I went to a teacher conference in Virginia from Sunday to Wednesday. A colleague of mine talked me into it in May, and I really have to stop being such a passive noodle.
The conference sucked, but I learned a lot. We were late because of construction, and the petty bureaucrat in charge of registration took an indecent amount of glee in telling us we would have to register after dinner, which meant we missed the welcome gathering (free booze!).
The conference powers e-mailed every day last week with handy reminders about bringing our laptops, pillows, signing up for special panels...Do you think even one of those everloving e-mails would've mentioned that all the exits around the college were closed?
Here's the thing about my colleague: she considers me one of her best friends. I consider her a friendish co-worker. I eat lunch with her and another teacher in her room; we've been grade partners for the past couple years; we have similar teaching styles. But she's really loud, she swears in front of the students, and she'll take assignments I created and pass them off as her own. She also paints herself as worldly-wise and gives me the role of sheltered spinster.
Sometimes I hate myself in our interactions. I hate the role I accept, but don't really know how to get out of it.
All her traits that are mildly annoying during the school year became full-on head-exploding torture during the four days.
That added to the general suckage of the conference, but there were daily lectures that were amazing. I took down a copious amount of notes about strategies to teach writing.
I also feel closest to my students when I'm in a boring class. The instructor was disorganized, and the minute she said she didn't like using the computer (Whaa?) was the moment she lost me. But even that class had a bright side because near the end we all started sharing stories and it's always neat to hear that some experiences are universal.
That was my only work-related task of the summer, aside from the mountain of summer reading I have to do and a few assignments I want to bang out.