Burger King and much more to follow.