Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching

I'm currently attending CAST in Houston at the Reliant Center. I am staying at the nearby Park Plaza Reliant Center Hotel, a place I recommend you avoid like the plague.

I arrived tired and cranky from the drive here, about 2 and half hours. I spent nearly 45 minutes trying to check in as 1)the hotel did not have enough people working the check in counter and 2) I had the misfortune of arriving just behind a large group of teachers from Wichita Falls ISD, who for some reason did not discuss roommate arrangements on their 8 hour drive to the convention, and had to hash it out at the front desk.

I also had the misfortune of being assigned a room two doors down from one of the Wichita Falls people who was busy screaming at a hotel employee in the hallway just outside my room. Later I saw her down in the bar screaming at the restaurant manager for something.

The hotel is the butt of running jokes among the teachers at the conference. Twice in about 3 hours last night they had to rescue people from stuck elevators. Arriving back from the conference at lunch time we found of all things, the restaurant was closed. Food was available at the bar if you were willing to wait 20 minutes to order it and eat standing up. Not to mention they were also out of Coke. How can they expect people to eat a hamburger without a cold Coke to wash it down?

I'm blogging in the hotel lobby. Their are some very nice, non-functioning high speed internet connections in the room and wireless access available in the bar or lobby.

I attended two interesting presentations this morning. One was by two 1st grade teachers from Lubbock ISD presenting a unit on the solar system they teach to their students. They provided a link to a fantastic website called Planet 10. Be sure to try the Solar System flyby as well as the Planet Builder.

Battery and caffeine levels are running low.

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