Saturday, October 3, 2009

participation points

My Saturday began at 5 am, when I arose [too quickly for someone with low blood pressure and no food in her system, but I recovered after some OJ and deep breaths] to get ready for the Teaching Social Justice conference two hours away. I did not return home until 8:30 pm, after dropping off my accompanying friend/colleague and joining my family at Mason's video-game-crazy birthday party at the community center. Even for verbose loquacious me, it was a lot of socializing; I am going* to bed at 9:15 (*but I'm retro-dating this post because I don't want to screw up the NaBloPoMo...shhhh).

A few words about the conference: enlightening, useful, inspiring.

A few words about some of the attendees (mostly teachers, a few high school students, some student teachers): inattentive, preoccupied, belligerent.

On the positive side, Ira Shor was a brilliant speaker, conveying relevant, practical ideas generously with care & humor. The workshops I attended were interesting and engaging, taught by knowledgeable teachers & professors who clearly felt passion for their topics. And the lunch provided by a local deli was scrumptious.

Unfortunately, there were a number of people who seemed to have signed up simply for the clock hours - they chatted during presentations, wandered out of workshops in progress, corrected papers during lectures, or refused (seriously - refused) to participate in an activity or discussion. Sure, I would have liked to spend more time talking with my friend Monica or strolling around the Resource Fair, or to have completed some school work; maybe it would have been more comfortable to not be involved in a particular activity or discussion. But I'm a professional - and a grown-up - and figured since my district paid for me to be there, away from my family for the day, it made sense to actually attempt to learn something.

I can occasionally be a bad example [see "Exercise," "Procrastination," and "Stalking"], but wasting opportunities along with other people's time & money?
That is plain juvenile.