Southern Hospitality

Awwww yeah! Comin' to you live from the National Council of Teachers of English annual conference in Nashville. Talk about a merging of cultures: 5,000 English teachers from around the country meets...Opryland. This hotel, the Gaylord Opryland (how's that for a name?) is not so much a hotel, but what would happen if the Mall of America and Tan-Tar-A spawned a super-commerce complex surrounded by the world's biggest parking lot and overcharged for everything. Seriously. Place is huge. It's like six hotels, but there's these big atrium areas with a "river" which is really just a large, windy fountain, and a zillion overpriced restaurants, bars, and shops selling completely useless shit such a platters that say "Everything tastes better with cat hair" and t-shirts that read "Merry Christmas, y'all" as if Britney designed her own line of novelty clothing. And country music. Errwhere. At any given time in my hotel room, there are at least four different channels playing country music and an episode of "Home Improvement" on. Not only are the English dorks meeting here, but so are the commercial lubricant sales convention, featuring 1,500 men with names like Rod and BIll, wearing light blue button downs with the sleeves rolled up. And, like any touristy place, the old folks. Lots of them.
The English teachers are a different story. There are, of course, the dancing apples. There are the disgruntled folks. But there are also all of the very cool, very awesome at their job people. And there's free booze at things, amazing author talks, and, best of all, FREE BOOKS. Tonight we had the welcome gatherings for all the grade levels, and the secondary session had Ann Patchett, the very distinguished author of Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars (among other books), and she gave away, to all however many hundreds of high school teachers, copies of two of her books and one of Eudora Welty's books. To everyone. Plus free food and beer and wine. And that's just the beginning. Starting tomorrow, there's an expo floor where every book publisher ever gives away free or dirt cheap copies of books and other teachery things like pens, pencils, bags, lesson plans, etc. I know this last paragraph was nerdy. Deal. My colleagues and I are actually presenting a session on our conference English program. Yeah national presenter. Last two years. No big.
Don't worry, I'll update LIVE! FROM NASHVILLE! again soon.
Shout out to my dear friend Meghan. I'm missing her bachelorette party on Saturday, which I'm sad about, but I'm sure it will be like any other bachelorette party: dive bar, party bus, golden showers. Same old, same old.


BrianMcFool said...

Congrats and enjoy the conference, Kelli. Hell, it doesn't feel like it has been a year since Pittsburgh. Who are you presenting with? I tried to find your presentation on the website but came up empty. Let me know how it turns out.

KBO said...

It's my whole department. We're presenting on our writing program and how it rawks. Just sos you know, Tom and I have been giving you shoutouts left and right. I miss your snark this time around. And trust me, there is plenty of snark to go around. E-mail me the story of why the world is less one good english teacher, please.

Geoff said...

I'm glad that you finally put a post up. What am I supposed to do at work? A little more often would be greatly appreciated.

Jack is getting married in May- TO A GIRL.

Sorry that the Hawks aren't doing that well. Can't wait for Bob Stoops to take over the Iowa St. program.

Reading is FUNdamental. Holla.

P.S. A must read that I just finished, couldn't put it down- Culture Warrior by Bill O'Reilly. Get it.