As I put the finishing touches on my presentation for TCEA 2014 and start my packing list, I am reminded of my past trips to this conference.
My first year we watched the Super Bowl in a friend's hotel room after going to a little dive for pizza. It was cold that year. My first TCEA experience and it was a bit overwhelming. I remember sitting in a session and hearing a guy from Google say that laptops were outdated because there wasn't anything you couldn't do on your cell phone. I was inspired that year to submit sessions for the following year. I was invited to tons of parties and ate the most amazing broccoli mousse I have ever eaten in my life!
The next year I presented 3 workshops at the conference. After one workshop I threw on my scarf, grabbed my computer and headed out the door. I stopped and talked to some vendors, visited with some friends, and called my mother. I eventually made it back to my hotel room across the street and began to remove my coat and scarf. Surprise!!! That was when I found that I was still wearing my microphone! Thank goodness it had stopped the feed when I left the room. I sheepishly returned the mic only to find out that it happens every year.
Last year I was presenting 3 days and knew it was going to be a crazy week. I decided to bring an ice chest to save myself on costs and time of eating out. My husband told me to get help with my bags when I got to the hotel, but I am a big, strong girl and knew I could handle it. I got to the hotel around 2:00pm already dressed for my 3:30pm session. As I tried to drag my bags into the lobby in heels I proceeded to dump my ice chest on the floor in the lobby of a very nice hotel!!! Ok, so my husband was right. I will use the bellhop next time.
This year I am staying at a new hotel and shuttling in. Not crazy about that situation, but it will be an adventure. It was also my excuse to get a new computer bag with wheels. I am looking forward to hearing great ideas, checking out awesome products, and bringing back seeds to germinate into professional development and projects I can offer to my districts! Let the learning begin!