Let's back up to last Wednesday morning, when hubs dropped me off at school and said goodbye for a week. I worked in my room for a bit, then off to St Louis I went. Thankfully @agktmte and his wife were willing to give me a ride, which I greatly appreciate. The next four days was spent with this group of people:
Honestly, this was the most amazing experience! We had been planning TMC for a while, but on the trip, I was nervous. I mean, some of these people I've talked to for years, some for mere weeks. What if I didn't like them? What if they didn't like me? But, never fear... as soon as I walked into the hotel, @mgolding was sitting there and immediately came over to say hi and my fears vanished. She was exactly what I expected from her tweets and she immediately put me at ease. After checking in and going to my room to catch up with my bestie, @approx_normal, she and I headed back down to meet the rest of the crew. That evening started a 4 day experience that I will never forget.
The next morning, I drove over to MICDS with @lmhenry9 and her hubby. Let me just say that Jason really loves Lisa a lot to put up with all of us for 4 days :). MICDS has a beautiful facility and I was so grateful for their hospitality. Of course, it had the added benefit of letting me see Mel, who has been one of my best friends for many many years. She and I taught next to each other for years, before she moved to St Louis. It was awesome to spend time with her and see her school. Mel, Lisa, Jason, and I put together the goodie bags, then before we knew it, we had 40 participants from 19 states and 3 countries pouring through the doors, ready to "get their math on". That morning we had a welcome session, then off to work in our small groups on the Exeter math problem sets. After a hosted lunch (thanks so much, MICDS!), we had our first "My Favorites" session, then presentations. It was a blast to watch @approx_normal try to explain a marshmallow gun and then demonstrate by taking shots at @maxmathforum. I'm not going to go into details on everything because @rdkpickle already did an amazing job of that, but let's just say that the afternoon sessions were amazing. The presenters did a great job and I can honestly say that I have never been to a PD workshop where I was able to walk away from EVERY session with something I could use. This cycle of up early, work on Exeter problems, go to lunch, come back to My Favorites and presentations repeated for several days and it was just flat-out amazing.
Some of my take-aways...
You'll notice that the above take-aways are mostly academic. that's not to say that we didn't have plenty of fun in our off time as well! (You'll notice this list is shorter... that's due to the confidentiality agreement we all signed about "What happens at TMC stays at TMC" :) kidding... kind of)
All in all, I just had the time of my life. I could have stayed for days, getting the chance to visit and spend time with everyone, but there's always next year :)
Thank you again to all of you for making this an amazing experience. Thank you to Lisa for thinking of all the little details that I would have never thought of. Thank you to Mel and MICDS for letting us invade your world for 4 days. Thank you to the Frontenac for not siccing security on us more often. Thank you all for the awesome Pi glasses and pizza cutter. Thank you for whoever left me a ladybug Tervis cup. Thank you for "getting me" and not looking at me like I grew a third eye when I talk math and teaching during the summer. Thank you all for blowing up my twitter feed for days afterward as we all adjusted to life after #TMC12 - I miss you all!
But, most importantly...
Thank you for being my friends... I love you all :)