On Sunday I returned from the National Middle School Association's Conference in Houston, TX. I had never been to Texas, but was really glad I went. Most of my time was spent at the conference, but I did do some fun things.
I arrived in Houston late Wednesday night with my principal and two other teachers from my school. We rented a car and drove straight to our hotel. The next two days were very long days spent at the conference. We were there for about 10 hours each day, sitting in on sessions and talking to vendors. I attended a couple of sessions on Advisory Groups and Service Learning that I really found interesting. I also attended a general session with Cal Ripkin, Jr. What does he have to do with education? I'm still trying to figure that one out. The only pointless session I attended was titled, "Let's hear it for the Boys!! Choosing appropriate books for boys." It was horrible. The presenter didn't present anything new. She kept talking about old books (like The Hardy Boys) and saying, "This is a great classic that boys love." My favorite was a book (I can't remember the name) that was originally published in France in the 1950s about troublesome boys at a boarding school. She said the boys at her school loved it. Come to find out, she teaches at a private all-boys boarding school in Greenwich, Connecticut. WHAT!?! Seriously, like the boys at my school are going to love what the boys at your school are reading.
Anyway, now onto the fun stuff. We didn't have much time, but Saturday afternoon we went to the Space Center in Houston. It was pretty cool. I touched a moon rock and got to see the largest rocket ever built (Apollo 18. It was never launched because they stopped the Apollo program after Apollo 17).
We then decided to drive to Galveston to grab some dinner. We went to a great Mexican restaurant called Tortuga (tortoise). It was right on the Gulf of Mexico. We sat outside and enjoyed the sounds and smells of the ocean, along with our delicious food. We then went over to the beach, folded up our jeans, and waded out into the ocean. Although it late at night, the water was remarkably warm. It was a great way to end my time in Texas!!