Monday, June 23, 2008

DC Debacles...

I am now back from DC and had an awesome trip. It was inspiring, encouraging, and validating to attend a conference of other schools who have the same values and beliefs as my school. It was a conference of all middle level educators who are members of schools who have been selected as "Schools to Watch" which means they are doing really cool things in the areas of developmental responsiveness, academic excellence, organizational structures, and social equity in middle schools. 

We were originally designated in 2005 and this year we were re-designated as we have kept up what we are doing. The part that was the most amazing was seeing schools who are in really dire circumstances (90% of kids on Free/Reduced Lunch with huge English Language Learner populations) scoring 90% proficient on their state tests. That is not an easy thing to do and instead of just writing off their kids, they have figured out ways to make them excel. 

We got to meet our senators (Salazar and Allard) and had a policy meeting with an aide to our congresswoman. It was a really cool experience to meet them and realize that even though they are senators, they are still just people from Colorado. Allard grew up in Fort Collins and went to CSU so we all laughed about being CSU Rams. Not to mention, my teammate Natalie Dudley has family connections to both of them and we felt like VIPs being with her!

It was also fun to be in DC and to see all the sights again. This time I went on the capitol tour that you can only go on with a congressional aide. That was cool but the really great part was when a few of us found the senate offices of Clinton and Obama. Hillary had all women working in her office, as one would expect. 

And as always, when in DC, one must go to Adams Morgan and have Ethiopian food. It was good and always interesting (and allowed me to practice what I have heard I am supposed to do in India and eat with only my right hand) but unfortunately this time, it brought back my typhoid-like symptoms and I had to stay in bed the last 15 hours I was in DC. 

But upon my return, my AWESOME friend Natalie had a 30th birthday party for me, despite the fact that she had a temperature of 103 degrees, now THAT is friendship. A bunch of my very closest friends who do not live in Fort Collins came to the party (and my mama and my former nanny) and it was a great day. So, as of today, I am officially flirty, THIRTY, and thriving. 

I leave a week from today so as my preparations continue this week, I will try to stay updated. 


Megan said...

Welcome to the the THIRTIES. Kind of reminds me of that show 'Thirty Something'. Your BBQ was a great time and it was so good to see you!

Lori said...

Dear Liz,
Sharing your thirtieth birthday was a surreal experience. When we are together I feel like we are 8 and 19 again!? Do you feel that way. You are an amazing person and I am so proud to know you. Even if all your bad/weird habits came from me. You are a combination of a daughter/little sister. In my opinion, the best possible combination. Love, Yer Nanny