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NCTE Convention, Philadelphia–Day One

Arriving anywhere for the first time is always a different experience; different, at least, from what you originally anticipated. For example, upon arriving in Philadelphia, I did not expect to have a sudden panic attack and flee from a quaint little pub while a hostess tried to seat us. Nope, didn’t see that coming.

But that was, fortunately, simply the low point in what ended up being a really fantastic day. We had lunch at a little trying-to-be-French cafe, and the quiche was amazing. After checking into our room–which is on the 15th floor and therefore eye level with the top of city hall–we headed off to the opening night of the convention.

First we went to the middle level get together to hear Chris Tovani speak. We were quite inspired, and it is not hard to imagine that others were, too. She expressed the mundane, everyday complaints that all teachers have (the kids don’t care so why should I…that kind of thing) but then offered hope that we can change our beliefs and thar, even better, in doing so, change the climate of our classrooms. It was a fantastic kick-off to the convention.

After an all to brief social (with a cash bar and no cash in our pockets–you’ve never seen me think or move so quickly to find an ATM in an unfamiliar city!) we went to see Junot Diaz speak. I would sprain my thumbs in attempting to get all of the amazing ideas he put forth whilst typing on a phone; simply put, I could have listened to him talk all night–even though I had long since finished my only glass of wine.

We then took Missie’s advice and went to El Vez for dinner. It was loud and crowded and we had to wait a good half hour to be seated (with reservations) but it was totally worth it. We ordered one thing from every section of the menu (two each from the, ahem, drink section), gorged ourselves, and rolled home.

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