Last week during the big heatwave I had my first excursion on my own without my parents around to rescue me since January. I attended the OEA Leadership Summer Conference in Columbus. This was a good test to see if I can function on my own with my new handicapped status, as it was all in a single hotel, and that most of the food was provided. There were also plenty of old and new friends to help me out if I needed it.
Due to the power issues the elevators in the hotel were partially down, so the first couple of days everyone had to use the service elevators, which made for an interesting experience. The power issues also knocked out the chiller for the entire hotel, so it was not the coolest, and some rooms were 85 degrees or more. My room was okay, I could have stood it to be a bit colder, but at least I had a nice view of the Columbus Commons.
The best thing about the hotel was the Starbucks on the First floor, let’s just say I made it a point to have an iced coffee every day I was there, it also helped soothe my hands, which I ripped open due to having to push through sweat and on carpet, which hurt them. I need to build my calluses more before I go back to school, which means I need to take the wheelchair out for more spins.
The sessions were great! I loved all the sessions I went to. House Bill 99 was signed into law by our governor, so a lot of the talk was about that. I do not want to carry a gun in my classroom, and yes it is up to local control, but guns in classrooms is something that any teacher shouldn’t have to contend with. I attended sessions on Word Press Blogging (woo!) Self Care, Election Screening and Censorship in Education. All of the sessions were engaging. The food left something to be desired, but I have had worse hotel food in my time so this really wasn’t too bad.
My stamina leaves something to be desired and I am worried about eight straight hours in my chair once the school year begins. I also know I cannot stand and walk as I used to. Therapy is helping with this but it is slow going. The depression bug is rearing its ugly head again a little bit because the only way to build my stamina is to go and do, and I cannot “go and do” still on my own. Paperwork takes entirely too long, and I so want to be driving, though the gas prices are giving me some pause. My Dad’s company announced they are giving some “inflation” stipends to their workers to help offset the increased gas and food prices. As educators we don’t get this, and although I don’t really need it at the moment, I also know I am very fortunate, and some really could use a boost of funds at the moment.
All and all it was a good learning experience and I hope to take some of the things I learned into my classroom.