Community. #TMC13 Reflection number 2.

First I’m gonna talk about Comic Comic. I LOVE Comic Con. To the point where I am never embarrassed to tell people I go and while I don’t dress up as anything, I LOVE people who do.

Have you ever been in a room with 100,000 people? It’s insane. You are bound to step on at least one shoe, be stepped on, and bumped at least 7 times a day. But here’s the thing about Comic Con everyone is so happy to be there they apologize. Every damn time you get bumped, “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me.” It’s amazing. And you know why they are so polite and so happy to be there? Because for 4 days each year they are with their people. No one at Con expects you to be anyone but yourself.

You fit in! You have a place! You have new friends to talk to in line or on the floor or in panels. Everyone is just as excited as you. This huge community is your place.

This is how I feel about TMC. This is how I want the MTBoS to be. This is hugely important to me. As someone who has not always had a place you people are my community.

So here goes, I’m gonna disagree with several people I love, I don’t need TMC to stay the same size and I don’t think that we need a cap (within reason TMC is never gonna be Comic Con) and I really really don’t think we should close to anyone who wants to be a better math teacher using twitter.

Now, I know this maybe controversial and possibly impossible but I’m just saying, I want to share the awesome that is us.

You people are my place, I get to be me for four days with no judgment and in fact the more me I am, the more I am embraced by the community.

So here is my community, it is big, full of awesome math teachers and constantly accepting new members:

Dan A. Have you met him? The nicest dude on the planet. He let Greg sleep in his room while he was there. Just because.

Greg H.: He would like you to be less helpful in class and do that by playing an instrument. He also doesn’t mess around when it comes to Air Bud. (Or he messes around a lot? Not sure.)

Sean S.: Also, doesn’t mess around. He makes sure the lyrics are perfect and that TMC has a theme song. Lisa Henry will be singing this on the daily.

Lisa H.: Along with being the organizer of this masterpiece she brings along her amazing husband who might be the kindest man on the planet. Seriously somebody get that man a medal.

Julie R.: The friendliest happiest person on the planet. This woman did some mad karaoke and with me (we Partied in the TMC) while siamotainously making me feel incredibly loved and welcomed.

Hedge: I’m pretty sure she’s the Madonna of TMC, some of you need two names, Hedge needs one. She also said she loved me because I dropped the f-bomb so causally in my whole group presentation. Lastly, we are having a fight over Megan who we both claim to love more.

Nathan: Well let’s just say Nathan and I didn’t talk enough but we both sang and danced a fair bit with Nathan taking the lead. Dude is fearless.

Megan G.: She made one comment and I knew we would be friends for life. She gave an interactive notebook talk that, well, people were talking about. She also made a book group for my summer reading which is HUGELY motivating.

Ashli B.: May be the queen of origami but I was most impressed with her focus on kids’ thinking during her presentation. And her wine, thanks girl.

Tina C.: Presented like a fiend this year, my goal for next year is more quality Tina-time. Girl is good people.

Summer S.: For a girl in basketball shorts she has the most swagger of any person I’ve ever met. She will also beat people up if they are mean to you.

Marsha F.: And I have a deep bond over TV and nerdom. I also had one of the most honest and quality conversations with her during TMC.

Max Math Forum: I know Max has a real name but the dude is Max Math Forum in my head. He lead my morning group and really taught me everything about complex numbers to the point that I realized I knew nothing. He also recommended the best italian food and is training a helper dog. The dude’s a winner. I mean that’s what I noticed.

Anthony R.: May have been in the mob at one point. I mean I don’t know, but if he causally mentioned “The Family” I’d believe it. All jokes aside, I had a really good conversation with him after TMC and I am so impressed by how much he thinks about the people around him. I don’t know if he’s planning again next year but I hope so.

Jessica: Gave an awesome presentation on group work. I felt like my professor from college would have been proud. I loved her intentional thoughts around the number of kids and the types of groups without giving answers.

