First day in Denver and it snows. Now, it has never snowed in Melbourne as long as I've lived there so this was fun!
One free day, so we took a tour out of town. Too much snow to go up to the Rockies, but we went into the foothills, and to Red Rocks, where there is this amazing auditorium made out of the natural amphitheatre. The acoustics are amazing. Huge rock formations all around. You could do a poetry reading here without a microphone and be heard right up the top! Also saw elk eating grass on front lawns around houses, and some buffalo. And went to the Buffalo Bill museum. Hey, that's a tour - you go where they take you, and very often things you think will be boring are quite interesting!
The Association of Writing Programs conference started today. Non-stop sessions from 9am to 5.45pm and then more stuff on after that. Sue and I have tried to make sure we don't double up on sessions (there are so many to choose from, and sometimes there are three things on at once I want to go to). Today I've been to sessions on: getting students to write more fantastically, writing as smart girls, issues in grading creative writing, student mentoring partnerships, how to create poetry lovers in high schools. Plus the book fair,which I barely touched on - just wandered around for a while and talked to a few people.
I'm taking heaps of notes, and then Sue and I talk afterwards and write down all the ideas that have sparked for us from the sessions. Sue went to one this afternoon about using social media in the classroom - lots of great suggestions there for Facebook and everything beyond. Tonight we picked the brains of some of the great people who run various Writers in Schools programs. It's such a wonderful opportunity to meet other writing teachers and writers, let alone the information gathering. All I have to worry about now is the weight of my suitcase on the way home with all the magazines and books I'm collecting!