Thursday, May 15, 2008

Live-ish blogging the WEA Rep Assembly

I'm in the lobby of the Spokane Convention Center getting ready to attend a pre-session on alternative compensation models; the worker bees are still busy getting everything ready. There's a lot of energy in the building already, and it's a drop-dead gorgeous day here in Spokane--you couldn't ask for nicer weather for our out-of-town guests.

I'll try checking in later to let you know how it's going, and after I get a look at the convention floor I'll try to see if I can blog from there.

This is my first rep assembly as a delegate, and I'm pretty excited to be here.


1:30 Workshop on different methods of compensation--merit pay, "combat" pay, alternative pay, etc. Pretty good conversation. I brought up the AP Grant from Exxon that made all the news, and that was a good spark. General sense that it's coming, it's perhaps inevitable, we just need to figure out the right way to handle it.

3:00 Went to a workshop on the costs of the WASL for about 5 minutes, then got out and went to sit in the sun. Soaked my feet in the Spokane River and watched the ducks do their thing. It is a freakin' glorious day here.

3:45 Walk through the exhibit hall, lots of neat stuff. Sort of interesting to me that there aren't any curriculum-book dealers; I guess we're teacher leaders, just not in the curriculum domain.

4:20 Helped my council president put out some placeholders and bring in the food for our council. If this army does indeed run on its stomach, we're good to go. I'm in the third row, far left as you face the stage.

4:45 I think I'll walk over to Auntie's Book Store, which is the neatest book store you've ever seen. I've got an hour to kill until new delagate orientation.

5:15 Some other folks from the council invite me out for drinks before the meetings begin. We head up to Luigi's where I enjoy my vice (Jack and coke, double, neat) and chow down on an order of mozzarella sticks. As it turns out, this is my dinner.

6:45 Back to the convention center. WEA President Mary Lundquist calls the meeting to order. Some piddling issues, then the big one--Christine Gregoire gives a speech.

It was nice enough. She talked about how she had a teaching credential out of college, then went into law. She also reiterated her belief in full-day kindergarten.

8:20 The national teacher of the year for 2007 speaks about her experiences. I took a powder, because sitting isn't really my strong suit. Out in the hallway there was a good crowd at the WEAPAC booth, and I perused the baskets they had set out for the silent auctions.

9:30 In a move that could be wonderfully habit forming, we finished the business session early and were released. Tomorrow it's a marathon, from 9:00 to 9:00. That'll be fun.

(Also fun: Count the Crosswords. Stand at the back of the Rep Assembly and see how many people you can find doing a crossword puzzle or sudoku. I had 10 in one sweep as I was going to the water fountain)

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