Anna: Was also part of that presentation. Her genius was taking the Exeter problems deleting the scaffolding and making them discussion prompts. She is also a killer Cards Against Humanity player.

Fawn: Let me play Set. And I love Set. She is also an amazing teacher, I think we all left her sessions on knots wanting to both do more math and be in her class.

Gregory: Who both knows the words to teen girl pop songs and makes the unit circle come out of the Stargate. Safe to say I like the nerdiness happening here.

Michelle: Who let me stay in her room. Michelle has this amazing ability to make people instantly feel like they have been her friend forever. She also gave a super practical “My Favorite” that people teaching Alg 1 should totes use.

Justin L.: Who is so excited about Math Munch it is hard not to be excited, too. Also, Michelle called him the nicest person at TMC and I’m inclined to agree. Here’s the thing though: Don’t trust him, there is nothing under your chair.

Rachel K: Along with Sean and others is a master song writer. Though she hid a bit at TMC you should talk to her about Pre Calc because I happened to know the amount of work she puts into planning a course and she’s got good stuff.

Kate N: This year we called her the high priestess but mostly I can just see what an exceptional teacher was. I hope Mathalicious knows just how lucky they are.

Dave P: If I could give him an award if would be “Dude you should most walk over and talk to.” He might not be the loudest but when he talks it’s either hilarious or very important.

Mmmaaatttttt: This dude spent two days with Max and Wendy and I trying to make sense of complex numbers. He gave me a really cool proof but also was infinitely patience with my questions.

Wendy: Yea, we had some fun with complex numbers but Wendy and my connection runs deep. Just talking to Wendy made me feel both calm and important. The way she listens and the connections she makes are wonderful.

Jami: There was some really good conversation about teenagers and Jami’s kids. I love talking to people when you can hear how much they are working to do the right thing.

Eric!: Eric and I became besties the first night then I never saw him again. This is almost completely true. His Joy in everything was contagious and he owes me a karaoke song.

Sam: Sam thinks about every lesson and really cares about the community. He and I had an amazing conversation about TMC14 that changed my thoughts a lot.

Elizabeth: Our community cheerleader, need cheering up? Go see Elizabeth because she sees the good things about people unlike anyone else. I may be a little bias as she called me a national treasure.

Justin A: Responded that by making me a national treasure she was cursing me to a life of being chased by Nick Cage which was actually my favorite tweet of TMC.

Nicole: She refuses to combine marshmallows and oranges and plays a serious game of Card Against Humanity.

Micheal P.: We had an awesome argument about complex numbers but I don’t know that I more respect a person at TMC. The dude is for serious.

John B.:  John and I both say we hail from San Diego which is pretty impressive considering we live about 60 minutes apart.  He gave a presentation this year that people LOVED but mostly I like him because he has strong options and expresses them well.

Sadie:  Sadie can hug the life out of you and it’s a good thing.  She spent most of the morning sessions chilling under a table and I hope lots of people got pictures of that.  Sadie makes you feel like you’ve been on an Arctic Adventure for years and just returned home and it’s a good feeling.

David W.: David W rode the train home with me and Sam.  He talked (with a great Canadian accent) about his impressive career and made me want to listen to his stories all day.  He also offered to help a woman with her stroller in the subway. Real Deal.

There are people missing from this list, people I didn’t meet, people who didn’t come this year, people I am just forgetting at 11:45 pm but my point is this: I don’t think I can have too many friends. Especially too many math teacher friends. I love you people.

5 thoughts on “Community. #TMC13 Reflection number 2.

  1. Sounds pretty amazing. More than amazing – life changing!!
    But I guess, if you go then I can’t. 😦
    btw will you help me get on the math twitter network. I really want to!

  2. Annie – I love your pithy, insightful, hilarious, warm descriptions of the people you connected with and how true they are. You really get people, and get the essence of the community. And it was a complete honor to meet someone who knew how to ACTUALLY access the Chamber[pot] of Secrets! My daughter now thinks attending a conference of math teachers is a worthwhile endeavor.

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