11 April 2014

New Orleans day 3

It's Friday.  I have seen this guy at least 3 or 4 times at this conference.  He has red hair with a well-trimmed beard.  The first time I had to do a double take because I thought he was James.  After the first time, I realized that he doesn't look entirely like James, but close enough that it is really weird.

Here's a picture of the exhibition hall where I have tried to gather as many free pens and pencils as possible and even some other good information.

After the conference today I headed to the WWII museum.  My mom has also been here and I have wanted to go.  It is part of the Smithsonian and I learned that it is in New Orleans because of the work of Stephen Ambrose and the fact that Andrew Jackson Higgins (New Orleans native) was the inventor and manufacturer of the Higgins boats which were instrumental in both fronts of WWII.

The museum basically covers the entire history of the war from the U.S. perspective.  It was cool!

Afterwards, I went to one of the movies at the exhibit called, "Beyond All Boundaries."  

Next, I had this great idea to go down St. Charles to look at some old New Orleans houses.  I found this giant monument to Robert E. Lee and waited for a street car, but after a long while it never came.  I also realized that it didn't turn around and go back like I'd thought and that I'd have to end up walking a ways back to my hotel when I was done.  So, I decided that was a bad idea and I didn't need to see old houses.  I started trekking back towards the hotel and at this point was starving.  I passed  a couple of restaurants, but nothing looked good (plus, I seemed to be in the super fancy expensive restaurant district, as well).  

I did the following, then headed back to my room for the night: bought a chocolate milk at a souvenir shop, dropped off my heavy backpack and exchanged it for a smaller bag in my room, walked toward the french quarter again for a pizza place I had seen before, bought a slice of pizza, bought my kids a souvenir, listened to some zydeco-type music while I ate my slice, was offered a shot of alcohol (strange), and walked back to my room.

This is a look down St. Charles while I was waiting for the street car that wasn't.  To the right of this photo, a couple of blocks, is the Superdome and these freeways reminded me of all the people walking on them to the Superdome during Katrina.  There is a museum all about Katrina in the french quarter, but it was closed.

New Orleans Day 2

I really am here at a math conference.  It is just not as interesting to post pictures of my notes and hand-outs as it is to post pictures of life outside the conference center.  I struggle with statistics and I have tried to go to a couple of statistics sessions, but this one was really boring.  The way we took samples, was interesting, though.  The woman presenting had these custom-made sampler paddles and a bucket of 10,000 bb pellets.

After the conference was over for the day I hopped on the street car. I thought it would be a fun little ride while I decided what to do for the evening.  It was crowded because it is the weekend of the French Quarter Music Festival and the street car drove 100 yards and stopped for 10 minutes to load and unload people.  I got a text from Robin from Arizona who I'd met the night before and got off the trolley and headed back to my room to drop-off, reload and meet up for dinner.

We tried to find an authentic, but non-fish place to eat for dinner, but when we asked some local girls, they steered us to an oyster bar.  We're weren't sure why they told us to go there, so we decided to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe across the street.  After dinner we headed to Preservation Hall and got in line to get in for a performance there.  My mom recommended this place from her trips to New Orleans.  It is a place that was established to keep the original old-timey Jazz alive.  It is way cool!

After the show I bought a cd from this guy who introduced the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and then sold the merchandise after the show.  He had dinosaurs on his shirt.  I told him I liked the dinosaurs on his shirt and his said thank you.  He told me it was his favorite shirt because it is difficult to find dinosaur print on shirts that aren't intended for children.  He gave me a free cd on top of the one I already bought.  The blonde lady purchasing something else is my new friend Robin, from Arizona.

After Preservation Hall we made one more stop for beignets at Cafe du Monde.  They were delicisous!

09 April 2014

New Orleans day 1

Back in . . . oh, probably December, I got an e-mail that said this year's NCTM (National Council of Teacher's of Mathematics) Annual Meeting and Exhibition was in New Orleans, Louisianna.  I thought, "Oh, that's cool.  I'd like to go to New Orleans.  Maybe one of these days I will go."  Then within a day or so I got another e-mail that said applications are due for the Laura Baker Grant in my district.  It's a grant that awards 2 teachers every year with a paid professional development opportunity of their choice.  I asked James what he thought about me applying for the grant and maybe going to New Orleans and he said something like, "If I get accepted into a master's program, it would probably be a fair trade for you to go."

In January, I found out that I got the grant!  

Now I'm here.

Plane information:
  • Lots of math teachers on the flight.
  • The lady next to me had her barf bag out and ready to go.  This totally creeped me out.
  • The guy behind me talked loud and non- stop for the entire flight.  Everything about Bozeman, MT to oil rigs in Texas, to how much a head of cattle is, to why he doesn't eat chicken, to his accident in 2009 . . . . Ahhhhhhhhhh.  I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't focus on my book.  I finally just resorted to solitaire because it was all my brain could do.  It was painful.
  • Shuttle ride next to two co-workers who were there to set up a booth for the exhibit hall - talking about their use of mary-joo-wanna - one of the guys gets it from his friend with medical benefits and it comes in the from of candy - $40 a week for 50 pieces of 10mg each - you get a 3-4 hour high . . . yadda, yadda, yadda, the usual

I was glad to finally be on the ground.

Here is the view out my hotel window (looking away from the Mississippi River).

I had about an hour before my first meeting started, so I decided to head to the French Quarter.

Trolley car on Canal Street.  

Cathedral at Andrew's Square.

Here there were lots of tarot card readers, a guy asking for money while his dog pretended to be dead in a coffin, artists, a band playing, a guy asking for money for kicking his hacky sack around, etc.  There was supposed to be a Hurricane Katrina exhibit in the building next to the cathedral, but it (and several other things) were closed while they set up a big French Quarter Festival for this weekend.

I decided to brave Bourbon Street.  It was . . .  what you think Bourbon Street would be like.

After this, I went to the convention center and started to get situated for a few days worth of meetings, starting with tonight's keynote address, "The Joy of X."  It was a presentation from a man who wrote articles in the New York Times (and later a book) with the same title.  It was all about infusing fun and interest in math.  It was a decent start.

I was hungry, so I headed to where a saw some food, asked to look at a menu at a cafe called Ernst's .  I met two other single ladies (one from Arizona and one from Texas) and we each had a po' boy.  I had fried chicken on mine.  It was tasty.