Photo Gallery: Serendipity 2014
This past weekend I journeyed to the land of all things maple…
…and presented with John Schumacher at the 2014 Serendipity Conference in Vancouver B.C.
But first I had to get there. My flight was delayed in Michigan, and I was going to cut it close to make my connection in Chicago. But apparently, I thought this wasn’t a problem, as evidenced by my texts with John.
How much hubris did I have? Notice John telling me I’m running out of time as I calmly try to get him to make arrangements for my seat.
You know where this is heading, right? I missed the connection. There was nothing going to Vancouver until the next morning, so I had to stay the night in Chicago. Upside: it allowed me the opportunity to eat this A-1 breakfast burrito the next day.
After the missed connection the night before, I was happy to see the plane was looking ready.
Eventually, I was on my way.
A plane ride to Vancouver is pretty great for scenery.
Things were starting too look up when the flight attendant announced that they would be showing the film Frozen. “Alright!”, I thought “my students love this movie – now I’ll be able to talk to them about it.”
Then the movie started. It was not Frozen. It was Nebraska. I’ve heard this is a great movie, but if you’re expecting Frozen, this is not what you’re looking for. However, this did allow me to get online and check out tweets from the conference.
Things I Learned While Checking Tweets From the Plane:
Auther Slade talked about his work and showed the crowd how a book becomes an e-book.
Tim Federle spread the good word about social media in his first ever PowerPoint, and cut a bit of a rug later on.
Hadley Dyer brought the nonfiction.
Paul O. Zelinsky reimagined Where the Wild Things Are with kittens and puppies (yes, you read that correctly). And got in-depth with how stories affect the brain.
Folks were having a good time.
The conference organizers were kind enough to move my presentation with John to later in the day. Shannon “If You Don’t Follow Her on Twitter, You Should” Ozirny was the MC for the day, and she handled the ever-shifting schedule like a pro. After I landed, I hopped in a cab and made it for showtime.
Our task was to talk about using technology in the library. The topic was open-ended enough that we could go in a bunch of weird directions.
John (soon to be the world record holder for most copies of Flora & Ulysses purchased by an individual) gave out books to the winners.
And guess who had some of the quickest thumbs in the room?
Caldecott Medal winner Paul Zelinsky. The strangest part? I never saw a phone in his hands. The guy is sly indeed.
From there John and I passed the mic back and forth, he talked about great websites (pulled from the annual Best Websites for Teaching and Learning list from AASL), while I focused on apps.
The crowd helped me out to remember The Visible Man and The Visible Woman, which I compared to an app called The Human Body. You remember these? Man I wanted one when I was a kid.
Also, in talking about the app Paper by 53, I was able to attempt a Bruce Springsteen impression.
I wasn’t the only one talking about drawing, illustrator Raymond K. Nakamura was in the audience and summed up the conference in comic form.
Afterward they gave John and I a table. Did we have any right to be sitting next to the talent? Nay. But it was fun to chat with folks waiting in line to get books signed by the authors.
After the conference we had dinner across the street from what appeared to be the most incredible children’s book store I’ve seen – Kidsbooks. It was huge and (unfortunately) closed. Check out these window displays for Three Times Lucky, Hi Koo!, and Super Worm – they pull out all the stops. I have to get back to this place.
The next morning it was time to head home. How great is Canada? They display children’s book art in their airports.
They also sell the 21st century version of The Visible Man.
I made one last check before I headed out – the children’s book section of the airport bookstore.
Oh yeah, and a bit more maple. This is a good land.
Thank you to The Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable for asking John and I to present. Thank you to Kay Weisman, Shannon Ozirny, Danielle Wing and Rob Bittner for an excellent conference.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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