Sunday, November 18, 2012

NCTE 2012

Oh NCTE, you always destroy me. While not a night owl by nature, I find myself staying up later, and later, and later when attending. Even when I finally tore myself away from a group last night around 12:30 am, I cursed myself for being tired all the way back to my room. So what if I had to be up by 5:30 am to make our flight? I don’t get to see these friends all that often.

I first attended NCTE last year in Chicago. Going once, I was hooked. What I’ve discovered is that through Twitter, Goodreads, Nerdy Book Club, and more – I’ve found my Tribe. (see Seth Godin) That tribe gathers at NCTE like a family reunion. I leave inspired, rejuvenated, elated, and yes – exhausted. But upon leaving today I found myself already turning the pages of the calendar in my brain. Boston for NCTE13 – yep, I’ll be there.

Below you’ll find some snapshots from an amazing whirlwind of four days. There is no way to really summarize this place, but these photos might give you a start.

I presented twice - first time ever at NCTE. I already commented on the other presentation in my last post. My Saturday presentation was on The Nerdy Book Club. We had a round table - which Donalyn Miller likened to speed dating. SO FUN! I had very little voice left (horrid cold) but the participants were beyond kind. I loved this type of presentation. 

The exhibit halls were crazy. So many booths, so little time. I don't tend to take too many ARCs. I have a list of ones I know I'd like to get. Then I talk to fabulous book reps, like Lauren from Random House, and ask what they are excited about. Here's what is being shipped to me as we speak. Can't wait to dive into this box. 

Blurry but had to add it. Friends have mad
photo-bombing skills. :) 

Quite possibly the highlight of my trip, or even my year, was a party for bloggers of The Nerdy Book Club. I can't express the energy in this room. Please excuse the multitude of photos I'm about to add, I want to remember and be inspired by this amazing night. 
Brian, my new little brother. :) 

Cindy - amazing friend.

Holy Moses, it's Tony! 

So wanted to meet Chris, and I got the chance! Brilliant! 

My running friend, Franki.

RJ Palacio - I had the chance to gush about WONDER.

The King of Nerdy Book Club - Colby

My students will be so jealous, Jenni Holm. 

I have no words. Jonathan Auxier. 

Donalyn doing what she always does,
giving a speech that makes me cry.

Read more about the Nerdy Party HERE

And while I wanted to weep with gratitude to exit the plane today, I was sad to leave it behind. But driving home I saw this sunset. Beautiful. And I was beyond grateful for the experience, the knowledge, and the friendships. If I saw you there, thanks for the great week! And I know there were some friends I didn't get to connect with - we'll have to remedy that next year! I know I cannot wait to jump into my classroom tomorrow and talk to my students, not only about what I learned, but how I learned just as much talking with my friends into the wee hours of the night as I did at the amazing sessions. This is something they need to understand. What a beautiful experience.