Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ISTE 2010

Since I returned home last July from NECC (now called ISTE), Amy kept asking me if I was going to go to ISTE 2010 this year. My wife is wonderful, and very supportive of my interests, but I kept telling her no, I was not going because it cost too much. Finally, in April, she said, “You should go. I am going to look up the airfare and book it.”

I immediately tried to run through all recent events in my head to figure out when I had behaved so badly that she would want to be rid of me for 5 days. Did I offend the neighbors? Act obnoxious in front of her mother? I was worried, I do these things so often that I had plenty of examples to choose from.

Then I realized that Amy was angling for a Christmas time New York City trip. It all made perfect sense! Yes, I am terribly obnoxious, but Amy just wants to go on a trip with the ladies. So I dove right in and made the arrangements.

Forgetting that I was being kicked out of the house, I began to relive last year’s experience and plot my return to the biggest educational technology conference this year. Last year, I made no plans and had an awesome time. So this year, I thought I would try to do a better job of planning and see if I could squeeze in more fun. Is it possible to have more fun than last year?

I do have concerns about the money involved with this little trip, but I have a theory that if I attack the
SWAG, I should be able to break even in pens and free stuff I collect from the conference. Right? Last year I cleared 12 T-shirts and 20 lbs. of random stuff. Maybe they will be Christmas and birthday gifts for friends and family. Who doesn’t want a blaze orange Promethean T-shirt? They are awesome! At the very least my kids will get a kick out of wading through all the stuff I bring back.

I must be on mailing lists now, and this combined with my Twitter account have helped me to line up meals and beverages day and night at ISTE. It feels kind of strange to have people I don’t know feed me and give me free drinks. However, this year I am going to see if I can live off of the generosity of companies that supply my school with the hardware and software that keeps me in a constant state of confusion. It does seem only fair.

Last year at NECC, I had a plan to meet many of the people I follow on Twitter, know from Second Life, or people who write the blogs I read. I decided this year that was just way too creepy.
It felt like I was studying to become a stalker, and with the anti-stalking laws that are out now (and for good reason), it is probably something that I should avoid doing. Besides, being approached by an enthusiastic stranger is more of a deal breaker than a relationship builder.

I am a little upset that I waited so long to get my reservations because I think I ruined my chance at getting a roommate. Maybe that is a good thing because Amy says I snore. I think she is making that up, but it makes me uncomfortable to think that I would subject someone else to that noise. I think my wife has earned the right to enjoy that noise all by herself. On the plus side, having a room alone with two big beds allows me to live my dream and create “Mega-Bed” by shoving the two beds together I can make one ginormous bed. I don’t plan to spend a lot of time in the room but seeing one big bed when I walk in the room will make me laugh.

I am very excited about my upcoming trip to Denver, but I am trying to downplay it so my children don’t start calling me a geek again.

Tomorrow I will begin to pack, but I am leaving the Star Trek shirt at home.

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