Sunday, June 27, 2010
I taste blood.
Have you ever been sitting next to a complete stranger, attempting to keep up with conversation, while simultaneously attempting to separate a sub-zero temperature popsicle from your face?
Well I have, and it was no small feat.
Apparently I was in the right place at the right time for snack distribution, and among various treats, including candy bars and cupcakes, they were also giving out strawberry popsicles as a pick up for the waiting guests.
I was thrilled when I started seeing the familiar wrappings of one of my favorite frozen treats, and waisted no time in acquiring one of my own.
Little did I know, that in order to keep these concoctions in their frozen state, that the powers that be had put them into some cryogenic chamber complete with what I can only guess must have been dry ice.
Soon after attempting to take the first frosty bite, I was instantly informed that I had made a terrible mistake and had cemented the treat to my face.
This was not however, apparent to the person I was previously talking to, who went on to ask me questions about my line of work and the tasks I was in charge of.
I made every attempt possible not to give away my embarrassing predicament, and in between drooling profusely, while trying to plan out an exit strategy, I did fairly well in responding nonchalantly.
Finally, after giving up on all attempts at avoiding injury, I gave in and just focused on freeing myself from the frozen demon. After all that I was in instant pain and immediately looked up to see that everyone who had made the same unfortunate mistake as me was in a similar situation.
The room filled with people glaring at their chosen treats and digging for pocket mirrors to help assess the damages.
I was lucky, I only lost a little skin and the better part of my taste buds, leaving me with the unsatisfying taste of blood and nothing to show for it.
I finally solved the puzzle by stealing a water cup and dunking the arctic treat into water before making any other ill planned attempts at consuming the thing.
The popsicle came in handy, soothing my latest injuries.
You learn something new every day, and I will be wiser if ever the situation presents itself again in the future.
On other notes, I had a nice time at the day's activities and made my way to the convention center with plenty of time to spare.
I did find that after a long day of meeting new people and mulling about that the tiny laptop I had brought soon hung like lead from my shoulder, causing continuous pain and dragging me down, leaving me to find any excuse to put it down like the nagging child it had become.
I am hesitant to bring it with me, and am even considering reviving the long dead art form of note taking with a pen and paper to help cover all the new information and contacts, though I know that would not be the best for helping me to remember all the fantastic tools I will be introduced to in the coming week.
The last event of the day was a keynote presentation by the leader of our convention, and a special guest who was formerly the head of the World Bank.
The arena filled to the brim with excited new faces all waiting to hear from our leaders. After the introductions had been made and the awards for various accomplishments relating to the technology field had been doled out, oru key speaker took the stage.
I was curious as to how his background would relate to the integration of technology and the different strands we were trying to help be incorporated into teaching, but I was excited to find out.
After the show began, I became increasingly confused as to how the topics under discussion were going to relate back to the topics at hand and as the performance went on, I finally realized that there wasn't going to be any.
The presentation was on a series of important topics relating to global issues that need to be addressed in the near future, and our need for a unifying team that will take on the task of enforcing our goals across the globe. The issues that were covered ranged from the depletion of forests and over fishing, to emission levels and our dependency on other consumable resources, such as oil, water, and food.
I admit that with such a large group of people in attendance, it was nice to know that the message was being heard loud and clear from participants around the country, but I wish the connection between helping students to become involved and concerned about the choices being made would have been stronger.
Knowing about the issues is one thing, but helping students to get involved is another, and I would have liked to have heard more about the different steps and programs that were being implemented with that goal in mind and the kinds of projects students were creating.
There will be an exhibition of student work that we will be able to see throughout the conference, and hopefully that will fill in the rest of the gaps for me.
So the lesson of the day kids is... don't eat a popsicle strait out of the cart without a glass of warm water and a pair of tongs.