Friday, July 16, 2010

Are you burned out or connected?

Having just left ISTE10 and Wichita, KS where I was attending Podstock10 with Kevin Honeycutt and many others in my network of friends and folks, I continued to hear a recurring theme. The statement that I have heard way too many times in the last couple of weeks is something along these lines: "I am glad to be somewhere with like minded people so that I can get re-energized before I go back to school."

That statement alone is another great reason to work on building your network of friends, colleagues and peers. This is a way for people to be connected year round to those like minded individuals, another way for us to not be isolated islands battling the tides. Many people are in the same boat and we need to make sure that we are able to reach out and use those connections we have. These connections are important for all types of things such as our sanity, our strength, new ideas, along with other ways for us to continue to learn and branch out in our respective positions.

If you are one of those people needing to make connections, come join me, I will be more than happy to connect with you, introduce you to my network of friends. Together we are better, more knowledgeable and more energized.

So much to learn and so little time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Random thoughts on traveling

While I haven't figured out the total miles yet, Diane and I drove close to 3,ooo on our journey from Dallas to Denver and back again with several stops in between. Here are some of my observations on the journey, some serious, most not, mainly just some thoughts.

1. When planning a journey such as this make sure to have a list and check it twice. I forgot one requested thing at school and then on the way to the highway realized that I had also left my fishing gear at the house.
2. Don't be afraid to let the spouse drive.
3. In the entire trip we came to realize that there are a lot of things moved around this country by truck and by train. A lot.
4. When driving through the panhandle of the state of Texas, if you get stopped it is best to be totally nice and polite. Even though I was only doing 74 in a 70 and using the cruise control, I said all the right things and only got a warning. His question to me was are you heading somewhere in particular? My response was to a conference in Denver. (This is a week before it started.) His reply does it start tomorrow? We both laughed as I replied no sir.
5. I was glad that New Mexico and Colorado both have 75 mph speed limits.
6. Drink lots of water. First day in New Mexico it was 94 F at 8:30 am but it was only 10% humidity. You might sweat but it evaporates so quickly that you dry out quickly and you never really feel that you are sweating..
7. It was good to travel again in this manner and see the wide open spaces of the U. S. We have a beautiful country and the ability to travel it in this manner is a fantastic privilege.
8. In Santa Fe, NM, if you are in the mood for barbecue try Whole Hog right off the main drag in Santa Fe. It is worthy.
9. Be open to all possibilities. We took side trips and did not just drive on the Interstate Highways.
10. The transition from the desert of New Mexico to the mountains of Colorado was amazing. The mountains were just spectacular.
11. Estes Park was fantastic.
12. If you are lucky to see three guys go over a hill chasing a bear, I hope you are even luckier to see them come running back safely over the hill with the bear chasing them.
13. If you come up on any road kill. you can probably make a great stew out of what is left as long as you have Mike Gras with you. Otherwise leave it for the birds. This includes armadillos.
14. It is cool in the mountains, soak it up and enjoy.
15. When you are staying in an 8K square foot house with pool and jaccuzzi, don't be surprised when all 8 of you hang around the kitchen table and the kitchen island most of the time.
16. Mike Gras is one hell of a cook and a very wonderful man to sit around with and talk to as well.
17. It is enjoyable to watch people younger than you find themselves and where they fit in.
18. It is also enjoyable to see young people thirsting to be a part and to connect.
19. If you want to find out how to be an advocate for educational technology, talk with Bud Hunt and Scott Floyd. It is tough to know two better ed-tech folks but also it is tough to know two better connected ed-tech folks.
20. Language is important, don't think it isn't.
21. I enjoy hearing different accents wherever I go.
22. Language and Literacy. Jon Becker & Ben Grey.
23. Four Square Battles are fun to watch, even if they are created by someone more than a thousand miles away. Alec Couros.
24. Scott Floyd, Mike Gras,Randy Rodgers, Dean Shareski, Adina Sullivan, Lisa Thumann,Chris Craft. You would be hard pressed to find better people to hang with, thanks for the memories.