I was having a calm morning because I had no reason to rush over to the Convention Center when Veronica asked, "Aren't you presenting today?"
"No," I replied, innocently.
"I'm sure I saw your name in the program." Veronica leafed through the EV program booklet. "Here it is: at 10:00." (It was about 8:30 at the time.)
OMG. I deduced what had happened: I submitted two proposals to the EV Fairs, and received an email which began:
Dear EV Fair Presenter, Congratulations! Your proposal has been accepted for the Computer-Aided Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS) Electronic Village Fairs at TESOL in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 28-31, 2011.... We have attached a copy of the EV Fairs schedule to this message. Please check the date and time of your presentation in the schedule....
So I checked the schedule, and when I found that "Ideas Worth Spreading: Enhancing Language Skills with TED" was scheduled for Thursday morning, I stopped looking, since the email mentioned only one proposal.
Even after I got here, I did not look that far ahead in the EV program booklet. Luckily, Veronica did! And luckily, since I had already prepared this presentation (Using Online Lectures for Authentic Note-taking Practice) for the WATESOL Fall Convention, and since I (luckily) had the outline on my flash drive, which I (luckily) had brought to Philadelphia, I was able to throw the outline up onto a wiki created for the purpose (no printer = no handout). It took a bit of time to polish it because whole lines did not paste into the wiki and I had to recreate all the hot links; but I managed to do it in time. I arrived at the EV at 10 to 10 (luckily again, the presentation was scheduled for 10 and not 8:30!) and gave the presentation to several (maybe five or six) seemingly interested listeners. Whew! Thanks, Veronica!
After that, I attended two very interesting and useful EV Fair presentations in the 11:00 hour: "Website for a Blended Course in Advanced Listening" by Phil Hubbard of Stanford (who was at dinner with us at Pho Cali last night), which contained some potentially very useful resources; and "Using Technology to Achieve Excellence in Vocabulary Learning" by Aubrey Bronson, Amanda Wallace, and Ellen Bunker, all of BYU Hawaii), which introduced me to some awesome tools. For example, I had heard of Lextutor but had never really used it. In this presentation, we were shown how to use some fantastic tools on Lextutor such as the Vocabulary Profiler and the Range Tool. And they had some great suggestions for how to use these tools in teaching.
I ran into Vance and Phil Hubbard outside the EV and went to lunch with them. We first tried the Reading Terminal Market, but it was as crowded as yesterday, so we hit the streets and walked in the vague direction of Vance's hotel, where he had to get a book. Eventually we found a nice little lunch place that offered a whole page of ersatz meat vegetarian dishes. I got a tofu salad which was really good, but had to pack up half of it because we all wanted to see Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Webhead and CALL-IS leader and founder of EVO, receive the Scott Enright Service Award for all she has done.
Then I rushed off to the EV to attend the InterSection presentations (CALL, ITA, and SPL) on technologies for working with international TAs. One of those (the first, unfortunately, because I was late) was really relevant to teaching our pronunciation class for ITAs, so I was glad I didn't miss it entirely.
After that, I took a break from sessions to take a bus tour of the city. (This is the first time I have ever done that! But I did not feel guilty, because I had already seen some really useful and enlightening presentations. The tour was interesting although the bus was noisy (making it hard to hear the guide) and the ride bumpy, but I got a good view of some of Philadelphia's many museums, interesting buildings, parks, statues, and murals, as well as both rivers, the Schuylkill to the west and the Delaware to the east.
Philadelphia City Hall
The ticket is good for 24 hours, but I don't think I will have time to take advantage of that tomorrow because I am signed up as an EV volunteer from 10-12, and have to be at the train station to make my bus back to DC at 3:20. But it was fun; I am glad I took the time to do it. I'd like to come back and visit some of the museums and other sights. It's not even three hours' drive from where I live in Maryland!