Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Southern Hospitality

Myrtle Beach, SC


Hush puppies, sweet tea, soap dispensers, Depends undergarments, and dial-up internet!  Ah, Southern hospitality…


Jen was bummin’ when she saw where I was staying this week: a resort on the beach in South Carolina.  Expected highs in the 70’s.


I was bummin’ when I checked in: the only thing in the 70’s was the décor.  “Budget cuts,” I was told with a sweet southern accent and a smile.


After dropping my bags in my room and getting introduced to the CERRA staff, they promptly kidnapped me for a night on the town.  After a dinner featuring hush puppies (I always thought they were a brand of shoes,) “she crab soup” (now usually made with both genders, however,) and Jambalaya (okay, technically more of a Cajun dish, but it was the only thing that wasn’t deep fried,) the real adventure began.  No one in this deserted resort town heard my cries for help.


After a 45 minute drive around town to find just the right shaped ice to crunch on, we visited the local WalMart to get some real shampoo, some disinfectant spray, and other products that seemed to go nicely in the basket of my electric cart.  It was a rather unique evening, to say the least.  My cheeks were sore from laughing when I finally (and cautiously) slid into the sheets.


This is a group of educators that loves to laugh, but I also learned that they are passionate and committed advocates for children.  They are active in the schoolhouse and the state house, educating teachers, the public, and their elected officials about the needs of children and the importance of public education. 


I was honored to be their hostage for a couple of days!



  1. And we just luved havin' you visit.
    Ya'll come back now, ya hear.
    Bring the kids and the missus and stay a while.
    Smilin' faces.....beautiful places.

  2. Your speech was outstanding. Really funny and insightful. It would be great if you could post it online, like a TED speech. I couldn't find your e-mail, so if you can send me your speech or keynote I'd appreciate it. Thanks for representing our profession so well.

  3. You know you loved being with us in South Carolina! We really enjoyed having you as our prisoner and appreciate the fact that you are such a "goof-ball". Your message to the District Teachers of the Year was amazing! Thanks again for spending some time with us in Myrtle Beach. P.S. Let the blog wars begin!

  4. Thanks Mike! Levi misses you already!

    Ann Marie

  5. hahaha ,the three color box is really lovely things, if you don't explain, I don't know what's that.


Feel free to question, disagree, challenge, or make suggestions! I'm a big boy. I can take it.