Spring was roller coaster of highs and lows. Ryan started a new job that he loves - high. I became ill - low. We bought a house in an awesome neighborhood full of the boys' friends - really high. I did not get a job that I had my heart set on - very, very low.
I'm hesitant to write about the job. It was a job inside the district. I don't want to be seen as a complainer. I love the job I have and I know lots of people would love to have it. I love my district. I love the students and teachers I work with. That's part of why not getting the job has been so hard for me. I love the district, students and teachers so much and I wanted the opportunity to make a positive changes for them.
To be honest, not getting that job really messed me up (I believe that's the technical term). The entire situation left me feeling rejected, disrespected and unvalued. It's been a while and I'm still raw. I'm about to cry thinking about it. I know in my head that God works everything together for his purpose and that he has a plan. But somehow my emotions and tear ducts have still not gotten the message. I've stopped talking to my friends about it because I just keep saying the same things. That's not me. I've been rejected plenty of times. And I'm great at making a plan, attacking that plan and moving forward. Not so this time.
So, I did not arrive at ISTE in the best frame of mind. When I was thinking of how to describe my time at ISTE, I kept thinking "highs and lows". I spent a lot of time feeling anxious and out of place. I didn't know as many people as I thought I would. At TCEA, I could sit in the Blogger's Cafe and know all kinds of people. At ISTE, sitting in the Blogger's Cafe meant strange faces. Which should not have been a problem. I should have been able to introduce myself and have an intelligent conversion. I'm an intelligent person at a conference about my passion. But I could not shake the anxiety. I kept thinking, "I have nothing intelligent to say to anyone." I spent more time in my hotel room during ISTE than I would have normally. I did not want to be in large crowds. I was most comfortable walking with my close friends. Then the spotlight could be on them. I often joked and called myself a groupie last week. That's what I was comfortable doing. (For more on anxiety, please see Nicholas Provenzano's awesome post of the subject.
The crowds, that's another thing. Everywhere I went there were crowds. Crowds to get on the escalator. Lines to get in the bathroom. After Ashley Judd's keynote, it took Rafranz and I 45 minutes to get out of that room. There was only 1 door out and 2 escalators up (the 3rd was busy coming down with no one on it). The conference center just did not seem to flow very well.
ISTE also had some great highs. My poster session, seeing friends, Rafranz's Ignite session and my favorite sessions I attended. I had a great time at the DEN birthday party. I got to have dinner with one of sorority sisters and her husband. Most of my highs I talked about in yesterday's post, #ISTE2014 Highlights
During ISTE and immediately afterward, I would have told you that I wouldn't be traveling out of state to another ISTE. Now that I've had time to think about it, I understand how my state of mind and anxiety damped my trip. I realize that I was exhausted before I even arrived. During June I traveled to Austin for 3 days, worked at school for 4 days, moved, and road tripped with my family to Chicago. I had one full day at home between Chicago and Atlanta. And I spent that day unpacking, doing laundry and running errands so I could leave again. I may try it again. I wish I had spent some time in the exhibit hall. I wish I had made a better effort to connect with some members of my PLN.
I will try again. I love to learn. I love to serve teachers. I love to meet other passionate educators. I can do all that ISTE. See you in Philly!