Friday, March 22, 2013

Nina: Thursday Night and Friday

After the CALL-IS business meeting yesterday, a group of about 30-35 of us headed to the Iron Cactus, but when we arrived, we discovered that we had no reservation, and they could not accommodate a group of that size! We were quite disappointed. In the end, part of the group ended up going elsewhere, and some of us, 15 or 20 finally, did find space on the 3rd floor of the restaurant, on a kind of partly covered roof, where we had a Mexican dinner and a very pleasant evening. 

Vance and Laine leaving the Iron Cactus after dinner Thursday night

Up very early today, before 6, and I walked to the Convention Center in the dark, arriving with plenty of time to get a half-caf soy latte and a muffin at Starbucks before heading to the EV for the EVO presentation in the Electronic Village. We were four: Elizabeth, Vance, Aiden, and me, and we had two computers set fairly far apart. We mostly chatted individually with people as they stopped by. I would explain that the Electronic Village exists in a physical place and time; but about 12 years ago, some CALL-IS members realized that the Internet offered the possibility of extending the EV beyond that space and time of the actual TESOL Convention, and thus the Electronic Village Online was born.  I tried to make people understand that the EVO is simply the best professional development deal around, and "the only pressure on you is the pressure you put on yourself," since there are no tests and no grades or credit. It's the perfect opportunity for the lifelong learner. 
Before the EV presentation on the 2013 EVO

After that session concluded, I spent most of the day attending EV Fair sessions. I love these because they tend to be super-practical. Today, for example, I learned how to use Flipsnack or Bookr to create a professional-looking online magazine; how to use 2 features of Word I have never used before--the Track Changes feature and the Indexing feature--for peer editing and vocabulary usage monitoring; and how to download and edit YouTube videos and clips. 

At 12:00 I went down to the Exhibit Hall to help my colleague Daniela put up her poster on Turkish students' perceptions of NNSTs:

My colleague Daniela Wagner-Loera with her poster
At 2:00, Daniela and Eve/Miguel were presenting at the EV about their EVO sessions, and the presentations were webcast. I sat in on both presentations and was even asked to give my perspective as a participant in the Podcasting session.

Evelyn begins the webcast

Evelyn & Miguel

Part of the live audience
Then I actually attended a regular session on incorporating cell phones into a class (rather than trying to ban them). I found Marilena there; and I totally ran out of energy. I could have fallen asleep in the chair! It wasn't because the session was boring; it wasn't. The presenters had lots of ideas for how to have students use their cell phones to practice the 4 skills. But I was like a deflated balloon. I trudged back to the EV (it's a very long walk, as I was at one end of the CC and the EV was at the other) where CALL-IS had been having a planning meeting, and a bunch of us went to the Omni Sports Bar for a drink; but we ended up sitting outside, and it was really very cold! So Nellie, Evelyn, Miguel and I had hot chocolate, while Vance, Phil, Claudio, and Roger had beer. 


Then some of them went to the Steering Committee's "bonding dinner" or the TESOL business meeting, I don't know who went where, and I went with Vance, Phil, Eve and Miguel to dinner. We ate at a nice Italian place whose name I forget, and then Vance and Phil went for another beer, and Eve, Miguel, and I came back to the Fairmont. We were happy to get out of the cold. It couldn't have been over 50 degrees, maybe less (although I spoke to my nephew Micah, who told me it was 92 in Austin today!!). We were shivering.

I was able to check in for my flight and print out my boarding pass at the business center downstairs, and now I am ready for bed. Mary isn't back yet; she may be out with her parents, who drove down from Ohio and arrived in Dallas today.

Wow! It's 11:35; I think I should go to bed. I have to check out in the morning before I go to the CC; we are leaving for the airport at noon. The next time I post I will be at home in Maryland. As usual, it's been fun and exhausting.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos--it looks as though you have had a really busy and productive time.