My First Leadership Summit


Being the Secretary Elect of my local teacher association has some benefits. A little over a week ago, they sent me to Anaheim.

Some awesome things: I got to spend some time with the other officers, and I find them to be delightful human beings.

There’s a dude named Brian, who shares some of my introverted tendencies. Additionally, he isn’t afraid to apologize, he observes some of the underrepresented chivalries… like opening doors for a lady. Between him and Wacker, I felt completely safe and taken-care-of for the whole weekend. Thanks to Wacker, I did not have to drive even once, and he was really great about making sure we all got bathroom stops when we needed them. Those of you who’ve traveled with me know how important the not driving and the having a bathroom are in my life.

On the lady side of things, I felt like I had a lot in common with Jessica. She teaches English Language Learners, so we have some people and a lot of situations in common. Additionally, she’s a runner, and I intend to persuade her to run races with me, including, but not limited to, Ragnar. 🙂 Kat and I had a nice, long walk the first morning we were in Anaheim, so I felt like I got to know her a little bit better than the other three. We talked about her kiddo and fella, and I’m enthusiastic about getting to work with her.

Other than the people, there were some excellent speakers at the summit, including TED Talker Extraordinaire Sir Ken Robinson. I didn’t particularly enjoy the dude who wrote that book about taking the stairs, but mostly, I hated him for trying to sell to me in such an overt and selfish fashion. I’ll probably buy Ken Robinson’s book and boycott the other guy’s. 🙂

One last thing: I got to hang out with Mr. Morrill, who I’ve written about on the blog here before. Basically, he’s the best teacher I ever had, and he deserves much of the credit for my current career and writerly aspirations. He’s the president of the Arizona Education Association, and yet, he made specific effort a couple of times to talk to me, which gave me some warm fuzzies, and made me aspire to impact kiddos the way he impacted me. In many ways, I felt like others really wanted his attention, and I often refuse to compete for anyone’s time, so I mostly left him alone. Also, it might be impossible for him to live up to my high school memories, so I’m fine keeping my distance a bit, but it always gives me a smile to see him.

Last, but not least, I managed a nice 9-mile run while there, which is more of an accomplishment because I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to make it work. People who run with me much at all know that I’d rather run when it’s 110 degrees out than get up early to run. I’d rather risk being mugged at midnight, than get out of bed before 8:00 a.m. But, I did get to run around California Adventure and Downtown Disney, which was pretty cool. It’s probably top 10 runs of my life… somewhere behind like 4 Ragnar runs, but in front of my first half marathon. 🙂

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