Monday, November 24, 2008

Forum Findings: Day One

The first of the two days I must spend in my school district's annual Fall Forum is behind me.  I think it is always helpful to review the data after these sorts of things and see what I have learned.  This is, after all, supposed to be staff development.  I should walk away with new knowledge.

But first, I'd like to take this moment to send out a hearty Thank You Oh, So Very Much to two people near and dear to my heart right now:  The presenters who ran out of material and the will to continue thinking of stuff to say about using Mimio in the classroom.  You guys are like family to me now.  Your decision to just give up and accept that there was nothing else left to say on the matter was inspired and very much appreciated.  Getting out of the high school parking lot is a trial during these workshop days and I can't tell you how nice it was to be released early so I could actually pull out of my space without a twenty minute wait.

And now, let's get on with the Knowledge!  What have I learned today during my seven hours of enforced adult education?

Lesson The First:  Never Think There Is Enough Time.

The mere suggestion that I don't have to be somewhere until 8:00 is enough to make me believe that time has become a far more flexible concept than it really is.  I somehow believed that not having to be there until an hour later than my usual start-of-the-workday-time translated into sleeping later, having an extra cup of coffee, eating breakfast at home instead of in the car, watching some TV and maybe reading a little bit.  

This would be a fallacy.  The aforementioned activities take much more than one hour.  At least the way I do them.  Hence, there was much racing about just after 7:00 this morning once I processed the forward movement of time and my inability to bend it to my will.

Lesson The Second:  There Is Such A Thing As Too Much Of A Good Thing

I am a knitter.  As such, it is more than probable that, on any given day, I will be sporting one or two hand knitted accessories.  This is to be expected and is really perfectly normal.  Today, I could count the following knitterly things upon my person:

The Blog Buster Sweater (In my mind it is less than perfect, but you wouldn't believe the number of compliments I got on it!  Someone even asked about the pattern and I was forced to admit that I'd "designed" it.  Even I couldn't keep a straight face on that one...)

My Maine Morning Mitts (It was cold in the high school.  I wore them quite a bit.  They also got lots of compliments and they weren't even the good ones that I knit the second time around!)

A rather simple bag that I made years ago out of my first handspun and felted.  (No compliments there, but that's OK.  People have gushed over it in the recent past so I feel good about it)

Add to this the fact that I was physically going about the act of knitting for much of the time today and I couldn't help but wonder if there was just a wee bit of "over-kill" going on.  Tomorrow, I'll wear my comfy and oversized hoodie.  That should balance things out a bit.

Lesson The Third:  Lopi Is Icelandic For "Fat"

OK.  That's probably not true.  However, it is very much true that some lopi is very fat yarn.  And any mittens you might be knitting with it will go rather quickly.  In fact, it will become painfully obvious rather early in the day that you probably should have brought along more in the way of knitting notions.  Thankfully, when I found myself in this perilous situation, I was able to locate a paper clip to use as a makeshift stitch holder to that I could leave the end of the mitten open as I'd planned.  I'm sort of winging it with the thumb placement and performing that three needle bind-off that was the only move left to me if I wanted needles free to start the second mitten would have hindered my brilliant course of action.  

Further, I did not want to do a three needle bind-off.  I wanted to weave the end closed all purty-like.  Being totally unprepared for the speed with which this yarn would produce mittens, I also didn't have a yarn needle with me.  The bent paper clip in the bottom of the felted bag was almost like a gift from heaven!

Lesson The Fourth:  Someone Has To Live In The Ivory Tower, I Suppose...

Our keynote speaker today was brilliant beyond words.  He was eloquent and even had a well-developed sense of humor.  He spoke for almost a full hour and then took questions from the crowd without even once losing his composure.  He owned the podium.  He was a master.  

And I couldn't understand a single word he said.

I was fortunate to be sitting with my Cheerful Teaching Assistant from last year so I could ask her if it was "just me."  She confirmed that he was incomprehensible.  Each of us could remember one or two things that struck a bit of a chord with us.  But, try as we might, neither of us could remember just where those talking points led or why we found them so brilliant.  We just knew we should nod sagely and clap enthusiastically at the end.  

Then we went to lunch where the sudden burst of understanding that we'd hoped might hit us after the ingestion of a few calories failed to materialize.  We let it go and I showed her pictures of the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty and my brother's wedding.  Then we gossiped viciously about everyone because the powers-that-be have separated us this year and we have to do these sorts of things whenever we can.  We are not brilliant speakers with mind-boggling thoughts on stuff, but we do pretty well within our own milieu.

Sadly, I didn't have time to listen to my audio book nor was I able to log onto the high school's highly secured wireless network in spite of the fact that I work for the district and all.  I also smooshed one of my cookies in the bottom of my bag with the pretty much useless laptop I lugged along.  Otherwise, I like to think that I learned all sorts of very important things during this year's Fall Forum!

Tomorrow, I'll use that knowledge for good.  I'll remember to bring along stitch holders and will pack my cookies more carefully,  Lastly, instead of a keynote speaker, we will be enjoying the staff talent show and I'm pretty sure I will be able to understand that without too much difficulty.

I may not want to understand it, mind you.  But I'm afraid that I will.  Think good thoughts for happy knitting and talented coworkers...



trek said...

But we all want to know if last year's Cheerful Teaching Assistant brought her knitting today!

Anonymous said...

I am gratified to know that your day was so well spent. Lopi mittens. Perfect for a Maine winter.

Donna Lee said...

Hopefully Tuesday will bring more and deeper understanding of this probably really really important information. Like anyone is really paying attention when there is a long weekend looming on the horizon.

Karen said...

I glad you survived day 1. I'm glad you got to spend time with last year's cheerful teaching assistant too.

Ruth said...

My son's classroom uses mimeo ... the whole class is fascinated by it.

Knitting Linguist said...

First, there is not such thing as an overload of handknits on one's person when one must survive a day like that. Congratulations on making it through; I'm glad that Cheerful Teaching Assistant could be there with you :) Good luck today...

crzjane said...

Sounds like you had more fun than a Monday usually allows! And knitting too! Wow, you are the lucky one.