Political Briefs
Mali Journal

Paul in Orlando

So I went to the FETC educational technology conference in Orlando. My principal kicked some money in and I used miles from Southwest for a free ticket. Cross country on Southwest is a long haul; even with no plane change, from Oakland its a two-stop, eight-hour ordeal on a plane with no food. I brought cherries and crackers and made do. Arrived late Sunday night.

Monday: 12 hours of seminars. Tuesday: eight hours of seminars and two hours in the exhibit hall. What's missing? Any time to do any of the things Orlando is known for. I can see Disney world from my hotel. I can also see the Orange County Convention Center.  But I only have the time and energy to go to one. In fact, since I want to write up my experiences while they are still fresh (part of my deal with the principal is a writeup), I am barely getting any sleep at all. Still, weather in the 70s beats weather in the 50s, which is what it is back in Orinda.

Meanwhile, my older daughter M went through below freezing temps in Washington, on her way to Mali. I have her permission to post whatever it is we hear from here. They say there is no power, very little internet, phone calls are difficult and mail takes three weeks, so it could be a while...

Wednesday, a cup of coffee with the man who shares this blog, Neal Vitale, who runs the company that runs this marvelous and useful convention, then back to the airport.

The FETC (the initials don't stand for anything) is a first-rate show in a first-rate facility. The Orange County Convention Center (Florida edition, not California edition) is beautiful and spiffy. The show runs like a swiss clock, the workshop presenters are fantastic and the exhibit hall is filled to the brim with cool stuff. And as always, when a bunch of teachers get together in a room, you learn from each other.

It does seem odd, now that I think of it, that Disneyland is in Orange County California and Disney World is in Orange County Florida and both are near major convention centers.