Not gonna lie. Driving to MACUL 22 was nerve-wracking. I was definitely feeling the anxiety trying to take over, and my brain filled the closer I got to Grand Rapids. I checked in, dropped my bags off in my room, and headed over to my first session (Google Updates) for the conference. As soon as I crossed the threshold from the hotel into the covered walk to the conference center, my heartbeat was louder than any other sounds.
And it all went away as soon as I got my badge.
(Well, that's not completely true. MACUL, like all of us, skipped a lot of beats and made a lot of side steps and alternate plans over the past two years. And I did wear a mask except when eating or presenting. But when we all got back together at the conference center? It. Felt. Great!)
As usual, there were SO many sessions from which to choose and every single one I attended was full of tidbits and fun. I learned a few years ago that while notes are really helpful (and yes, I still took a ton) if I tweet my notes, it keeps me more concise and focused, and then those #NotAtMACUL can get some tidbits, too! After all, I get so many nuggets of wisdom from others on social media.
- Reconnecting with some of my favorite presenters - Leslie Fisher, Nick Provenzano, and Joe Sanfelippo to name a few. I attended Leslie's Gadget session and Cup of Joe with Dr. Sanfelippo and felt so inspired, motivated, and happy!
- Meeting up with friends from past MACUL conferences, meeting some of them for the first time since we "met" at the MACUL virtual conference last year!
- Learning from new-to-me presenters like Jennifer LaGarde - so many amazing tidbits about living and learning in this "infodemic."
- Meeting Joe "Mr. D" Dombrowski (Remember that teacher who had the amazing April 1st spelling test? Yep, that's him!)
- Live music when I was still half asleep was a great way to wake up!
- Kilwin's within walking distance....
And last but not least:
- Being among my colleagues again - being in a department of one has it's benefits, but it's always nice to connect with those who are in similar roles elsewhere.