Monday 29 July 2013

TMC13 - Minus the Math

Twitter Math Camp 2013 ended yesterday.  It was an incredible experience - 4 days with strangers-turned-friends all centered around teaching math.  Perhaps not everyone's idea of a good time, but my idea of heaven!  There were so many great teaching ideas presented and there are bound to be recaps of those (Greg Taylor @mathtans did a fantastic job while at TMC - I don't think he slept!) so I'm going to take a different tack.

The biggest point I want to make for anyone who wasn't at TMC13 is how inclusive it is.  I have never been around a more welcoming, non-judgmental group of (awesome) people.  I went there kinda-sorta knowing one person and made all kinds of friends!  I am a quiet and shy person and discovered a number of people like me (who knew?!?) and lots of people who seemed okay with hanging out with me, despite my lack of outgo-i-ness (yes, I just made that word up).  Not to say that there weren't times that I was feeling oh-so intimidated.  The most awesome of which was dinner with David Wees (@davidwees) , Christopher Danielson (@Trianglemacsd), Eli Luberoff (@eluberoff/@desmos) and Sadie Estrella (@wahedahbug).  As if that wasn't enough, we were joined by much of team Mathalicious - Karim Ani (@karimkai), Matt Lane (@mmmaaattttttt), Ginny Stuckey (@gstuck) and later by Chris Lusto (@lustomatic) and his girlfriend.  Ever know that you are, without a doubt, the least smart person around a table?  Yeah...  But the food was delicious and I listened to a lot of great conversations.  My point is that I never had to eat alone or miss going out - I just went to the hotel lobby and (quietly) joined in with whatever people were doing - sitting around talking, origami, getting tied up in knots...  I realize that some of you may not realize what a HUGE deal that is, but it is.  So, thank you to everyone at TMC13 for that.

Okay... here are a few fun non-math facts I learned at TMC13:
- Connie H. is not an axe-murderer (important in a roommate you have never met!  Thanks, Connie!)
- Max is one of the most genuine and nice people around
- Nathan really is crazy.  He was just "that crazy toothpick guy" before.
- Jami is not a ... (or dumb, apparently)
- Glenn can't remember names (but that makes retelling of stories a lot of fun)
- Sadie has a potty mouth
- Sam loves sparkles
- Eli managed to make everyone have a math crush on him by showing off Desmos (how weird does that make us?!?)
- Ashli is the folding queen
- Julie really is that positive and excited about everything!
- Elizabeth loves Flakes
- Don't be late for Lisa's class

I need to remember the following for next year:
- Actually talk to people whom I find intimidating (Fawn, Nathan, Karim...)
- Take pictures.  Maybe even with me in them (that's just crazy talk now).
- Find something worthy of sharing.  And share it (more crazy talk).

I also love that I now read tweets and blog posts in the voice of the author.

Thank you so much to Lisa and the TMC13 Team for all of their time and effort putting together the best conference any math teacher could ask for.  <3