Saturday, October 18, 2014

The best part of #edscape? It's an excuse...

Today is Saturday.

A weekend.

A day off.

I just spent the day in New Jersey at the Edscape Conference.

Yes, you can say I'm a dedicated educator. I'm committed to my craft. I'm a lifelong learner. I willingly give up my weekend for professional development... blah blah blah.

But after today I think that's all a lie...

That's not why I went. It's all true. That's all well and good. But that's just the excuse for going.

At the end of the conference I realized all the typical statements for why I was at a conference on a Saturday were nothing more than excuses.

Excuses to go to a conference. Excuses to work on a Saturday.

Did I learn today? Yes. No doubt. But you know what I really did? What I truly walked away with? Laughs. Fun. A day spent with friends. A day doing what I love.

I suppose some people fish with their friends. I've come to the conclusion that I go to educational conferences with my friends. On weekends.

I got to Edscape at 7:15am to be part of the live broadcast of #satchat. Honored to be asked to be a guest by Brad Currie and Billy Karkower.

I shared pizza, for breakfast, and more than a few laughs, with Sharon LePage Plante and Ross Cooper. I met Sandra Paul, connected with her barely after the sun had risen. I got to finally meet Starr Sackstein, Lyn Hilt, Josh Stumpenhorst, and Eric Sheninger, people I have long been connected with but never had the opportunity to meet in person.

I had the opportunity to re-connect with Robert Pennington, Amy Traggianese, and Rebecca (the teacher in the Bronx - my apologies for not remembering your Twitter handle) whom I originally connected with at edcampNYC.

I got a new view on coding from Kate Wilson, had a crash course on Scratch from Sam Morra, and learned some new Chrome apps from Tom Daccord.

And then it was over.

But it wasn't.

A number of folks hung out afterward.

More laughs.

Mockery at the size-of-my-phablet and #madeuphashtag levels.

It was fun. Really fun.

When I got in the car at the end of the day I wasn't tired. I wasn't energized. I was happy.

Happy that I just spent the day hanging out in person, having fun and ridiculous laughs, with people I tweet with all the time. I spent the day with my friends. Friends I made online, but friends nonetheless.

Yes, Edscape was great. I learned a lot. I connected with new folks. I improved my professional skill-set. All the things I was supposed to do at an educational conference.

But at the end of the day it was all just an excuse. An excuse to hang out, and geek out, on a Saturday with my friends.

For those of you reading this who don't know my friends, connect with them. They are awesome. They are fun to hang with. They are ridiculously talented. I'd be nowhere without them.

Thank you Eric for putting on Edscape. Thank you, my friends, for a fun-filled Saturday hanging out in geekville. And thank you to all the new folks I met, can't wait to have an excuse to hang out with you again.


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