Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration on her blog. I appreciate this invitation to reflect on the positives of my week.
It’s the all NCTE edition of Celebrate! The program has this gorgeous art from Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia. I smile every time I look at it.
1. ARCs. I only picked up two today, but they’re pretty darn choice.
Lisa Graff’s own editor put her new novel in my hands, which made it extra awesome. And then Kelsey left her bag of books in my hotel room and of course I had to look through it. My pre-service teachers are so much more diligent about hunting for ARCs than I am. And in Kelsey’s bag, I FOUND THIS!!!!!!!!
Kelsey probably thinks I’m joking when I tell her she can’t have this book back, but I’m totally serious. I have mad and fierce love for Clementine. I had been planning to start the Graff or the Mulally Hunt tonight, but nothing is getting between me and Clementine!
2. My Apple products. Ok, I know that’s kind of silly, but my MacBook Air is so lightweight compared to my old Dell and the battery seemingly lasts forever. I was on my three Apple devices off and on all day–accessing and revising my schedule, live tweeting sessions, following educators I met today, connecting with my pre-service teachers who are here with me, adding to my Goodreads TBR list (thanks, Lisa Patrick!), checking in with some of my students back home in Nebraska, and much more. Didn’t have to recharge a single device all day long! My devices really contributed to my learning and comfort today.
3. Attending presentations by some of the teachers in my PLN that I learn from every day. It’s very cool to get to learn from Katherine Sokolowski, Sarah Mulhern Gross, Jillian Heise, and Julianne Harmatz. And that was just today!
4. Meeting authors. I don’t like book signings–they make me feel awkward. But I do like sessions with authors where they share more about their work and writing process. Even better if there’s a chance to have a bit of a conversation. Jillian Heise and Sarah Andersen’s terrific session, “How Story Comes to Be: Author/Editor Relationships,” was a perfect opportunity for that. There were only two other teachers at my table, and they were very quiet, so it almost felt like my personal conference with Jason Reynolds, Atia Abawi Powell, Jennifer Lyn Barnes, and Karen Harrington. And can I just say, JASON REYNOLDS!!!!!! I’m a wee bit obsessed with his books. My Name Is Jason. Mine Too was such a favorite in Adolescent Lit class last semester, and I’ve got When I Was the Greatest on the syllabus for next semester. When I saw him, what I wanted to do was jump up and down and be like, “OMG! OMG! YOU GUYS! It’s JASON REYNOLDS!!!!!!!” But I didn’t do that. I was calm. I was cool. I didn’t squee even a little bit, though on the inside, I was squeeing quite a lot. I also loved learning the back story to Atia Abawi’s The Secret Sky and hearing about her writing process. One of my favorite moments of the day was an author meeting that wasn’t even mine: I watched a young teacher nearly start crying when she ran into Christopher Paul Curtis in the hallway. I could feel her joy and emotion all the way across the hall.
5. Spending time with my pre-service teachers. An already very good day was made pretty close to perfect when I got to meet up with Kelsey, Maggie, Shelby, and Mariah for dinner and conversation. I loved hearing about the sessions they attended and exploring various wonderings and curiosities. This is my second year attending NCTE with Kelsey, Maggie, and Mariah, and I think we should make it our annual event!
I am terrible at remembering to take pictures at the conference, and I’m pretty sure that cat pictures are better than any other kind of picture anyway, so here’s an awesome photo of Abby and Frances: