Monday, June 30, 2008

Orlando Trip

So here are the details of the Orlando trip. Did I tell you yet why I went? I was at the Model Schools Conference, so it wasn't just fun. It was a little bit of work too.

It all started with a long plane ride to Orlando. Of course, our flight was delayed, so I think I spent at least an extra hour in the airport.
We finally got to our hotel at about 10 o'clock at night, as it took forever to get our luggage and then arrange for transportation and then take that transportation to the Walt Disney Resort The Swan and The Dolphin. We stayed at the Dolphin part of the resort, but we could never figure out why it was called The Dolphin as we saw not even one dolphin while there. Instead, the logo had some kind of weird fish looking thing. So, I decided to call the hotel The Fish instead.

We found some expensive food at the Picabu cafeteria, which was hidden in the deepest netheregions of the hotel. From the beginning, it looked like there was no way that the $200 per diem given to us by the district was going to last four more days.

We then went to sleep in the most luxurious beds I've ever seen. They had feather pillows, down comforters, and super soft mattresses. I think they called them Heaven beds or Heavenly beds and they were that. Just a little bit o' heaven.

The next day, we rented a van and we all piled in to go to Universal Studios Orlando. It was a hot and humid day. Okay, everyday was a hot and humid day (I don't know how people live there all the time). And it rained (it did that everyday too). These are the rides we went on: The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man, Dueling Dragons (twice! Try the front seat. It's awesome!), the Pteradon Flyers (I don't think I spelled that right) which we stood in line an hour for to find out that it was a kids' ride that lasted about 30 seconds, Terminator 2 3-D show, The Simpsons, and The Mummy Returns (twice on that ride too). The best part of the day was spending time with teachers who I don't usually even see during the day and getting to know them better. I laughed all day long, except when I slipped and fell (I still have a bruise on my knee and my back still bothers me from the embarrassing accident).
On Monday, we went to several sessions, including one by Dr. Paul Nessbaum, which was about the brain and how to keep it healthy and another by Dr. Harry Wong, who is something of a celebrity in education circles. I think the best thing that I took away from the entire conference was what I heard from Dr. Wong. I have to have better procedures in my classroom; if I do that, I'll have fewer discipline problems.

We went to dinner that night together at Charley's Steakhouse. I ended up listening to a teacher and a VP talk about baseball all night long because I sat in the wrong place. Boring! But the food was pretty good. I don't know if it was $777 good (that was the total!) but it was good.

Tuesday, Amy and I went to a class about technology and reading, which kind of turned out to be a plug for Read 180 (which we would love to have, but it costs $35,000. If anyone has that kind of money to donate to my school, will you please let me know?). We then went to a session about Lexile scores, which Amy and I have been playing with ever since our students took the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) in April. We then went to a session put on by Scholastic about Read 180, where we got to pretend that we were in a Read 180 classroom. Once again, it looks cool, but I don't know how we would do it since, in order to be really effective, the students have to be doing it for 90 minutes everyday, and we're on a block schedule.

After a day of sessions, we went to the Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld. And it was a lot of fun, but it made me 1. Miss the good old days of going to Disneyland with my cousins when we would run from one end of the park to another (not that I could run), and 2. Miss my boys whenever I saw little kids enjoying themselves, and 3. Made me wish that I had a little girl everytime I saw one dressed up as a princess. But, like I said, it was fun. And again, I laughed so hard I could hardly move (which was rather embarrassing as I held up the ride at Space Mountain). Oh, here's a picture of the Haunted Mansion, which looks quite different from the one at Disneyland.

The next day we kind of hung around until we had to leave for the airport at 1:30. Oh, wait, first the hotel tried to charge me $10 a day for some "special" that they had made "available" to us. So, watch your room charges when you stay at The Swan and The Dolphin.

I finished reading The Host on the plane. And that's about it. That was my trip to Orlando. Oh, wait, also, watch for alligators if you ever go to Florida. There was a story on the news about a guy who saved his life by gouging an alligator's eyes after it bit off his hand! I was glad that I didn't run into any alligators while I was there.


orangemily said...

Crazy alligators! Sounds like you had such a good time! I would love to go to Disneyworld!!

Nicole said...

i'm mostly just jealous of the bed. wonder where i can get me one.

Andria said...

I know! I wish I had one like it at home. Except I would keep my memory foam pillow because the feather ones were too soft for me. And it was a good time, Emily!