The past two weeks have been BUSY. I recently returned from Champaign, Illinois where I conducted a seminar with a history department there. We spent a great deal of time evaluating what they are currently doing and what changes needed to transpire. Much of our work dealt with vertical teams, historical thinking skills, and organization. I must say those folks were impressive. They were motivated and ready to work with me.
The biggest challenge faced was getting to Champaign. Due to a number of storms, my flight out of Boston was delayed almost two hours. When I finally arrived in Chicago, I missed my connecting flight. According to the airline, the next flight to Champaign was at 11 AM. I would miss an entire days worth of work. I ended up renting a car and making the 2 1/2 hour drive, which placed me at my hotel at 3:30 AM. I was set to be on campus by 8.
Later that night, I met Kyle Thomas for drinks at a downtown Champaign bar. Kyle is working on his Ph.D in the theater program; his reserach focuses on the role of theater in Europe between 800 AD and 1200 AD. His approach to looking at theater history is unique in that much of it did not transpire in a theater, but in places like a court house. What a great night we had. He was a student in the very first class I taught after graduate school back in 2000. You can read more on Kyle here.
This week is going to be a productive one here at St. Johnsbury Academy, a New England boarding school in Vermont. I am here for an AP US History conference. I pride myself on ALWAYS having a highly organized course. Thus, I am going to pass on the afternoon social gatherings and drinking with colleagues while here, and focus my attention on writing a NEW AP US History syllabus and reading outline. With the exception of my first year, I have always completed my courses. I managed to do so even at Brooks this year with 10 weeks less of instructional time than I am used too. I will also devote one hour of each night to research and writing. I am ready for an ELITE teaching year. Oh, I am going to enter a 5k too. I am not in 5:45 pace shape, but it is a start.