Last night I printed my boarding pass and zipped up my suitcase and then ran over to the school to get my daughter at 8:30 pm. I picked her up and she fell apart. She's been nursing a back injury for several weeks without telling anyone and tonight the stunt fell on her. With her cheerleading camp supposed to be next week, I have to be the one to take her to the doctor and make the call about whether she can attend as it may mean that she's off the squad (something that would kill her.)
I don't have the answer but I do know who has to be the one to get the answer: me. This is one of the most important things in my daughter's life and she has a spine that she will have with her for the rest of her life.
My Sessions will Go on!
Julie Lindsay is running DigiTeacher along with some help from Barbara Barreda and a visit from Anne Collier. Adam Frey is running the wiki session. I am working on some Diigo experts to present the diigo session.
(If you're going to ISTE and are using Diigo to post to your blog, make lists, do bookmarking groups with your students and possibly save tweets, please let me know by responding to this message in the comments.)
Not Cancelled: Just Modified
So, my sessions will go on without me. It just doesn't look good to write 'cancelled' when you've made a commitment and fortunately, I've got some great friends who will do a jam-up job for these sessions. (Ten years a go, a cancel would have meant a real cancel - we all just have more "friends" now, don't we?)
I'm heartbroken but this isn't about me. I could pretend to be the martyr but I'm not - I quit a great job to be a stay at home mom for these precious babies and didn't regret it a moment. I want them to know that they are more important than any blog, book, or anything.
I guess as with this sort of thing and being a blogger, the biggest sacrifice is my own fear. Will I become irrelevant? Will people still want me to speak at their conferences this next year? (most of my bookings come from ISTE.) Will? Will? Will?
The fact is we WILL have a Flat Classroom book (www.flatclassroombook.com) coming out in January 2012 from Pearson Publishing and I WILL be back at ISTE 2012 signing books and doing sessions about global collaboration. As for the other things, I think the good Lord will just have to handle that for me. If he wants me to speak, He'll put it in the minds of those who've seen me speak before.
I'm not fading out or signing off or checking out on anyone. My commitments for ISTE11 are fulfilled and I didn't renig- so hopefully those who know me know that I keep my word to the best of my ability.
Gotta Do Right
But this is one of those things in life that just happens. You know I can talk to you all the time about having your priorities straight, but if I don't have mine straight then, I'm a hypocrite. I might as well stop talking.
I'm not perfect by any means, but this is my chance to live my priorities to you, my friends.
It is costing me, big time - at least I feel it is. This is MY Pd. I'm going to have to read a lot next week to learn from all of you who are there.
I have a sign by my bed quoting proverbs
"A good name is to be had above great riches."
The worst feeling is that somehow someone will think less of me as a person for not going. The fact is that if you spend your life trying to please everyone you are living a life on quicksand.
For me, I choose to live a life firmly grounded on a foundation of God and family first. Again, I'm not perfect, but it does give peace when such winds blow.
Life is short. We don't get do-overs. Yes, there are tears on my pillow, the collar of my robe, and this piece of paper with the confirmation number for cancelling this flight with Expedia. The ink is all smeared and I even have the first few characters of my cancellation "S-24" tattooed on my left cheek where I laid down my head and yet, right now, my relationship with my daughter isn't.
It is funny, my daughter's name begins with an S and these first three letters remind me that I'm her mom 24 hours a day - ISTE lasts for but 72 or so. I doubt in five years anyone will remember if I was there or not -- except her.
She knows that she is more important to me than anything else. That, my friends, is priceless.
Carry on, learn a lot, laugh a lot. Have a great time! Meanwhile, I'm begging ISTE to let my conference ticket convert over to some sort of virtual attendance! I want to at least see Stephen Covey on Tuesday. I'll get to see John Medina of Brain Rules fame at the Microsoft Innovative Educators Forum in Seattle at the end of July.
I also look forward to a killer keynote I'm delivering in Evansville, Indiana in two weeks. Oh, and I'll actually get to see Chris Lehmann's closing keynote because my flight was leaving during his keynote on Wednesday. (IF ISTE let's me attend virtually.)
But I sure do hope someone will live stream me to watch the Family Feud on Monday - I was really looking forward to that!