Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dazed and Confused

I am exhausted. Still. It has been two weeks since our 40th Annual South Carolina Association of School Librarians conference, and I am still not back to 100% Jen. My ear infection is almost cleared up and the house is back in order. Our book fair is over and the library budget is almost spent. Phew! Hubby and I had big plans to celebrate all the hard work that went into planning this event with a spa day at the Grove Park Inn. Since I got sick almost immediately after conference was over, and our dog was having seizures, we had to cancel our spa day. I really want to celebrate, but it looks like that will have to wait.

 Planning this conference has been, as Samantha McManus says, "Like being strapped to the front of a speeding train." It had literally taken over my life: work, eat, sleep, exercise, conference planning. And now that it's over I am a crumpled mess by the side of the tracks. It reminds me of one of my favorite Dixie Chicks songs, "Am I the Only One"(Who's Ever Felt This Way). The lyrics "It rung me out and strung me out and it hung years on my face... and now my sense of humor needs a break" hit home for me. It is comforting to know that I am NOT the only one who's ever felt this way. Isn't that right, Diana Carr? And when I see a tweet like this:
It makes it all worthwhile. One rejuvenated school librarian impacts an entire school of teachers and students. 

 I have to write the conference review, but the conference is just a blur! One of my favorite moments is stuffing the blue plastic portfolios while listening to Wagon Wheel and the sound track that Dawn James made for us.  Project Connect was pure awesomeness and I loved it. I wanted to stand up and cheer a few times! Seeing the authors arrive, meeting them and seeing them show up in the exhibit hall for autographing was awesome. I also enjoyed Sharon Flake and Sara Pennypacker's talks at the Author Celebration Luncheon. Other than those moments, the rest was pretty much a stress casserole for me.

I have to make a list of the lessons I have learned and pass them on to the next President Elect. I have to write thank you notes. So many thank you notes. . .

Sharon Flake, Sara Pennypacker and Sharon Dennis Wyeth in the exhibit hall autographing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A New Toy

I know I am not alone in my love of office supplies - pens, markers, sticky notes and the lot. Planning and plotting our lessons, meetings, conferences and life in general is more fun if you have a snazzy organizer to do it with. 

Of course there are the digital planners and Google calendars with all the bells and whistles. I use those. There is something about the act of writing it down and jotting notes and looking at it on paper that makes the paper planner a helpful, soothing option for me in addition to the digital options.

I have been known to buy the planner and use it for only three or four months before abandoning it. 

Because I am planning a conference things are a bit more complicated now. I hope this new toy will help me keep it together.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

ALA - Jane McGonigal

Author of Reality Is Broken, Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, Jane McGonigal, gave an excellent presentation at ALA's opening session. Here are some interesting tidbits from her talk:

-We play a lot of games. 
-Games are engaging.
- Work and school is not engaging for a large number of people.
- The longer we stay in school the less engaged we become as we go from elementary to high school.
- Ten positive emotions- creativity, contentment awe & wonder, excitement, curiosity, pride, surprise, love, relief, joy
-No matter what is going on the gamer feels these positive emotions
-Engagement in life equals positive emotions which translate to an upward spiral of other positive things 
-Gamers spend 80% of time failing
-"The opposite of play isn't work, it's depression" Brian Sutton-Smith 
-Game play encourages optimism, Competence, Physiological energy
-Game play is the opposite of depression neurologically
-Scans show game play is opposite of neurological depression. 
-Every game gives a goal clearly
-Gaming develops Resilience as gamers are less likely to quit after failure
-There is no such thing as an educational or non educational game. They are ALL educational.
-Games treat depression better than Meds, foldit, eyewire, block by block, minecraft, Ora saves the forest, Whale song project whale fm, Valley of heroes created by Jane McGonigal   
-Goals are more possible when fueled by positive emotions