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Conference envy - maybe not

My social network feeds are full of reports on activities at ISTE in Chicago and ALA in New Orleans. I have to admit I am feeling a little envious. National and international conferences have long been a staple in my PLC and I always loved getting to see friends, learn from my fellow professionals, view the latest and greatest gadgets, and complain about the vendor exhibits. And eat in nice restaurants and drink more than I should.

I miss you all.

The decision not to attend this year was a conscious one. Our district is well-represented at both conferences. And quite honestly, with one year left to go before retirement, our district PD dollars are better invested in those who will be serving our staff and students for many more years.  Yes, I could pay my own way, but I'd I rather use my vacation time and dollars on other activities.

For example:

This mess is the backpacking gear I am talking on a trip with my grandson Paul and his fellow Boy Scouts next week in Rocky Mountain National Park. (Philmont was closed due to fires)

Here is the list:

Careful readers will note food or water weight are not listed. For "ultra-light" hikers, this is about double the weight one should carry. After reading far too many books and articles on backpacking, I've concluded you can cut the weight you carry in one of two ways:

  • Take lighter stuff
  • Take less stuff
  • Preferably both

Lighter stuff is wonderful but it can be very expensive. I figured to reduce my tent weight by 2 pounds would have cost about $200. Sleeping bag, pack, stove, etc. all the same - fewer ounces cost considerably more dollars.

Or I could leave the Kindle home and the camp chair and the coffee and the camp shoes and ... A true hiking minimalist walks from dawn to dusk and uses time in camp to eat cold food and sleep for muscle regeneration. Which is not my idea of a good hiking/camping experience. True ultra-light hiking philosophies are for those who wish to cover great distances in very short periods of time. I say, what's the rush?

So I will be humping extra weight so that I might be able to sit in my chair, read a book, and have a cup of hot coffee in the evening at the campsite after a 10 mile day instead of a 20 mile day.

Friends and colleagues, have a wonderful time at ISTE and ALA. And think of me as I enjoy the company of my grandson, the views of Longs Peak, and the comfort of camp shoes after a day in the wild.

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Reader Comments (1)

Sounds great! Enjoy the trip.

June 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJim

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