I have mentioned a few times lately that I'm going to be doing some travelling here in the near future. And if you've been reading recently, you know that I have never flown - and that I'm terrified. It will probably go a little something like this:
You probably think I'm joking - but I'm not.
Now you may be asking yourself - "What in the WORLD would be enough motivation to make this girl get on a plane after 34 years, when she has such a fear of flying?"
Next week is the annual National Conference for Expeditionary Learning Schools (ELS). ELS is the organization our charter school is affiliated with. Expeditionary Learning (EL) is the teaching model our school uses to deliver curriculum. The conference is 4 days of immersing yourself into EL, taking master classes, participating in discussion groups, learning in the EL style, just like our students do. Sounds like an amazing opportunity, right?
Yeah, that's totally not enough motivation for me to get on a plane.
This year's conference is being held in the beautiful city of Portland. At least I think it's beautiful. It looks beautiful in this picture anyway, don't you think?
I've never been to Portland. I've hardly been anywhere. Especially anywhere that is not within reasonable driving distance. I guess Portland is...but yeah, I've never been there. Visiting a new, beautiful city sounds exciting...doesn't it?
Yeah, still not getting on a plane. Even knowing that airfare and hotel will be covered by our school's contract with EL.
What, oh what could motivate me? Any guesses? Well, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. My motivation is......drum roll please.....
If you don't know who this is....I seriously feel sorry for you. I first met MiMi back when I was blogging like crazy, you know before I fell off the face of the earth? We started out with comments, then email response, and I knew I had found a kindred spirit. We then graduated to texting and phone calls, and I just seriously, seriously love this girl. We have tried scheming a couple of times on ways we could meet in person, but things just haven't worked out.
When I learned that National Conference was in Portland this year....I squealed with delight (inside, because it was at a board meeting, and they are recorded for public record). MiMi doesn't live too super far from Portland, and I immediately started planning that I would be one of the board members attending this year's conference.
It almost didn't happen. Our director had given out all our conference slots to staff that he felt needed to attend. And the devastation....so close! But THEN, weeks later, our Business Services president said he had an extra "marketing slot" that he could let me use, and the board agreed that any board members who could attend, should be able to - because we are the vision-keepers of the school, so to speak - and the more training we can take advantage of, the better. So I was IN! I was so giddy....because at this point MiMi and I had resigned ourselves to the fact that once again our plans would be foiled. I called her...no answer! I texted her...repeatedly. When I finally got ahold of her I nearly SHOUTED with glee! Okay, I'm pretty sure I DID shout.
Still, it felt like something that was happening sooooo far in the future. And now it's nearly HERE! Squeeeeee!!! In exactly 1 week I will be hanging with MIMI! Are you jealous yet? IA....please don't stop being my friend again because I
bragged blogged about this!
Okay, well, I ramble when I get excited, so I'll wrap it up. Basically, meeting a fabulous, funny, warm, intelligent kindred spirit of a blog friend in person is what is motivating me to finally get on an airplane. Now, before you go thinking that I shouldn't use this conference just as an excuse to go meet my friend - I am eagerly attending ALL my classes while there. I have been to conference before (I drove) and ate it up, and my board is fully aware that I have been dying to meet MiMi for so long, and this conference is the perfect opportunity. I truly am excited to learn more from Expeditionary Learning, because I am passionate about my children, their education, and the school I have poured my heart and soul into for the past 5 years. Now everyone pray for me to make it there in one piece!!