NCTE student membership: $25
Midnight Domino’s delivery split 4 ways: $7
Getting lost in the skywalk every time I left the hotel: 3+ hours of lost time
23 advanced copy books: $0
Learning more about teaching English: Priceless
There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s crippling debt.
Minneapolis was beautiful and NCTE was amazing. I shook hands with a homeless man; I learned that there are many women way more gifted than me who are able to get not only their bachelors, not only their masters, not only their Phd while married, but are able to raise kids and work full time too; I changed my definition of nonfiction; I got lost in the heart of the city (multiple times), I learned about high school writing centers; I got a picture with Laurie Halse Anderson; I got to hear stories about ‘Indian Jesus’; I discovered whenintime.com; and I greatly contributed to my future classroom library.
Probably my favorite part of attending NCTE was the session I went to on creating and maintaining writing centers. One of the women who was hosting the session founded her school’s writing center and was able to get a grant which funded an addition to the building which houses their writing center. Hearing her speak of all of her efforts to begin such a useful yet intimidating program was inspiring and daunting. However, it was uplifting to hear stories of students so eagerly giving their time and talent to their peers and what an impact these sacrifices make on the confidence and ability of young writers. It’s beautiful to be in rooms full of people passionate about education and English. If I can, I truly hope I can attend many more NCTE conferences. (And hopefully it doesn’t actually put me in crippling debt. I suppose if it does then it will fall under the ‘priceless’ category of my life.)