Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GACTE, BCS, & Passion Tea Oh My

Today was Division Programs Day at the 64th Annual GACTE and it couldn't have begun any better. I know it sounds crazy but they actually had my FAVORITE TAZO Tea, Passion Tea, as my students would say OMG! It made up for the fact that I had to hustle myself over to the Waverly this morning at 8AM on a summer day.

My first session was entitled, "Quick, Easy ways to Become A Standards-Based Classroom (MS &HS). To be honest, in the past my favorite thing about these workshops were finding new ideas to incorporate into my classroom which has always meant lugging home tons of paper. Not this time. It seems like every session I attended offered to email you the material or provided you a link for the material. Won't Al Gore be so very happy?

I was looking forward to the second session, "Engaging Pupils in the Classroom by Embedding Projects into the Curriculum (HS)" because it promised a project resource CD for all attendees! Obviously others felt the same way because the session was packed and I had heard people discussing that this was why they chose to attend that particular session.

While the instructor did not have those CD's available, she did have a very good reason and her presentation made up for leaving empty handed.

I was going to eat lunch with the people in my area, I changed my mind last minute. The reason for this was that while other instructors were filing out of their sessions they began heading over to the tables which were almost completely set. A few teachers headed over to various tables when a couple of women at the Dias that were part of GACTE asked them to just wait. Then a few more people began heading for the tables and the women had to repeat themselves. I just didn't feel like hugging the walls, staring at tables, like a vulture waiting for its turn at the carcass.

I decided to head on over to Cumberland Mall instead and pick a restaurant. While I was trying to decide between a couple of restaurants I'd never been too, I decided to visit the Cheesecake Factory because they last time I'd eaten there it was SO good.

I ordered the Santa Fe Salad from the lunch menu but trust me, even though they say it's smaller, it's still HUGE. I had to divide it in half and bring the other half back to the hotel for another meal. Thank goodness I didn't eat the bread because then I wouldn't have been able to eat my half serving of salad.

Of course, I couldn't very well have gone to the Cheesecake Factory and NOT had any cheesecake now could I? I guess I could, technically I did, but I did ask them to pack that up to go also. It was so very hard to decide but I decided to try the vanilla bean cheesecake which I will share with my husband on Wednesday when I go home.

I arrived back at the Waverly just in time to watch the hotel staff serve a steak to the other attendees. I did wonder if perhaps I'd made the wrong choice, but I don't think I'll be regretting my choice when I'm eating that cheesecake later.

I finally took the opportunity to head on over to the hotel pool and swim a little bit as well as take advantage of the whirlpool.

There is a GACTE Networking Reception but I probably won't be attending. I still feel a bit uncomfortable when I'm around others in a room where I hardly know anyone. I say this even though I did briefly attend the small mixer here at the hotel and I did take a seat at one of the tables in the Business Education luncheon even though I didn't eat anything.

I didn't wind up babbling or analyzing every word I said, berating myself for every perceived mistake. I spoke with a teacher from Thomasville City Schools who owns a coffee shop and he explained to me about why Starbucks has such a bitter taste. It was really very interesting.

As I write this post the sky has finally opened wide and there heavy pouring rain is providing a respite from today's heat despite warnings of dangerous lightning, and gusty winds.

Unfortunately, the Weather Service has issued another heat advisory for metro Atlanta for Wednesday for heat indices topping 105. Can you say HOT?

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