Thursday, July 2, 2009

Albuquerque if you be quirky

Green salsa
on my scrambled eggs later I hop a shuttle and head back home to Cleveland. I’ve just finished spending almost four days at a literacy and comprehension conference here in sunny Albuquerque New Mexico where I attended and [resented sessions. I was lucky enough to work with two stellar educators – Ellin Keene – the author of the seminal comprehension tome Mosaic of Thought and her new book To Understand (which by the way – the copy I lost on the plane a couple weeks ago is still MIA) and her compatriot of comprehension Bruce Morgan author of Writing Through the Tween Years.

We had a great crew of about fifty teachers, reading and writing specialists and administrators- as always Heinemann ran a smooth conference – which in my book means the coffee never ran out! It was nice to be part of such a stimulating and intimate affair. I’m so lucky – I really like my job and the folks I get to work with.

Triathlon season is coming up so I continued getting ready – running in the evenings after the day’s sessions were over. Hitting the pavement @ 4pm in central New Mexico at the end of June means temps nudging the three digit mark with virtually zero humidity – not unlike running inside of a pizza oven. Add the 5300 foot elevation and this sea level Cleveland boy was left feeling like he was sucking dryer vent air through a coffee stirrer. What little cloud cover exists is more reminiscent of stretched wisps of wadding pulled from a brand new Advil bottle than any sun blocking entity. Fortunately the pavement was so hot my feet, throbbing and burning, took my mind off my imminent suffocation. It’s not often that I have to scrape melted asphalt from my running shoes. I don’t know if it is a symptom of the dry air – but the rare shade provided by the rogue sycamore seemed to drop the temperature exponentially more than I had ever noticed in more humid climes. I love you rogue sycamore trees.

It’s tough to get back home from the southwest – there are very few evening flights headed back toward Ohio so I had to stay an extra evening which allowed me time to take a cab into old town with Karen – one of Heinemann’s irascible event coordinating queens - whom I duly impressed with my bartering skills in the little shops and shared a pretty good meal which included some guacamole, very fresh and tasty.

On the one hand – the company was good and it was nice not to be racing to the airport immediately after finishing a presentation but, after a month or so away in four different states it’ll be nice to sleep in my own bed again.

Has it stopped raining in Ohio yet?


Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Come on home, the weather's fine!

claire mc said...

Sounds fun...minus the self-torture!